RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 (Qualified 16th) "The sun beat down on the track and there wasn't a lot of cloud cover today, so it's not doing people any good to go out late to make good laps. The conditions are about the...
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 (Qualified 16th)
"The sun beat down on the track and there wasn't a lot of cloud cover today, so it's not doing people any good to go out late to make good laps. The conditions are about the same for everyone since the track temperature stays in it, and the only shade that you have is the high groove down the front straightaway, so heat saturation has a lot to do with the track being as slick as it is right now."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FOR THE RACE? "I don't think it will be like qualifying every lap. This race track puts on some of the best racing the Craftsman Truck Series has got, and we can run three wide if we have to, especially down the front straightaway. We'll see some tight competition, and when you do that it makes you have a tendency to back off in the corners some. It's really whoever can get the best acceleration off the corner and stay in clean air."
TODD KLUEVER-50-Shell Rotella T Ford F-150 (Qualified 3rd)
"Mike Beam (crew chief) has done an awesome job with the truck. It's run good all day and they just kept working on it and working on it. This is truck 36, my favorite truck, the one I crashed testing at Texas, but it's awesome. The early qualifying draw isn't really good for us here today, so hopefully that will end up somewhere in the top 10, but we have a pretty good piece for tomorrow. I'm excited about that because these mile-and-a-halfs have been our weak point. Maybe this shows that we're gaining on it a little bit, but I'm just excited because this has been a good day for us."
YOU'RE A ROOKIE IN THE SERIES, BUT CAN YOU COMPARE THIS TRACK TO ANY PLACE YOU'VE BEEN TO IN THE PAST? "I've been to Kentucky, never in a truck, and they're similar. I've watched this on TV and tried to learn what I could from it. That's it. I've never been here in person. On the fourth lap out this morning we were second on the speed board, so that was cool. With what happened this week, I was sad to see John Monsam go, but in the same sense I was happy to see Mike Beam appear because I respect him so much, and it's just awesome to start off this way with a new crew chief."
COMMENT ON THE CREW CHIEF SWAP THAT OCCURRED THIS WEEK. "I don't think it was any secret that the Roush truck teams weren't performing up to the level that the rest of the Roush stable has been. It worked when they did it with the 97 and 6 Cup cars, and Jack's a smart man and he sees all the angles. He just wanted to make a change and thought maybe we would be better off if Mike was with me and John was with Ricky. This definitely shows me that Jack was right about us, and I'm just excited because this is a good day for us."
RICKY CRAVEN-99-Superchips Ford F-150 (Qualified 31st)
"I'm just a little disappointed with my run. I really got sideways down there on one and two. We freed it up and I didn't expect it to be that free. I'm very happy because we made good progress in practice. We didn't get to make a qualifying run and I kind of wish we had."
TALK ABOUT THE CREW CHIEF SWAP THIS WEEK. "I think it will be good for the company because John Monsam has good experience and Mike Beam has been around for a long time. I think the two teams are still one, and I think the fact that we work so well together will be no different than last week or the first race at Daytona. It will be no different except for race day. John will be on my radio and Mike will be on the radio for the 50 truck."
PREVIEW YOUR FIRST TRUCK RACE AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY. "It's become and excellent place to race, but it's slick. The track is slick and we're racing in the heat of the day. I watched the tape of last year's race, and it was pretty clear that having good tires at the end was a big deal."
TERRY COOK-10-Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l Ford F-150 (Qualified 30th) - DRIVERS COMMENTED THAT THE TRACK CONDITIONS GOT SLICK FOR QUALIFYING. "It has. It's typical of Kansas. This is a very temperamental track. We saw it last year when we had a practice early in the morning after qualifying got rained out. When the track is cool it's a lot like Indy and Charlotte, it's just got a tremendous amount of grip. We were running wide open around here, and we just qualified and we were still wide open, but you're losing grip in every corner that you're turning. Instead of running 12 to 15 laps straight wide open, you're probably only about two or three, if that. The track changes a lot in the heat of the day."
WILL THAT PREVENT SIDE-BY-SIDE RACING TOMORROW? "I think we'll see more side-by-side racing than in the past, but the problem is that the track isn't wide enough. The corner entries funnel down too tight and it's really hard to run double-file here. You drive through the dogleg on the frontstretch and all of a sudden you find yourself pinned up against the wall. To make a better arc into the corner you even want to go higher into the corner, but you can't because you run out of race track. The characteristics of this track don't allow for great side-by-side racing because it funnels down so tight getting into both corners, both one and three. I think as the track continues to age we will see better racing, and hopefully we'll see a better race here tomorrow than we've seen in the past. But, transitionally it's been tough to run side-by-side here."
IS THIS A TRACK THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SEE LIGHTS INSTALLED SO THEY CAN RACE AT NIGHT? "I think so. Obviously for the fans' perspective, we're very fortunate here this weekend that it looks like we're going to have cooler temperatures, but as history repeats itself we're definitely going to get back to running here in the heat. I think to have lights here and run a night race would probably help, and maybe that would promote better side-by-side racing because the track gets so slick here during the day. We'll just have to wait and see"