RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 (Qualified 2nd) "The Circle Bar Truck Corral team had this Ford F-Series pickup making some bold moves today. We were fourth on the early morning speed charts and we were second in the last ...
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 (Qualified 2nd)
"The Circle Bar Truck Corral team had this Ford F-Series pickup making some bold moves today. We were fourth on the early morning speed charts and we were second in the last practice. I knew we had something, and I just kept feeling confident enough to hold the gas down. Hopefully I held it down long enough."
HOW MUCH HAS THE RACING SURFACE HERE CHANGED OVER THE FIRST FEW YEARS? "It hasn't changed much, just the feel of the race track under the chassis. I think the trucks just got better and they suit the race track a lot better, so you're looking at a little faster speeds even with a harder tire."
HOW DO YOU PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY PREPARE FOR A RACE THAT WILL BE RUN IN 100-DEGREE HEAT? "I hope it's really hot. I feel really good about it. I feel better than I have in three years of racing. We're in the top 10 and we want to be in the upper part of the top 10, and we're close, and so we came here to race. I made a little statement before we left the shop: 'Why don't we just go out to Kansas City and win.'"
DAVID RAGAN-6-Scotts Ford F-150 (Qualified 3rd) - "This is probably one of the best trucks I've had. I cracked the throttle just a little in qualifying. We were real free in practice and Mike Beam (crew chief) and Hal Rolston (engineer) and all of the guys got together, and we snugged up maybe a percent or two too much. It was a little tight, and I cracked the throttle every so slightly. I probably could have held it wide open, but I would have maybe hurt the right-front tire a little bit. We've got an awesome race truck for the race, and if we're in the top five, we'll be ready to go."
AS A YOUNG DRIVER, HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR THE HEAT DURING THE RACE TOMORROW? "Just drink a lot of fluids. I'm in pretty decent shape. I workout just about every day with Robert Johnson back home in Concord (N.C.). He's an awesome guy and we actually just started working out some outside getting acquainted to the heat. Hopefully I'll a leg up on some of them older guys and it won't be a factor on our side."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR.-50-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 30th) - "The truck is good. I think these trucks gain so much grip in qualifying and I'm not used to it. It's so different, even from the Busch car. I need to get better at reading how much grip the truck is going to have. I think the truck is good for tomorrow. Hopefully we can get a run like Texas because I think I learned a lot there, and I believe we can be good here because of that. It was definitively much better than we qualified and practiced, so I feel good about tomorrow."
IS THERE LESS PRESSURE ON YOU IN A SITUATION WHERE THERE ARE ONLY 36 TRUCKS QUALIFYING FOR THE 36-TRUCK FIELD? "Yes, but you want to make the race because of speed and you want to show everybody that you belong in the race. But, of course, this is better because you don't need to risk anything. You still give it 100 percent, but it feels good that no matter what that you're going to make it."
BOBBY EAST-21-State Fair Corn Dogs/Edy's Dibs Ford F-150 (Qualified 16th) - "That's not bad. We'll take it. The track is really good and has a lot more grip than it did in practice. It seemed more grippy than this morning."
HOW DO YOU PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY PREPARE FOR A RACE THAT WILL BE RUN IN 100-DEGREE HEAT? "Physically, if you're not prepared by today, you're not going to be prepared. I've prepared over the off-season for it. I think it's more going to be a matter of keeping your truck down in the track. We're going to have to work on that. John Monsam (crew chief), he's always run real good here, so I have a lot of confidence in him and all of these guys. I think that's going to be the biggest key tomorrow. The track is going to get hot and slick, and if you can just keep your truck down digging away in the pavement you'll be all right."
MARCOS AMBROSE-20-Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 (Qualified 4th) - FOR A DRIVER WITH A ROAD-COURSE BACKGROUND, HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO QUALIFY SO WELL ON THE OVALS? "I don't know why I'm good in qualifying, but I've always have done reasonably well in qualifying. It's one of my strengths at home back in Australia. I don't know. The race track is out there to be beaten and I try to beat it every time I go out. I have no answer for it. We're learning in this deal every race on how to race. It's hard to learn how to race people, and I'm just out there to experience it first-hand. Still, we're qualifying good, but we're not racing as good as we should, so I've got plenty to learn on that side of the fence."
YOU FACED EXTREME HEAT INSIDE THE COCKPIT OF THE TRUCK AT MANSFIELD. WHAT DID YOU LEARN THERE THAT CAN HELP YOU THIS WEEKEND? "I learned to put a cool box in the truck, and I learned to wear some booties with heat shields on them. These trucks are hot, but we're all professionals out there, and I made some adjustments since Mansfield and I don't think there will be any problem."
ERIK DARNELL-99-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 8th) - "I think that's all she had. Our Roush Ford F-150 was in race trim the first two practices, and we made a qualifying run toward the end of the second session and it was pretty decent. I got about all out of it that I was going to get out of it. It was just about wide open and I don't think we could have done much to go much faster there. It was pretty good in race trim, though, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
HOW DO YOU PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY PREPARE FOR A RACE THAT WILL BE RUN IN 100-DEGREE HEAT? "I don't have much experience doing these truck series races, but I ran the AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series and Southeast Series, and we typically did 150- to 250-lap races and we'd run them in the summertime. It kind of gives you a little bit of a feel for what's going to go on out here. Other than that, just stay hydrated and stay out of the sun."
TERRY COOK-10-Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-150 (Qualified 5th)
"I'm not sure where we'll end up, but it should be near the top five. Right there at the end of practice, you have to shut practice down so early to do a qualifying run. By the time you cool the motor down, put your tires on, make your adjustments and go through the process, you have to shut practice down with 25 minutes to go that we just felt like the Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l truck was so good that we really wanted to make it even better than it was. I know that normally when most people feel that they're good that do a qualifying run, but we just wanted to be a little bit better and there were a couple of things we didn't get a chance to try earlier so we never did a qualifying run, so we didn't know what we had. Looking back on it, had we done a qualifying run I think we would have qualified better, but we came here to race and not qualify. If that puts us in the top five, that's really all we're looking for and we'll get a good pit stall selection."
HOW DO YOU PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY PREPARE FOR A RACE THAT WILL BE RUN IN 100-DEGREE HEAT? "Mentally, you've just got to pretend you're eating an ice patty. I don't know how to describe it, but mentally you just have to put it behind you. The only time I really realize how hot it is is when the caution flag flies. When you're under green you really don't notice it. The only way you can do it physically is to keep hydrating yourself the best that you can. That's basically the only thing you can do - just continuously hydrate yourself with water or Gatorade. But, if you have a good race truck, you don't really care how hot it is."
RICK CRAWFORD PRESS CONFERENCE
"The Ford F-150 pickup unloaded great today. The Circle Bar Truck Corral crew prepared a really nice piece here. It's one of our best trucks that we have in our stable. It hasn't finished out of the top 10. From the first practice right off the bat, I realized we had a good truck because it was at the top of the board. I think it ended up fourth the first session and second the second session. I didn't know that we were going to put down that quick a lap because before I left the shop to come here, I said, 'Boys, why don't we get just get together and win the race this weekend.' We came here and we worked a lot on race trim and all that, and our qualifying lap that we mock-ran wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. But, when we went out there to qualify, I guess a little adrenaline was flowing and we laid down a pretty good lap."
"We're all Fords (second, third, fourth). If you look at the race tomorrow we'll probably make some bold moves. The points picture is laying out that the top five are Toyotas. If you look at qualifying for tomorrow's race, four out of the five are Fords, so we're trying to reverse the roll a little bit and beat them, not necessarily by the numbers, but we've just got to gang up on them and wear them out."
MARCOS AMBROSE PRESS CONFERENCE
"I just don't want to go from hero to zero again like I did at Charlotte on my last effort on a mile-and-a-half like this. It's a wonderful race track and a great facility. I'm just thrilled to be in NASCAR and to be coming to such great venues. To be running competitively in qualifying trim is just better than I could have ever dreamed of. Anything tomorrow is a bonus if we finish. We've yet to get a top 10 in the races, so that's our first goal, I guess, to crack the top 10. This year we've been learning so quickly and so aggressively that it's been hard to set realistic goals for ourselves. I think if we can get a top 10, hold ourselves in the top 10 tomorrow, that would be a pretty good day."
DAVID RAGAN PRESS CONFERENCE
"The same as Marcos, I'm here to gain some experience my first time here at Kansas. Our goal is to finish the race on the lead lap in the top 10 and anything above and beyond that would be a good run for us. Mike Beam and everyone at Roush Racing has put together an excellent truck. The Scotts Ford F-150 is very fast and it makes it easy on myself, so I think we've got a good race truck for the race tomorrow and it should be fun."
"All of the trucks at Roush Racing are excellent trucks. Mark has a couple that he runs that have his seats and his setups, but whether it's Mark's truck or Michel's truck or Erik Darnell's, we all have good race trucks. This is a actually the truck I raced Charlotte with in the No. 50 Ford Racing F-150. All of the trucks are good at Roush Racing. It's the No. 6, but Mark has not raced this truck this year, yet. He might, but it's an excellent truck. This is the 6 truck that Mark Martin races, but as far as the same truck, he has not ran this truck this year.
"I'm feeling some pressure, but just being at Roush racing period is filling some big shoes. There are a bunch of winners at Roush Racing and just to be part of the team you've got a lot of pressure. Just a little bit of added pressure being on Mark's side. Mark's been racing for longer than I've been alive, so I'm pretty fortunate just to hang in there and drive the same trucks as he does,"