DARNELL RECORDS FIRST CAREER NASCAR VICTORY * Erik Darnell took the checkered flag for the first time in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career with today's victory at Kansas Speedway. Darnell qualified 10th, but was forced to start at the...
DARNELL RECORDS FIRST CAREER NASCAR VICTORY
* Erik Darnell took the checkered flag for the first time in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career with today's victory at Kansas Speedway. Darnell qualified 10th, but was forced to start at the rear of the field for an unapproved adjustment during the impound period.
* Darnell recorded Ford's first truck series victory of the 2007 season in the series' fifth race.
* Darnell went to victory lane in his second series start at Kansas Speedway and 31st overall, and extended Roush Fenway Racing's all-time series win mark to 44, the most in series history.
* Ford has now won 79 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races all time.
* Ford's win today is its fourth truck series victory at Kansas Speedway - and second consecutive - the most of any manufacturer (J. Wood -1, C. Edwards -1, T. Cook -1, Darnell -1).
ERIK DARNELL-99-Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 (Finished 1st)
"It feels awesome. We've been trying so hard and we've been so close so many times and I haven't been able to pull it off. Today we were finally able to put all of the pieces together and then finish this thing."
YOU HAD A STRONG TRUCK AND A BIG LEAD AT THE END. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS DURING THE FINAL LAPS? "With 10 to go when you have a lead like that, you just kinda go out there and ride around. We were coming up on a lot of lapped traffic and those guys were shuffling around quite a bit, and at that point you just get up there and kinda ride, and that's what we did. I just can't say enough about John Quinn (crew chief) and the guys on this crew. This Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 was fantastic."
DID YOU ADJUST ON THE TRUCK AND MAKE IT BETTER AS THE RACE PROGRESSED? "It was the best at the end. We had two pit stops there. We got it close on the first pit stop and then the second pit stop we made a couple of more adjustments and got the thing just about perfect. The thing drove great and I could go anywhere on track and it's just a testament to the whole crew and all the guys back at the shop that put this thing together because it was fantastic."
STACY COMPTON-09-Zaxby's Ford F-150 (Finished 14th)
"We had a great truck. We ran about third in line all night. We passed the second- and third-place guy a couple of times. We just had a loose wheel early on and had to pit under green and got a lap down. Great calls. The truck was great all night. It was fun. It was fun to be a top-five truck, but it was a little disappointing that we didn't come away with a finish."
TALK ABOUT THE STRETCHES OF GREEN-FLAG RACING. "The racing was good. It made it interesting when you had to pit under green. I just wish that we could have pitted with everybody else."
TRAVIS KVAPIL-6-K & N Filters Ford F-150 (Finished 13th)
"We had a fast truck all day. The beginning was great. I knew that I wasn't really going to have much for the 5 in the first half of the race, so we just settled in there second or third. Our first pit stop under green, I got busted for speeding, the very last pit stall. It is what it is. I'm really surprised. I thought that I wasn't, but, of course, there's no way around that. Then we just fought. We were in the Lucky Dog position a few times, but we just couldn't quite get it to fall our way. We definitely had a top-five truck. We just feel a little short of luck, I guess."
THE GAINS THAT THE ROUSH TRUCKS HAVE MADE SINCE CALIFORNIA, IS THAT A TESTAMENT TO THE WORK YOU'VE DONE IN THE PAST MONTH? "That's what's really great. We all sat down after Martinsville and Jack Roush said, 'Hey, we know you guys can drive, we've just got to get you fast trucks.' They cut the bodies up and really did their homework. Erik looked like he had the dominant truck, and the first half of the race I was right there with him, and the second half we were definitely a top-two or three truck. I'm just proud of everybody in the K & N team. Erik, and TJ ran strong for a while, and it was good to see the Fords up front."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-150 (Finished 2nd)
"We worked hard. The Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l, everybody needs to take a chance and go out there and test drive one of these F-150s; it's a great truck. Congratulations to Erik Darnell for winning. He did a good job. It's great to have Fords here one-two here at a Ford race track. I can't say enough about Ford Motor Co. Kevin Starland and all of the guys on the Circle Bar race team did a heck of job. They worked really hard today and I appreciate it."
DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING FOR DARNELL IF THERE WAS A LATE CAUTION? "There toward the end I was running a few laps. I wasn't consistent and he was running consistent for what he needed to run. I ran a few laps faster than he was, but I couldn't catch him because he had too big of a lead."
DAVID STARR-10-International Maxx Force Diesel Ford F-150 (Finished 15th)
"We've got a lot of momentum on our side. Dennis Connor (crew chief), Jason and all of the guys on the team are just doing a heck of a job. It's a shame that we got down a lap early because I think they were telling me that I was the fastest truck throughout the race. We were really good, but track position was big. I couldn't believe how many trucks were in front of us. When it all spread out and we were fast, we just never could get to the front. We definitely had a good truck today. This International Maxx Force Diesel F-150 was awesome. Definitely the finishing result doesn't show how good we were today. We were good, but we're gaining on it. We're disappointed with the finish, but we're definitely gaining on it. I'm happy that we're gaining on it."
WERE THE TRACK CONDITIONS ANY DIFFERENT RACING HERE IN APRIL COMPARED TO AUGUST? "I don't think it was. It was a great race. My truck, it took my truck four, five or six laps to get going and just took me a little bit to get going. But once we got going, man, it was going. Track position was just so critical."
KELLY BIRES-21-Air Force/Bush's Baked Beans Ford F-150 (Finished 31st)
WAS THERE ANY WARNING THAT THE MOTOR WAS ABOUT TO EXPIRE? "No. We just came off of four there and got right before the start-finish line and it just blew up. There were no vibrations; no nothing letting us know it was going to go. The U.S. Air Force Ford was faster. We made the right adjustments on that last run. The stop before that, we got just fuel only, and it kinda hurt us; it knocked the balance off of the truck. But, we got the right adjustments there. We were a little bit looser, and in the beginning of that run it would have been about perfect. We would have had a top-three truck, I think, without a doubt right there. I'm a little bit disappointed, but a good night before that happened and my guys worked really hard and made good pit stops and I'm just real proud of them."
WERE YOU HAVING TO LIFT OFF THE THROTTLE MUCH TODAY? "Yeah, you have to lift. There's a lot of finesse here. It seems like to get the thing to turn you need a little bit of brake. You have to drive them free. If you don't drive them free here you're going to be a little bit too slow."
-credit: ford racing