MARCOS AMBROSE-20-Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 (Finished 7th)
IT LOOKED LIKE TRACK POSITION WAS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR TONIGHT. "When we got out front we were fast and we were wide open there. I got in clean air early and we were good, but I feel bad for the boys because we sped on pit lane there. We had kind of arm wrestle there with Todd Bodine trying to beat each other out of the last box. He was trying to beat me and I thought, 'I better get going to beat him,' and we both got caught for pit-lane speeding. I learned my lesson there and that's a bit of humble pie. We came from dead last back through the pack and it was a strong day. I led some laps again and showed our worth. I'm real proud of our guys. We've got a good understanding on these one-and-a-half-mile ovals and we're making the most of it."
WAS THERE A SECOND RACING GROOVE TONIGHT? "The tires are so hard that it's really hard to race people because you get aero-tight behind them. You really have no mechanical grip here and it's all about aero. The second groove wasn't quite in. You get tucked underneath someone and you get aero-tight and there's not much you can do. We tried. We passed a lot of trucks out there, but when you get to those last few and they're running pretty good, it's really hard to make a move."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 (Finished 14th)
YOU MADE THE DECISION TO PIT FOR FUEL LATE IN RACE, AND GAVE UP FOURTH PLACE IN THE PROCESS. WERE YOU THAT CLOSE ON FUEL? "I think we couldn't have finished the rest of the way, plus we were blistering our left-front tire. We played it safe and didn't have enough fuel and had to come in. I guess with all the Oil Dry on the race track we still wouldn't have made it anyway, and it gave them enough caution laps to make it. We were in our pit window and decided to pit and put on tires, and thank goodness we did. Kevin Starland (crew chief) made the right call and the Circle Bar Ford F-150 ran good all night. I think I passed more trucks than anybody, but it didn't deserve a 14th-place finish."
HOW WAS THE RACING SURFACE? "It's definitely a two-groove race track and you can pass here. It's fast, and it's fun to race. I just wish we didn't have to go to a backup truck after the practice incident, but the guys did a good job putting it together and we had a good race."
TERRY COOK-10-Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-150 (Finished 16th)
"I don't know how many times we went to the back and worked our way back to the front. We had a decent truck, but we just never really hit the handle right on. Nevertheless, it wasn't too bad. The Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l crew overcame a lot this weekend after starting last and having a decent day out of it. We're definitely disappointed with that effort, but I guess after starting dead last and working our way back to the front, I can't tell you how many times, we'll take that and run to the house with it."
HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE TRACK? "Well, I think the track got better, but the right-side tire was just too hard here. We're not seeing any wear on it. A lot like Charlotte, it just didn't have the grip it needed. I'm really disappointed in that, and surprised how rough the race track was for a new track. I think that this race facility will only get better as time progresses on. It's kind of like a fine wine, as the race track ages it will be better and we'll be racing higher up the race track. Tonight, I think we got pretty high, but I don't think the tires were matched perfectly for the racing surface."
ERIK DARNELL-99-Woolrich Ford F-150 (Finished 17th)
HOW IMPORTANT WAS TRACK POSITION TONIGHT? "I think it was important, but our Woolrich Ford was really good tonight. We started off from the beginning of the race in 16th, in traffic, and we were able to drive right up into the top 10 with no problem. We had a pit stop there, and I don't know if it was the set of tires or a lug nut, but we had a pretty good vibration. We were fortunate to have a yellow come out shortly thereafter and we were able to come in and change that. The truck was never the same after that. I don't if we had a shock go out or some go wrong in the suspension, but it definitely wasn't driving like it was early in the race. At the end, it's a pretty disappointing finish for us just because we were running so strong in the beginning."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TRACK? "To be honest, I really like the track. It will be a real nice place here when they get a couple more races on it and a couple of more grooves worked in. I think with this tire that it made it a little tough to race because it was skatey out there when you get around other guys and trucks break loose. I think when they get a couple of more races on it, it will be a really cool place."
PETER SHEPHERD-6-Scotts Ford F-150 (Finished 18th)
"We went out there, and it was pretty good out of the box. It was a little bit free on me, and I'm not used to having it rock side to side on me. About 10 laps in, it kind of got away from me a little bit and I was able to save it, and lost a lot of spots, but we were still fast. We came in and tightened it up and we got a lot better, and we were able to advance a lot of positions. The guys just gave me such a strong truck that it was unbelievable. The truck had a lot me in it than I did, that's for sure. I'm still leaning a lot, and I think if I had a little more experience that truck would have been right up front, it was just that good. I'm just honored that they let me drive. I've got to thank Scotts a lot for putting me in the seat. They're a great sponsor for this series and I'm thankful for being with them. Like I said, gaining that experience is big and I'm glad it's one piece. We had one incident that was really close and we could have torn up a lot of stuff, but Mike Beam and the crew gave me a great truck to race tonight."
DID YOU HAVE ANY PRE-RACE JITTERS ASSOCIATED WITH DRIVING THE NO. 6 TRUCK? "After qualifying, my hands were shaking and I couldn't get them to stop. I was in there pretty good. I've got some stuff to work on. I've got to work on that angle of approach getting into the corners and trying to get keep the truck stable. I think that's where it's hurting me carry that corner speed. It's something that I've been working on all year, and it's something that I'm still working on. I've been working on my restarts a lot and I had a couple of bad restarts today, so that's something else I've got to look at. Just little things like that I'm picking up on, and hopefully by the end of the year or the beginning of next year I'll be ready to do, and I know I will be."
-credit: ford racing