RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 6th) - "We caught a cloud. We set a track record here one time with an All-Pro car under similar conditions and it was the Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford Thunderbird back in...
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 6th) -
"We caught a cloud. We set a track record here one time with an All-Pro car under similar conditions and it was the Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford Thunderbird back in those days. Catching a cloud with a good chassis and a good engine under the hood, that's what we've got here with the pickup. I don't know if it's going to be a track record or not and I don't know if it's going to be on the pole or not, but it was still a good lap because we picked up from practice."
YOU WERE TAKEN OUT OF CONTENTION IN THE PAST TWO RACES FROM INCIDENTS NOT OF YOUR DOING. HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS WEEKEND'S RACE TO REESTABLISH MOMENTUM? "We qualified sixth last week, but we were second in Texas and we went to the front there. We didn't get a chance to go to the front last week, but you have to race. You have to race in all aspects and no matter what happens. Things are going to happen and that's the way we look at it. We need to get back on track, of course."
YOU WORKED WITH FRED WANKE AT THE TRACK FOR THE FIRST TIME LAST WEEK WHILE YOUR CREW CHIEF RAY STONKUS RECOVERS BACK AT HOME. HOW IS THE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN YOU AND FRED PROGRESSING? "Last week I realized after the race that something was wrong. I put my arm around Fred and said, 'Both of us didn't get a chance to give 100 percent this week because we didn't understand each other and we hadn't worked together before.' With Ray appointing Fred for temporary help, I figured we'd never skip a beat. When Fred came in last week, we went to Memphis with high hopes, but we also went with a truck that Ray had set up. Fred tried to fix something that was wrong with the truck his way, and in order to come here and be quick right off the hauler Fred had to set the entire truck up. But, believe me, Ray had his ideas in it, too."
JON WOOD-50-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th)
"I definitely think we could have been a little better than that. The truck was a little too tight for qualifying. I don't know if the clouds did it, but it's just been cooling off and the track hasn't gotten any hotter than when we ran practice. I think that was a mistake we made by not leaving it alone anticipating the track staying the same. We know we have a good truck and just have to work on it in race trim."
YOU'VE RACED HERE TWICE BEFORE, BUT THIS WILL BE YOUR FIRST TOP-FIVE QUALIFYING EFFORT AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE. WHAT'S BEEN THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE FOR YOU IN QUALIFYING THIS YEAR? "The biggest difference between last year and this year is that we have better equipment; that's the bottom line. I've been here twice and it's one of those places that one minute you're good and the next minute you're not because the track changes a lot and the truck changes a lot, too."
CARL EDWARDS-99-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 3rd)
"I think we caught a little bit of cloud cover there and that helped. I kinda messed up three and four just a hair, but that was near perfect. It was pretty close to being perfect, so I can't complain. That's by far the fastest the we've run all day, so I'm happy with that."
WE'RE HITTING A STRETCH OF RACES THAT STARTED LAST WEEK IM MEMPHIS THAT YOU'VE RACED AT BEFORE IN THE TRUCK SERIES. IS THAT ONE REASON FOR YOUR IMPROVEMENT IN RECENT WEEKS?
"That helps a lot. It doesn't help me as much as I wish it did. I still came here and in the first practice I had to get used to the track. I was following Kvapil and Cook around a little bit in practice and we're still not where we need to be in race trim. One or two laps is one thing, but we have some stuff to work on."
YOU PICKED UP OVER A TENTH OF A SECOND FROM PRACTICE. WERE YOU ABLE TO USE JON WOOD TO HELP YOU IN QUALIFYING HERE? "We helped each other out a lot. I think I was just four hundredths faster and that could have been all cloud cover. Jon is an unbelievably talented driver and having him as a teammate is really helping our program. Doug (Richert, crew chief) is new to these trucks and I'm new to them, so having Jon who has run this same equipment for the last two years is really helping our program over here on the 99 team."
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st)
WAS THAT A PERFECT LAP? "Not from where I was sitting. We had a plan going in. We knew the truck was really good. Myself and crew chief Rick Ren talked about it and we had radio communication, which a lot of times you don't use during qualifying. I told him that if I got the pole on the first lap, just tell me to abort and we'll call it a day. We didn't feel that there was anybody behind us that could beat us because there were only two or three trucks left to go. When I made the first lap I thought there was no way that that was the pole. I went into one, got in the middle, got real loose and then when the backend hooked, the frontend starting pushing. It was just a terrible lap, I thought. It felt terrible. I went down into three and four and it was pushing like a pig, and that was the first lap. So on the second lap, I went in to one and two and the truck hooks and it does everything it was supposed to do. I just came off of two, and Rick said, 'Abort, abort.' I thought to myself that the terrible first lap got the pole. I think the Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford is pretty good today. The motor man did a great tune-up which helped me get down the straightaway because we weren't as good through the corners on the first lap as we had been earlier, but, obviously, it was good for the pole."
BEING THE DEFENDING RACE WINNER, DOES THAT PUT MORE PRESSURE ON YOU OR DOES IT GIVE YOU MORE CONFIDENCE GOING INTO THE RACE? "It's a little of both. There's definitely a lot of pressure. The pressure is the pressure that I put on myself. When you go to a track and you ran as good as we did last year, you expect to come back and run as good, if not better. We were good last year and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, so it is a tough deal. At the same time, it gives you confidence that you know that you were that good."