Nashville: Erik Darnell post-race interview

ERIK DARNELL -- No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 -- (finished 2nd, qualified 10th) TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE. "Yeah, me and Johnny have had a couple of close finishes right at the end of the races this year it seems. We were just out...

ERIK DARNELL -- No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 -- (finished 2nd, qualified 10th)

TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE.

"Yeah, me and Johnny have had a couple of close finishes right at the end of the races this year it seems. We were just out of tires at the end. Matt Puccia and all the guys did a great job with this Northern Tool + Equipment Ford. We had a flat tire about halfway through and that really kind of put us behind. Track position was really important. Clean air seemed like it was worth everything. You didn't have to have the best truck but as long as you were out front, it seemed like you could really kind of run away with it. I knew once I got out there I had to keep the thing on the bottom. There wasn't too much of a top groove out there tonight, especially in [turns] three and four. I was just expecting the 30 [Todd Bodine] and the 23 [Johnny Benson] to be just like mine when I was in traffic, tight behind other guys and they were. And I was doing my best to keep Johnny back there. We obviously didn't have the fastest truck at the end, but we were able to hold them off for a while. Once you got that little bit of clean air on the nose, he was able to get by us and that made the difference."

ON RACING WITH JOHNNY BENSON AT THE END.

"Johnny had a really good truck at the end. He was pretty fast but he kind of had the same problem we did. I noticed earlier in the race that he didn't have the track position. I definitely knew he was coming when him and Todd got to battle. That gave me a little bit of breathing room. But as soon as he cleared Todd, he ran right up on my back bumper. I knew he was there, I just knew I just had to keep that thing on the bottom and keep him behind me. But not taking tires at the end and not getting an adjustment made the difference for us. We were just a little bit too tight and I couldn't roll the center as good as Johnny could and that's where he was able to beat me. It seemed like he just backed off a little bit and he beat me through the center and got underneath me coming off the corner. We just weren't as good as him at the end."

ON HIS TRUCK.

"It wasn't loose, it was tight more than anything. I just had a lot of wheel in it. And coming up off the corner when you've got a lot of wheel in, the back end wants to snap out on you a little bit. That's what we were fighting more than anything. I wish that thing was loose tonight. We were tight in practice yesterday. We were terrible in practice yesterday. All the guys, Matt Puccia and all the guys worked their butts off to end up 25th in practice and it was a little bit frustrating. But I think we got it pretty good at the end and we just didn't quite get it to where we needed it to be tonight. We were a lot better than yesterday, but still just a little bit tight. I would have given anything to have that thing be a little bit loose tonight. I think we would have been better off."

HOW MUCH DID THE TRUCK TIGHTEN UP FROM DAY TO NIGHT AND DID YOU HAVE MAJOR CHANGES?

"Yeah, it was quite a bit, but having practiced last night at 6:45 to 8 o'clock, kind of gave us an idea of what was going to happen once the race got going because we started at about the same time. We were able to make adjustments yesterday that helped us out tonight. I think Matt Puccia and all the guys did a really good job keeping up with the truck on the pit stops. It was just that last one we needed the track position and couldn't afford to do an adjustment on it. We took two seconds worth of fuel to get back out there in second. Had we had time, we would have made a track bar adjustment and got it a little bit better, we just didn't have that luxury at the end and we needed the track position more than we needed that adjustment. Had we had the chance to do that, we would have been real good."

-credit: ford racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Johnny Benson , Erik Darnell