Nashville: Pole winner interview

Erik Darnell, driver of the No. 99 Ford F-150, won his first career Craftsman Truck Series pole in qualifying for this afternoon's 200-mile race at Nashville Superspeedway. Darnell, who also leads the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings,...

Erik Darnell, driver of the No. 99 Ford F-150, won his first career Craftsman Truck Series pole in qualifying for this afternoon's 200-mile race at Nashville Superspeedway. Darnell, who also leads the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings, captured the pole in his 17th career truck series start with a time of 29.601 seconds and an average speed of 162.116 mph.

ERIK DARNELL -99-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st)

THIS IS THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE POLE-WINNING PERFORMANCE FOR ROUSH RACING DRIVERS WITH DAVID RAGAN WINNING IT LAST WEEK AT ORP.

"I think we got lucky today with the early draw. The track was a little bit cooler earlier on, and the sun kind of came out and warmed up the track a little bit. We really weren't that good in practice yesterday. In both practice we made all kinds of changes to the truck and couldn't get the thing to respond. It's the same truck I wrecked at Texas and it's basically brand new coming out here; we hadn't run it yet."

DO YOU EXPECT THE TRACK CONDITIONS TO CHANGE SIGNIFICANTLY BETWEEN NOW AND THE RACE?

"With the weather they get around here, the clouds moving in and rolling out, the track changes a little bit, but it's going to be about as hot as it's going to be in the afternoon when we start the race. I've run races here before and it just seems to tighten up as the afternoon goes on. I think we're kind of expecting that here. We'll adjust during the race, but I think we have a pretty good piece right now."

WILL A GOOD QUALIFYING SETUP TRANSLATE TO A GOOD RACE SETUP?

"To be honest with you, I don't know because we fought the truck in practice all day yesterday and couldn't get it to do anything. We couldn't get it to respond to anything, and John Quinn (crew chief) and all of the guys did a great job finding a couple of things wrong with the truck there during the morning before qualifying and got it switched around and good for qualifying. I don't know how it's going to run during the race, but I think it's going to be decent. It's definitely nice to go out and get the pole here. I've got some experience here in some other series, which I think kinda helps me out. I've run quite a few races here at Nashville and I think that played into it a little bit. Definitely, the early draw helped us out, but any way we can get them, we'll take them."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Erik Darnell