RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Finished 3rd) YOU'VE NARROWED THE GAP TO 32 POINTS WITH ONE RACE REMAINING. "We led most of the first half of the race, and all of the guys on the Circle Bar Ford got us out first on the...
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Finished 3rd)
YOU'VE NARROWED THE GAP TO 32 POINTS WITH ONE RACE REMAINING. "We led most of the first half of the race, and all of the guys on the Circle Bar Ford got us out first on the first pit stop. Any way, we just tightened up when the clouds came over. It was a little too cloudy for us. When it heated up, I ran them back down, and then it clouded back up again and it tightened up off of the corners. It was great run for us. We capitalized some more in the points and we'll take this championship race to Homestead.
THE FIELD CLOSED BACK UP ON THE GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED FINISH. DID YOU HAVE THOUGHTS OF GOING FOR SECOND PLACE OR THE WIN? "If I could have forced the issue I would. I wasn't going to wreck anybody. It's a calculated risk right now, and if the Circle Bar Ford would have made the move and we could have completed the pass without taking somebody out, I would have done it. He was just a little bit stronger than I was at the end. It was a really good run for the Circle Bar Ford. We led the most the first half of the race and I think when the clouds came over it tightened us up some. When the sun came out we ran them back down again and that's what we needed. We were a little too tight off of the corner. Great pit stops by the guys. We came in first and left first. The only thing we aren't is in victory lane, but we're going to get them in Homestead.
TALK ABOUT THE POINTS RACE. "We capitalized a little on the points race, but we just can't seem to get to victory lane for some reason. The guys in the pits did a heck of a job. We came in first and left first, an awesome feat there. The truck ran great. I think when the clouds came over after the first half of the race, we got tight off of the corner and that hurt our chances. We had the green-white-checkered finish and if I could have put a move on somebody without hurting somebody I would have, but a calculated risk made us finish third today.
HOW DO YOU RATE YOUR CHANCES FOR HOMESTEAD? "Well, I finished with this race and I'm looking forward for next week. We're taking this championship point race team to Homestead, the only place we've won and we'll see if we can't win again. With Ray Stonkus and Ernie Elliott engines under the hood, I'm driving my ass off and there isn't anything else I can do. I think our chances are pretty good. If our prayers stay with us and God stays with us, we might be able to win this thing and pull it off, but if not, we've had a great year. It's been a fun year for us.
YOU BATTLED HARVICK AT THE HALFWAY POINT, BUT DECIDED TO LET HIM GO. "That was fun, but I saw the 1 truck was catching us pretty easy, so I let Harvick go and cooled my tires back off. I thought I could mount another charge at the end, which I pulled it off, but I couldn't get back by him."
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Finished 5th)
"We've been down for three weeks in a row and I told the guys we got a solid top-10 run at California and we have something to build on. We got here and struggled and struggled. We were baffled. We've got our best flat-track truck here and everything we were throwing at it wasn't working. Right before qualifying, Bob Keselowski and I sat down and we figured something out. It gave us a good qualifying effort and it raced well all day long. We were just lacking a little bit. The truck was just a little too tight all day long. We were on the same straightaway as the leader all race long, and I think at different intervals of the race, we were faster than the leaders; we could run them back down. We had something for them, but this is flat-track racing and track position is huge. We didn't have the track position we needed all day long, and unfortunately, we didn't get where we wanted to be. But again, we got a top-10 and now we got a top-five and we'll just keep building on that.
IT SEEMED LIKE YOU COULD GET ALONGSIDE ANOTHER TRUCK, BUT PASSING IT WAS ANOTHER STORY. "This is about as slippery as I've seen this track. I don't know exactly why or what, but it was difficult to pass. If you got a guy in front of you and took a little bit a air off of your truck and that thing wouldn't turn in a country field. You're fighting an aero-push on top of a slippery track and worn tires, so you just had to baby it around the corners. It was tough to pass all day long. It's the old Phoenix dreaded blues. Once it's tight and you get to the throttle, you're usually spinning the tires off, so it was definitely tough to pass all day long."
JON WOOD-50-U.S. Navy Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 11th)
"When we fired off, the thing just wouldn't go. I think we might have started a little too low on air pressure, but when we came in and made that first pit stop we fixed a few things and it just started hauling ass. We were just too far in the back of the pack to make a difference because we didn't have any more cautions.
WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN YOU, LEFFLER AND HEMPHILL? "Leffler just wrecked the 4 and took me with him. I don't know what he was thinking on that. We had a top-eight finish going, but that cost us today."