For the second time this year NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying was cancelled because of rain and the trucks will be gridded by points. Rain delayed this evening's schedule and, although the track was eventually dried, NASCAR elected to ...
For the second time this year NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying was cancelled because of rain and the trucks will be gridded by points. Rain delayed this evening's schedule and, although the track was eventually dried, NASCAR elected to cancel and allow the competitors to have 30 minutes of happy hour. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is sharing the weekend with the Indy Racing League.
* JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 24 NETZERO PLATINUM SILVERADO (third; sixth in happy hour):
"The NetZero Platinum Silverado has run good today. It drives good. The carburetor has slowed us down. We can run wide open all the way around. It also allows a LOT of people to run wide open all the way around, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. The guys on the team have given me a good truck all year. We just haven't won. Maybe tomorrow will be our day. For happy hour we will have to concentrate on getting the Silverado to stick to the track all the way around. To this point we concentrated on getting rid of drag for qualifying. Man I love Texas. We've sat on poles here, wrecked hard here and led a lot of laps here. It sure would be nice to win a race here."
* DAVID STARR, NO. 3 CHASCO CONTRACTING SILVERADO (eighth quick in first practice, third in happy hour, starts 25th based on John Menard's owner's points).
David is a local Ft. Worth racer whose uncle Mike Starr runs the Team Texas Driving School at Texas Motor Speedway, where David is an instructor. This is David's second race of the season:
"Dennis Setzer, Joe Ruttman and I got into the pace truck and went on the track. The race track is wet in some important spots, in the corners, coming off the corners. It looks dry, but you put your hand on it and your hand is moist. I would have loved to qualify if I could have. Obviously I have a better truck than where I will start. I guess it's a case of 'better safe than sorry.'"
ON BEING EIGHTH IN FIRST PRACTICE IN FIRST RACE OF SEASON:
"We got a little bit of a late start. When I got out there I ran two laps and I was third quickest. We kept trying to make it better and better and actually ended up slowing it up. I was having problems between (turns) one and two. When I hit the bump I had to roll off the gas a little bit. The truck picks up, air gets underneath it and goes a lane over. I'm just excited to be racing in the truck series again; it's a great series. I have a pretty good Chevy Silverado here and am looking forward to the race."
HOW DID YOU END UP WITH THIS SILVERADO?
"We bought the truck from John Menard. Chevrolet has been good to my driving school and to me. When I wasn't going to drive the No. 41 truck (as was originally scheduled) we called John Menard and bought one of his trucks. We made a deal with him to run his number and his truck. He is kind of a part owner of this deal. My main focus is to win the O'Reilly 400k or at least finish in the top three. We will continue to race if we do that. My main focus is to bring this No. 3 Silverado home in first. It's always fun to race here at home. It doesn't matter where we are, I just want to win. It just happened we are here at Texas Motor Speedway, which is home to me."
* TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 60 CAT RENTAL STORES SILVERADO (will start fifth.
Kvapil qualified with a 30.83-second lap, but as qualifying was cancelled after only 14 of the 36 trucks qualified, all qualifying times were discounted. His time in happy hour was a 31.396).
"We changed a lot of stuff after qualifying going into happy hour to try to loosen the truck up. We just went too far. We need to back it closer to what we had for qualifying. I think we could be pretty good for the race. Our happy hour time doesn't really show how good of a truck we have. We went to an extreme in one direction and we need to back it up to closer to where we were when we qualified. All day long we were tight."
* RICKY HENDRICK, NO. 17 GMAC SILVERADO (sixth):
"Actually, we were happy not to qualify. We were not running as well as we hoped. The best we were hoping for was a top 10 and now we will be starting sixth."
* DENNIS SETZER, NO. 46 ACXIOM/COMPUTER ASSOCIATES SILVERADO (11th):
"We didn't get to qualify. We were third away from qualifying when the rains came. I guess that's OK. That's the safe way out for everyone. We didn't need to crash any trucks. We've got the Silverado more drivable. We made some improvements chassis-wise. We will see how things shake up tomorrow."
IS STARTING 11TH OK?
"In practice we were 12th, tonight we were 12th. I think we would have been right in the 11 range. I don't know for sure. We had some good stuff lined up for qualifying; we usually qualify pretty well here. I would have liked to have tried, weather permitting."
* COY GIBBS, NO. 20 MBNA SILVERADO (13th): "I would have rather qualified; I need to work on it. I guess we're good enough in points. It's not a killer, it's just not something you need when you want to work on qualifying personally to get better at it. It's frustrating. I have been able to qualify good in every series I've raced in except this one. I'm sure it will come to me sooner or later. We had a good happy hour. We learned stuff. It was probably the best out of the box. I think we have to figure out what it needs and we will find it. It's a long race, as fast a track as this is, if you are not running well. If you're good here you're hauling the mail, if you are not you will be uncomfortable for a long time."
ON THE MARK CONQUEST MOTORS BUILT AT JOE GIBBS RACING YOU ARE RUNNING:
"They're great. It's just as exciting to be a part of it. We didn't really intermingle with the (Winston) Cup stuff. To finally get help from them on the motor side has been fun. They can root for you back at the shop. They feel more attached to you. It makes for a bigger team, really. We can do a lot of R&D for them. That's my main goal, to give them good feedback. They will probably try different stuff on us before they do it on Bobby (Labonte) and Tony (Stewart), which makes sense. I am willing to take the risk on the part of R&D to gain the horsepower."
* MATT CRAFTON, NO. 88 FASTTRACK DRIVEWAY SEALER SILVERADO (10th):
"We didn't get to qualify. But we are 10th in points so we start 10th. I actually wanted to qualify. I was ninth in happy hour and we were on old practice tires, we never got to put good tires on it. If we had qualified it might have been the best qualifying spot for the year. We made a whole lot of changes right before qualifying and we didn't get to qualify and we tried them in happy hour. Man, oh man, we definitely would have seen a lot of improvement with the changes we made. We actually should have a pretty good race truck tomorrow."
* RANDY TOLSMA, NO. 61 TEAM RENSI MOTORSPORTS SILVERADO (ninth):
"It was a good day. Qualifying on points isn't so bad because I was already ninth in practice, then 11th in happy hour. I was hoping maybe I could have picked up a few positions in qualifying, but the Silverado pretty much gave us all it had. Texas has always been good to me. I like this track and we do well here."