Atlanta: Ford teams qualifying quotes

RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 13th) "After practice this morning I thought we had a shot at the pole, and when we got that close to the pole, we went for it. The wind picked up a little bit and the track ...

RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 13th)

"After practice this morning I thought we had a shot at the pole, and when we got that close to the pole, we went for it. The wind picked up a little bit and the track temperature got a little hotter, and we just missed it some. It was still a fabulous job by Gene Nead, who's with us now, and the Roush engine under the hood. The new Ford F-150 is doing what it's supposed to do, and we'll have a great race."

WERE YOU ABLE TO RUN THE TRUCK WIDE OPEN? "With the wind picking up, it puts you in a different position getting into the corners with a lot more speed. You don't lift, you just drive through it."

IS IT A FEELING SIMILAR TO DAYTONA WHERE YOU HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR THREE LAPS IN QUALIFYING? "You don't hold your breath at Daytona any more, except during the race. Here, yeah, three laps, you're going to hold your breath because you're going so fast here that if you hit something it's going to hurt."

HOW WILL THE DRAFT COME INTO PLAY TOMORROW DURING THE RACE? "I think the draft will play like if you were at Michigan or a Texas-type track, where if two or three get hooked, they can pull away from the field. I don't think you're going to see a draft where somebody can pull out and pass because we're all running good. You don't have a lot of room here to use the draft to pass with, but you can improve your lap times by getting in the draft."

TERRY COOK-10-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Qualified 20th)

"We're a little disappointed with the qualifying effort, but we feel like we have a really good race truck. We've already got our first pole of the year, so it's the second race of the year and we came down here to win this thing. After what I just saw right there, we definitely have a truck that can win it. For whatever reason, we don't have a lot of speed, but we're good; we have a good race truck."

IS THE TRACK LOSING GRIP AS THE DAY PROGRESSES, AND DO YOU EXPECT IT TO CONTINUE TOMORROW? "I think they're calling for overcast skies for the race tomorrow, so we're questioning what the race conditions will be like. We lost a little speed, and a lot of guys lost speed, but I saw some guys that didn't. I'm not sure what's going on because people are all over the map, but that was two laps wide open around here with good grip, so I'm not sure where the speed is. It just tells me that we have a really good race truck."

WHAT KIND OF RACING DO YOU EXPECT TOMORROW? "You're going to be off the throttle, but the race win is going to go to the guy that can hold it wide open the longest. For sure, it's a situation with the tires falling off here, you're going to lose a second and a half to two seconds over a 40-lap run. You're going to definitely be off the throttle, and that's what I like about racing when you get to a track where you put a lot of the driver back into it. Anybody can hold it wide open all the way around here for a two-lap qualifying run, but you have to race them for 40."

JON WOOD-50- Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 15th)

HAS IT BEEN DIFFICULT TO GET A HANDLE ON THIS TRACK TODAY? "From a driver's standpoint, especially in qualifying trim, it's not very difficult at all. That was wide open and that's all that we've got. I really don't know what more we can do. I just think we brought the wrong truck here. We brought more of a downforce truck, which has a higher amount of drag, and it's just not seeming to work."

ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT YOU'RE ABLE TO GO AROUND THE TRACK WIDE OPEN? "Not really, I anticipated that. A track of this magnitude and this speed, I'm more surprised that as good as we've been at mile-and-a-half tracks, we're as bad as we are today."

WITH MORE DOWNFORCE, WILL THE TRUCK WORK BETTER IN THE DRAFT? "No, this is going to be a handling race and not a drafting race. It's going to be just the opposite from qualifying."

BRANDON WHITT-38-Cure Autism Now Ford F-150 (Qualified 17th)

"So far everything looks all right. We're right about where we were in practice, but there are still quite a few good trucks to go, so we'll see where we end up."

ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO OUT-QUALIFY A NUMBER OF THE SERIES VETERANS? "Yes and no. I am because a lot of these guys have been here before in different series and have a lot more laps than me. Our team is a rookie team, but we've got a lot of guys with a lot of experience. Jerry (Pitts, crew chief) has been a crew chief, he's been on the NEXTEL Cup circuit, and so he's been here before. I've had a lot of help from a lot of good people."

DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HELD YOUR BREATH FOR THREE LAPS? "Oh yeah, this track is really fast and stuff happens a lot quicker than anywhere else we've been. The track seems to have quite a bit of grip right now. Nobody has really ventured up to the high groove yet, and I know this is a track where generally there are two or three grooves, so we'll see what happens and see what the high grooves are like when people start venturing up there."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Truck