Atlanta: Pole winner's interview

Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Ford F-150, captured his third career Craftsman Truck Series pole this afternoon in qualifying for the World Financial Group 200. Crawford, who will make his 201st consecutive start tonight, last won a...

Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Ford F-150, captured his third career Craftsman Truck Series pole this afternoon in qualifying for the World Financial Group 200. Crawford, who will make his 201st consecutive start tonight, last won a pole at Phoenix International Raceway in November 2002.

RICK CRAWFORD -14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st)

ARE YOU AT ALL SURPRISED WINNING THE POLE HERE TODAY?

"I'll tell you something, the Circle Bar Truck Corral race team has shown, even to myself, that it is hard to hang your head. We had a really fast truck at Daytona and couldn't show it all day. We had a really fast truck at California and got behind with the paper across the grille and having to make a green-flag stop to keep from burning up the engine. We don't have the results yet, but we have really fast pieces, and today we did some tweaking on it and put down two perfect laps and got the pole."

WITH THE NEW IMPOUND PROCEDURES THIS YEAR, DOES WINNING THE POLE HAVE THE SAME SIGNIFICANCE AS IN YEARS PAST?

"I look at it like this. NASCAR mandates the rules and they give them out to all of the manufacturers and all of the teams. It's whatever team that does their homework and polishes it the longest that's going to run the best. The Circle Bar race team has really worked hard to come here this weekend to be fast. Kevin Starland (crew chief) has done a super job with the team and a super job with the truck, and we're seeing eye to eye on things and I'm really happy with the situation. Anybody can win a race, but only one person can get the pole."

IS THERE A COMPROMISE IN QUALIFYING THIS YEAR TO ENSURE YOU HAVE A GOOD RACE SETUP?

"You look at what you need for the race. You look for feel. I think a veteran driver has a lot more advantage now than a rookie coming into the series now unless he's with a good team because a good team can put last year's notes in there and a give him some sort of feel and know what he's looking for. But this impounding deal after qualifying and all of that, rather than having a qualifying setup you better be ready for the race."

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT THE TRUCKS WILL RUN UNDER THE LIGHTS AT ATLANTA. WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS FOR THE RACE?

"I think the temperature is going to control the track a little bit, and I think everything is going to be fine. I think the speeds are going to slow down some. You're still running a mile and a half here and you're still going to be running really fast, but I think it will help things."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rick Crawford