JASON LEFFLER, NO. 2 TEAM ASE/CARQUEST RACING DODGE "We took two tires on the last stop, but the 18 truck dominated all day. But I started the day with a truck I didn't think had a chance, but my crew worked magic with it and turned it into a...
JASON LEFFLER, NO. 2 TEAM ASE/CARQUEST RACING DODGE
"We took two tires on the last stop, but the 18 truck dominated all day. But I started the day with a truck I didn't think had a chance, but my crew worked magic with it and turned it into a good one. ON CLOSE FINISH: It's easy to say, 'yeah, with one more lap,' but it's a long race and he did what he had to do to stay in the lead. If it had been a 101-lap race, I would have at least gotten up along side of him."
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 60 CAT RENTAL STORES CHEVROLET
"It was an eventful day for our team. The truck wasn't real great for the start of the race, but the biggest thing the team had to overcome was getting me comfortable with the track. We made a big adjustment to the truck on the last pit stop. We found what the truck needed all day long on that last pit stop. We caught up to the 18 and 2 trucks and thought maybe we'd get a run on it. You needed to be the best running down the straightaway and my truck was just a little too tight there."
RICK CRAWFORD, 14 CIRCLE BAR MOTEL & RV PARK FORD
"Not what we wanted, but it's good enough to stay in the top 10 range. We missed the set up by a little bit and the longer we ran the more it magnified. ON LAST STOP: Yes, maybe we should have taken four tires on the last stop, but second-guessing ourselves is not going to help us at this point. Maybe we'll have more for the next time I hope."
MIKE BLISS, NO. 16 IWX MOTOR FREIGHT/KNIGHTS INN CHEVROLET
"We needed the long green-flag runs in order to do anything. We were tight in practice and tried to loosen it up for the race. We got it a little too loose. We probably needed a happy medium. But we still got a decent finish out of it."
BILL LESTER, NO. 8 DODGE MOTORSPORTS DODGE
"Basically, with Robert winning it was a team victory. We are all family. A victory for any one of us is a victory for all of us. Robert told me that I hadn't felt loose until you come here. He said to just wait and he was right. When you were in the middle of the track, it felt like the truck was not underneath you. They call it the 'hospital hop.' I'm not a veteran at it after 100 laps here, but I'm a lot more comfortable with it."
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Finished 6th) -
"We were good on short runs, but we suffered a bit on longer runs. Yes, maybe if we had taken on four tires on the last stop, we might have finished one or two positions higher. Our Ford runs real good on short tracks, but at this track and Daytona we are at a little bit of an aerodynamic disadvantage. I don't like to complain but we need more.
ON RACING CLOSE TO HOME: Yes, I enjoyed all the cheers I got at this track -- more cheers here than anywhere else we've run. And we want to come back here next year and we will lobby for that. There was a lot of good racing out there today and we want to come back and do it again."
"It wasn't an weather issue; I think we're fighting an aero issue here. We've been all over the world with this Ford chassis-wise as far as springs, front and rear bar, we moved lead, and we've hung it all but everything from my helmet. We've done everything we can. I think we're at an aero issue right now. The Fords just don't have enough front downforce at the speedways. The Dodges are killer at the speedways, and the Chevrolets, ever since they got their new kickout, they're tough everywhere. I hate to cry wolf but we know we had a hot rod and when we had tires underneath us, we were really good, but we just don't have the front downforce that those other guys do."
YOU MANAGED TO LEAD A FEW LAPS. "I thought early that we had a truck that could win the race. Ten laps into a run on new tires we were good, and it was a situation at the end of the race where maybe we should have taken on four tires on that last pit stop. But, I agreed with crew chief Bob Keselowski, he made a good call at the time. Right side tires and fuel was the right call at the time, but in hindsight, we probably should have taken on four. We would have lost a little bit of track position, but I think we were out of tires at the end of the race. But part of the reason why we didn't have any tires left is because we don't have front downforce in the nose."
WERE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE WEATHER TODAY? "We weren't worried about the weather. We thought for sure that it would go to the end. We're just more concerned with having a good, solid finish. I still thought we had a shot at winning, and, unfortunately, we were relegated back to sixth there at the end."
HOW MUCH OF A ROLE DID THE DRAFT PLAY TODAY? "It's tough. These trucks are so aero sensitive that when you have good tires on the first 10 laps of a run, yeah, you can do that, but as the tires start to fall off, drafting actually slows you down because the truck gets tight off the corner. If somebody takes some air off the nose, it just compounds your problem and you kinda end up fighting that throughout the run."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Finished 9th) "They finally put it back in the Dodge hands, and that's what they want. You can be competitive while your tires are cold, and you can race them, play with them. Then all of a sudden, they get ready to go. The tires warm up and they get ready to go. They've got the horsepower and they've got the downforce back, and they make us look bad. It's a shame that we look bad like this at Michigan."
WERE YOU CHASING THE SETUP WITH THE CHANGING WEATHER CONDITIONS? "Not really. The track really didn't change. It just got tighter for us as the day went on, and if you loosened up the truck, that's not necessarily what you were looking. When I say tight, it had a push in it, so it lost grip to the front wheels, so we were fighting that. But, the track stayed about the same all day. I have to hand it to the Circle Bar guys for giving me a good truck. It lasted 100 laps, and it was fun to drive today, but I just hate finishing ninth."
HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO FIND A DRAFTING PARTNER? "You could find one no matter where you were. It was fun today. We had some fun. We finally finished in the top 10 again, and maybe we can get back on track and get back in this championship run."
RICK BICKLE-15-Dickies Ford F-150 (Finished 12th)
"This truck actually drove fairly decent. This is the one that we first ran at Memphis and we hung a new body on it to make to it a speedway truck. It was just a case of not having the horsepower. They had to use one of their old motors because the motor deal was done with Ernie (Elliott). This definitely ain't the place to have an old motor at. Halfway down, it would suck up the draft, but coming off the corner when you were by yourself, it was really bad. Still, we just keeping plugging along and doing what we can. It's still rolling in one piece and it isn't tore up, and if the sponsor says something on Monday then we'll probably be there next week."
OTHERWISE, WILL THE REST OF THE SEASON BE PUT ON HOLD? "The rest of the year is off as of right now. I've got one deal I can call on to see if they might do something, but it looks to me like they can get more with the Dickies people."
JON WOOD-50-U.S. Navy Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 10th)
"We were good when we fired off, but as soon as we had that one pit stop that we had to come back in for a loose lug nut, the truck never drove the same again. I don't know what we need to do to fix it. I was chasing it up the track the last part of the race. I just can't believe we were able to bring it home in one piece. I don't know if it was a body issue, but we were really loose whenever we got near somebody. That last time, it wasn't even fast by itself."
YOU DECIDED NOT TO TAKE ANY TIRES ON THE LAST PIT STOP. WAS THAT PART OF THE PROBLEM? "That wasn't it. Tires weren't our problem today. I think we need to take a close look at this truck because we seem to be missing something at the speedways. We're good at the short tracks, but we're missing something on these bigger tracks, and I know it's not a motor issue."