RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Finished 5th) - "This is Darlington and tire management was the key today. Me and my crew chief, Ray Stonkus, who does a great, and the crew advanced every time we had a pit stop. They...
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Finished 5th) -
"This is Darlington and tire management was the key today. Me and my crew chief, Ray Stonkus, who does a great, and the crew advanced every time we had a pit stop. They kept me in the race and when it was time to mash the hammer, we mashed the hammer. We mashed it, but we didn't have enough for the Dodges or the Chevys today." IT LOOKED LIKE YOU RAN THE BEST ON THE LONG GREEN-FLAG RUN. "I watched these Winston Cup guys on TV and made a little pass there in 1 and 2, and it got me a couple of spots one time. I put that in the bag for knowledge, but I enjoyed Darlington. We came home without a scratch, but I didn't tame it and came home fifth today."
WITH ONLY FOUR SETS OF TIRES, HOW IMPORTANT WAS TIRE MANAGEMENT TODAY? "Tire management was the key. That was our mindset throughout the entire race. That's Darlington. I've watched it on TV and in video games, and I came here last year, and being a veteran driver, you sort of put knowledge in the back of your head. We did that when we got here."
THE NEW RULES FOR THE SERIES ALLOWS TEAMS TO PUT ON FOUR TIRES UNDER CAUTION. DID THAT HELP THE RACING HERE TODAY? "Here at Darlington it did because that was the only strategy you had, putting on four fresh tires. If you would have put on two rights, you took a chance on getting lapped or getting in trouble. You do what the leaders do at Darlington, especially putting on four tires when you can. If your team can do that without losing any spots, that's the only decision to make. My crew kept me in the race all day with fast stops and I just had to do it from there."
WAS THE SETTING SUN A PROBLEM THROUGHOUT THE RACE? "I think lap 80 was the worst. All of a sudden the sun went down and the shadows left in turns 3 and 4 and we could dance all night."
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Finished 29th) -
"We had the truck to beat before the engine expired. We were sitting in the fifth position with 40 laps to go and I knew that I needed about 10 laps for those guys to fall off, and I was just sitting there waiting. I was faster than them, and I was just going to sit there because I knew I was faster than them on the long runs. I wanted to wait for the tires to fall off, and I had plenty of time and was going to pass them when I knew that I could pass them. We were sitting in the catbird seat, and we dropped a cylinder and a lap and a half later, the motor went all together. We battled back all day after a few miscues on pit stops and we were still right on target and thought that we had things covered. I think we had the fastest truck here today, but sometimes the fastest truck doesn't win."
WAS THERE ANY WARNING THAT THE MOTOR MIGHT EXPIRE? "There was no warning at all. We were turning the motor pretty hard RPM-wise, but we thought it should be OK. It was a fresh engine coming in here and we weren't spinning it that hard. It was just 40 laps short."
JON WOOD-50-U.S. Navy Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 9th) - "Our truck wasn't really good at the start and that's why we fell back in the beginning. We actually had a good truck at the end; we just didn't have one in the beginning. We lost so many spots at the start and we couldn't really get back in the lead pack. We had a really good last pit stop and gained 10 spots, and that's what put us up front, and we just went from there."
HOW IMPORTANT WAS TIRE MANAGEMENT? "They didn't run out quite like I thought they were going to. I was trying to manage my truck on that last set and I think I got behind doing that. I think we had a good truck, but we really didn't show that today."
WAS THE SETTING SUN CAUSING ANY PROBLEMS FOR YOU? "It was pretty tough to see, but the worst part was that for 30 laps at the start of the race I couldn't talk to the crew. Something happened to the radio and I couldn't hear the crew and was basically spotting for myself. That wasn't a lot of fun."
TRENT OWENS-15-Dickies/Dwight Yoakam's Biscuits Ford F-150 (Finished 15th) - "I think I did everything you could on that race track today. I got in two accidents, stayed on the lead lap for the longest time. We just hung in there. We didn't run Happy Hour, so we saved our stickers and that paid off for us. We had a good tires at the end of the race and that's what it takes here at Darlington, to have good tires at the end."
HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO ADAPT TO THIS UNIQUELY SHAPED TRACK? "It's weird, but Bobby Hamilton told me it would do this. When you get side by side, your lap times slow up full two seconds. You want to be able to get a run up off the straightaway and pass them on the straightaway, and that's the key to this track. But, every time that beside somebody in the corner, I either wrecked or I lost a lot of time. They were rookie mistakes, but I'm happy with that finish."