TERRY COOK-10--International Truck and Engines Ford F-150 (Finished 10th) "The lapped traffic tonight was just brutal. The groove is so narrow here at Darlington that racing lapped trucks, they've got to realize if it's not their day - it's...
TERRY COOK-10--International Truck and Engines Ford F-150 (Finished 10th)
"The lapped traffic tonight was just brutal. The groove is so narrow here at Darlington that racing lapped trucks, they've got to realize if it's not their day - it's give and take all day long - and they need to give and when it is their day they need to take. They just wouldn't cut us a break here today. Nevertheless, we brought the International Ford with a decent finish. We were just way too tight all race long and we kept freeing it up every pit stop and kept getting it better, but we just never got it to where it needed to be. Unfortunately, we raced a lapped truck off of turn two and got in the fence and did a little damage. We kind of struggled with it the rest of the race. It was good enough to salvage a solid finish."
ARE YOU SORRY NOT TO SEE THIS TRACK ION THE SCHEDULE NEXT YEAR? "I really am. I like racing here. I like racing any race track that is different. Whether it's Flemington, Nazareth, Gateway, Darlington or just road racing, I just like tracks that are different. I'm sad to see it's off the schedule, and all I can do is hope it comes back in '06."
WITH TEAMS SAVING A SET OF TIRES EARLY IN THE WEEKEND, DOES THAT ADD OR TAKE AWAY FROM RACE STRATEGY? "That is part of the strategy. We all knew coming here that we could possibly do that. We felt it was more important to get some laps out there and practice. Looking back on it now, if we had that set there at the end it would have paid off. It was a gamble for those teams because they gave up practice time to save a set of tires, and if the cautions didn't fall right they never could have used them. Fortunately for them, the cautions fell right and they were able to use them."
BRANDON WHITT-38-Werner Ladder/Cure Autism Now Ford F-150 (Finished 20th)
"It was tougher than I expected tonight. This place is real hard to pass; it's racy though. We were making constant adjustments on this thing all night and I think we learned a ton."
DID YOU FOLLOW SOME OF THE VETERANS EARLY IN THE RACE TO LEARN THE PREFERRED DRIVING LINE? "I tried to, but there were some places that my truck wouldn't run, so all night I was trying to figure out where we needed to be and what kind of adjustments we needed after the tires fell off. It always feels real good when you bolt a new set of tires on, and all of a sudden the tires wear off and that's where the problem arises. I think towards the end of the race we started to get the truck pretty close, but we got a lot of yellows and we weren't able to run with it."
CARL EDWARDS-99-Superchips Ford F-150 (Finished 4th)
DID YOUR MISFORTUNE WITH THE FLAT RIGHT-FRONT TIRE TURN INTO GOOD STRATEGY AT THE END OF THE RACE? "Tires were just that big of a deal. We needed tires and we just had to wait for that last set of tires. The tires they put on after our flat were old ones and it just wouldn't go. We put on those tires at the end and it went really well; we just kind of ran out of time. I guess it worked out for us in the end."
WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN YOU AND THE NO. 30 TRUCK IN THE CLOSING LAPS? "We were a half-second faster than him and he closed the door on me really hard into two on the lap before that, and I was going to go underneath him in three and he just went like I wasn't even there. His viewpoint is that I crashed him, but my viewpoint is that for some reason he really, really wanted to block me like that. I can't let a guy block me repeatedly. I don't know what I'm supposed to do, let me him do that over and over?"
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE HEADING INTO HOMESTEAD? "We're doing our best and I feel like this championship was won or lost throughout the whole year. If we don't win it it's not because we haven't tried here lately. I feel like we've done our best lately finishing in the top 10 eight out of nine times."
DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU STILL HAVE A SHOT AT THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "Absolutely. Stranger things in auto racing have happened. I look forward to Homestead and I think we have the potential to win it, and that's what we need to do."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Finished 17th)
IT WAS A TYPICAL DARLINGTON TRUCK RACE WITH A LOT OF BEATING AND BANGING. "Yeah, and I saw most of it. The Circle Bar Ford didn't get caught in any of that and we tried to get a top-10 finish out of it and didn't do it, but we had a decent run."
FRESH TIRES WERE THE KEY AT THE END. "I just told Ronnie White that if we ever come back here the key will be not to even practice and save that set of tires."
DOES THAT ADD OR TAKE AWAY FROM RACE STRATEGY? "The experienced guys run up front and they don't need any practice when it comes to Darlington. We burned a set of tires, and like I said, every 30 laps they would come in and get some and you need to make yours last 40 and 50. It takes a little bit out of the driver's hands because you have to finesse the old race track."