RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 19th): "We're better than we practiced this morning and the conditions are the same. We didn't pick up as much as we thought we would. We'll just race from here." WILL THE...
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 19th):
"We're better than we practiced this morning and the conditions are the same. We didn't pick up as much as we thought we would. We'll just race from here."
WILL THE TRUCK BE BETTER IN THE DRAFT? "I brought the old hound dog here. She'll sniff a little air and we're going to go to the front to try to race these Dodges for best in class. I give it all I've got. We're best in class right this minute; I know the 29 truck and 50 haven't gone out yet. That's all I've got. I was on the mat. I haven't played any games since I've been here. We come here to race. This isn't just another race to me, this is Daytona and sometimes it makes me feel bad that I can't race. I'm just making laps."
YOU FINISHED 24TH HERE LAST YEAR, SO ALMOST ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN THE WAY LAST SEASON STARTED. "Last year was just circumstance, circumstances in the race. As far as racing was concerned, we led laps, we were just six laps down. That's part of it. We had a great truck here last year and hopefully I've got one here on Friday. I'd hate to go to Darlington, Martinsville or Mesa Marin insurance racing like we did last year. I want to win one, and I want to win it quick."
DO YOU STILL BELIEVE THE TRUCK RACE IS THE BEST RACE OF SPEED WEEKS? "I think we were until we let politics come into play this year. I know we don't have a restrictor plate on our pick up and we used to put on a great show, but I think that show stunk up qualifying. We're maxed out as far as the rules are concerned. If somebody gives me a set of rules, I'm in the gray area anyway. I just come to race."
DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE RACING FOR BEST IN CLASS? "I'm not happy with best in class and I've never been. I want to win. I want to win a race bad. I want to win here at Daytona and I'm not switching brands. I happen to be a Ford man and I love racing Fords. If I'm going to win, that's what I want to be in to win. It would be easy to switch brands, but one day it will come around and it will be my day."
ANDY HOUSTON-15-Spoondivits/Cooper Tools Ford F-150 (Qualified 29th):
"The Fords are hurting. It's pretty obvious. We'll just take what they give us and go from there. We're all working really hard. Crawford and I almost ran identical times there, so we know we're in the ballpark. That was a little better than we were in practice, about three tenths. I was looking for more. Being greedy, you always want more. We'll take it and hopefully that will end up in the top 20 and we'll get ready for the race."
YOU HAVEN'T RACED HERE IN THE TRUCKS SINCE 2000. WITH THE RULE CHANGES SINCE THAT TIME, DO THE TRUCKS HANDLE ANY DIFFERENTLY? "Not really. The trucks seem to drive the same as they did when I raced them a couple of years ago. They've got a bigger spoiler on them, they've got less horsepower now, but at a place like this, you can't really tell that. You get up to speed and just do the best you can. Right now, I think we're fighting the rules a little bit and until we get something worked out there, we'll keep fighting it."
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th):
"I don't know what to say; I'm speechless. I'm very surprised; I don't know where that lap came from. Legitimately, we thought we could run a 49.90. There's no way we thought we could run a 49.52. The only thing I can tell you is I must have had a tailwind down the backstretch it chased me around the track. I've got to give the credit to the K-Automotive Power Stroke Diesel team. They've worked so hard in the off-season. We owed it to the sponsor and the manufacturer to pick our program up from last year where we were weakest, and our weak spots were the speedways. So, we built a brand-new truck and tested three times. We left no stone unturned for this race. I've got to thank Allan Vigil Engines for powering us to this starting position."
THE SPEEDWAYS WERE THE WEAK POINT OF THIS TEAM LAST YEAR. WHAT DID YOU LEARN IN THE OFF-SEASON? "It was a little bit of everything. It wasn't just an aero thing or chassis thing, but the whole package. Allan Vigil Engines did its homework over the winter and got us a little more horsepower. We bought a new Laughlin truck this winter. Bob Keselowski is very picky in what chassis he buys and what he does with them. The team hung their own body; this isn't an outsourced body. Everything is done in-house over here. Just give them credit. This truck never even went to the wind tunnel. We had a wind tunnel date in early December and this truck wasn't ready so we took it to Daytona once. This truck has only tested once. This truck only tested at Daytona, and both Talladega tests were with other vehicles. What we learned from them we incorporated into this new vehicle and here we are today. I'm speechless at the moment. At that point when we went out, the fastest Ford was 50.28, and I thought, 'Oh well.' I still thought we'd be best in class. I thought we could run a 49.95, but I guess I kind of ruined it for the Ford camp. I thought we could definitely get some concessions here, but I'm still in shock. There's just no way I would ever believe that we would run that fast."
JON WOOD-50-U.S. Navy Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 16th):
"We've been about that fast since we came here, so we would be near the top 15 in qualifying. We haven't been playing any games here during testing or yesterday, so we knew we weren't running for the pole. The main thing here is to start close enough to the front to miss the accidents. The closer to the front you are, the easier it is to drive through the wrecks. We weren't as fast as Terry Cook, and I don't know what they've found since testing, but my hat's off to them, and we just need to work on our truck in the draft because I don't think we're going to get a rule change now. We'll just have to do the best with what we've got."
DO YOU THINK THIS TRUCK WILL BE BETTER IN THE DRAFT? "I think we'll be able to hang in the draft like the rest of the trucks, but I don't think we have enough to pull out of line and make the passes we need to make to be in contention for the win. I think as long as we can stay out of the wrecks, and based off of what we saw year, if you keep you nose clean you can finish in the top 15."
CARL EDWARDS-99-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 29th):
"That's pretty nerve-wracking. Jack Roush put me in this Ford F-150, and I'm just really excited right now. This team was just put together at the last minute, so we're really proud of how everybody has worked this weekend. We haven't had the miscommunications or mental mistakes you might expect from a new team. This is like our test session culminating in a qualifying run. After we get through Daytona here, the rest of the year is going to be awesome."
THIS HAS BEEN A WHIRLWIND WEEK FOR YOU. "I was driving for Mike Mittler and that was an awesome opportunity for me. I never thought in a million years that I would ever get this chance. There are a number of drivers out there that deserve this, I'm just the lucky guy who go it. The guys have put up with me in the shop learning about their trucks. I walked in at lunch the other day and they were all watching Jenny Jones, laughing with one another, and I thought this was a cool bunch of guys. We're getting ready to go to Daytona and they were able to relax enough to take a break. We're going to be fast."
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE RACE ON FRIDAY? "I watched the video form last year and I'd like to get out of here with a straight truck. I think if we can do that we can be in the top 10 or top 15. If we can come out of here and not put ourselves behind in the points, I think we'll have something to go on for the next month. Some of these guys are pretty mean looking and I don't want to have to deal with them for a whole month if I crash their truck."
WAS THERE MORE PRESSURE TO QUALIFY TODAY OR WILL THERE BE MORE IN THE RACE? "This truck doesn't have a lot of owner points, so we knew we had to race our way in. The Fords are at such a huge disadvantage here, and us in particular, because of our lack of testing and working together. Doug Richert, the crew chief, we're trying all of this stuff, but he's new to this deal and I'm new to this deal, so we don't know what exactly we want to do. John Monsam is helping us a ton, and we felt like if we could get in the race, we would be fine. This is a huge weight off of my shoulders to make sure we're in the show."