LARRY GUNSELMAN-63-Waterloo Tool Storage Ford F-150 (Qualified 17th) "We worked awfully hard on this truck in the off-season and I think that showed here today. I put the body on it myself, and Mike Mittler and Darrell Hoffman worked really hard...
LARRY GUNSELMAN-63-Waterloo Tool Storage Ford F-150 (Qualified 17th)
"We worked awfully hard on this truck in the off-season and I think that showed here today. I put the body on it myself, and Mike Mittler and Darrell Hoffman worked really hard on building an in-house motor. We worked really hard to come down here and be good. We're pretty pleased with that, but we would have liked to have had run quicker based on our practice times. I think we could have, but that should get us solidly in the top 20."
THIS IS A MUCH IMPROVED TEAM FROM LAST SEASON. "Last year we really didn't have the proper time to prepare the truck. We put the deal with Waterloo together so late that we basically went out and bought a truck that wasn't put together. This year we had the extra time to prepare for this event and I think it showed."
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Qualified 20th)
"We're a little disappointed with that, but I think we knew we weren't going for the pole. We're going to be lucky if we see one Ford in the top 20. We can't get any raw speed out of the truck right now, and I know it sounds a lot like year, but I feel really confident that we will race well. We struggled qualifying here last year and we finished sixth. That proves that a truck can be better in the draft. I love racing here and look to just get past qualifying. I feel confident based on past results that we'll race good."
YOU HAVE A FULL-TIME SPONSOR TO START THE SEASON THIS YEAR, WHERE LAST YEAR YOU HAD A BLANK TRUCK FOR THE FIRST FEW RACES. HOW HAS THAT CHANGED THE MENTALITY OF THIS TEAM? "It has taken some of the pressure off of the guys and it's given us a shot in the arm. We were able to build this program in the off-season and we feel like we're a championship-caliber team. Having a sponsor on the truck just adds confidence to everyone on this team that we'll be around for the full season."
HOW MUCH BETTER WAS YOUR TRUCK IN THE DRAFT DURING THE JANUARY TEST SESSION? "It was better, but I don't know if it was up to the same level of the Dodges and Chevrolets. I feel very confident in our program, and we saw last year that some trucks that were fast in qualifying weren't good in the draft. We just have to make sure that when they fall back we keep clear of them."
JON WOOD-50-U.S. Navy Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 11th)
"I think we're at a little bit of disadvantage being a Ford. I think we will race very good and I'm confident in our drafting package. It's an uphill battle to get NASCAR to consider a change when they think you'll perform better in the draft and we haven't even drafted yet. Hopefully we can have a good showing for the U.S. Navy on Friday, but I think I'd be happy finishing in the top 15 today. That'd be a good starting spot for Friday. We wanted to be the top Ford today and we accomplished that. That tells me that we're doing our part. The Dodges are still hiding and haven't shown what they really have yet, so we'll just take what we can get right now."
THIS IS YOUR FIRST RACE SINCE LOSING THE ROOKIE STRIPE. HOW DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE? "Just being called a rookie is the toughest part about it. It's more of a mental thing than anything. Everybody has a lot of experience, whether it's in a truck or a car."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 23rd)
"The Circle Bar Ford repeated what we did this morning, and with all the things that NASCAR makes you put on them, that's where we stand. We basically qualified where we practiced, but we have a good hot rod, and we'll be ready to race. We named this truck 'Old Hound Dog.' All she needs to do is sniff a little wind and she will be up front."
WHERE ARE YOU LACKING RIGHT NOW? "We need a little concession from NASCAR right now. There are Chevys and Dodges everywhere and the Fords are running between 11th and 25th. NASCAR tells us that we can draft well, but I want to be leading the draft and I don't think we can lead the draft right now. We need a reduction in drag; we're punching too big a hole in the air right now, and while we might draft well, that won't allow us to take the lead on Friday."
TIM FEDEWA-99-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 22nd)
"This is my first time qualifying one of these trucks, so I wasn't expecting too much. It was eventful, and I guess that's good. I'm not happy with where we qualified, but we struggled the past two days in qualifying trim. I think I've worked these guys really hard the past two days just trying to get the truck comfortable and I think we made a ton of progress. We made some changes and it got a lot better, so overall we're in good shape for the race and that's really my focus. That's been my focus and that the whole team's focus. My experience here at Daytona will come into play in the race on Friday when we start drafting. As long as the truck is comfortable, and I think we're close, we'll be up front."
THIS IS A NEW SERIES FOR YOU, BUT YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE IN RACING AGAINST SOME OF THESE COMPETITORS IN THE BUSCH CAR. IS THAT AN ADVANTAGE FOR THE RACE? "This is a good opportunity for me to run in the Roush Fords. I'm confident we can win this and race and that's my focus. There are some guys here I've raced in the Busch Series and in this type of situation and I think that's where we'll show our stuff."
IS A FULL-TIME RIDE IN THE TRUCK SERIES AN OPTION YOU'RE CONSIDERING? "I would like it be. This is a great team with a lot of experience and good equipment, and that's something you want no matter what series you race in. They have the right stuff. Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch both ran these things and had terrific success, so this is flattering to me to even be here. Plus, I don't have a job right now and it would be helpful for my financial statement as well."