ERIK DARNELL-99-Woolrich Ford F-150 (Qualified 15th) "We're a little disappointed with that run. The truck actually handled pretty good. It didn't feel any different than it did when we did our qualifying runs during the day, and I'm a little ...
ERIK DARNELL-99-Woolrich Ford F-150 (Qualified 15th)
"We're a little disappointed with that run. The truck actually handled pretty good. It didn't feel any different than it did when we did our qualifying runs during the day, and I'm a little confused right now as why we didn't pick up more time. I knew we ran a lot faster than that during practice, a lot faster than that during the test, and I didn't go out there and do anything different. I'm scratching my head right now."
IT IS EVEN MORE DIFFICULT WHEN YOU HAVE ISSUES AND IT'S AN IMPOUND RACE? "No, I don't think it will be necessarily tough because of that because I know we have a good truck out in the draft. We drafted quite a bit in practice and it was real good, so I'm not worried about that. I was hoping to start a little bit closer to the front than where we're at now."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 (Qualified 12th)
"I've been waiting since '05 to come back here and try to repeat what we did in 2003. The Ford F-150 is back strong in 2006 and it's got the opportunity to win on Friday night, and I'd like to take it to Victory Lane; I know how it feels."
WITH YOUR TEAM BEING A SINGLE-TRUCK OPERATION, HAVE YOU MADE ANY DEALS WITH OTHER DRIVERS WHEN IT COMES TO DRAFTING? "Mark's on top of board right now, and we already talked this morning. Watch the 14 and 6 in camera range tomorrow night."
MARK MARTIN-6-Scotts Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st)
"Mike Beam and the whole team there at Roush Racing has just done an incredible job with this F-150. We thought that David Ragan was going to drive it in the race, so I came over and spent about an hour with the guys driving it in the test and that was it. I didn't know that I was going to end up driving it, but then when Scotts came on board I told them that I would drive it here if they would commit to the whole season. For the seven races that I drive it will be sponsored by Scotts, but then for David Ragan, the whole rest of the season will be as well. So here I am, and I'm having a ball. I'm having a blast. You know, I didn't have anything to do with that at all. That was all Mike Beam and Roush Racing there."
WITH YOUR LACK OF PRACTICE AND DRAFTING IN THE TRUCK, ARE YOU CONCERNED FOR TOMORROW? "I should be, but I'm not right now. But, I should be. There's a reason why I didn't choose this race, but I have the great fortune of having such a fast truck that my strategy is to try to stay real near the front with that truck. If we can do that then it will be all good. You have a lot of really great drivers in this thing, but it's not so much that, I think these things just don't handle as good as the cars. I know mine has been a little bit more of a handful than our car, so I think that's really what it is. You have some of the best drivers in the business and a lot of Cup veterans and all over here in this series. I'll have a blast racing with those guys and with the young, new guys, too."
STACY COMPTON-21-Kingsford Ford F-150 (Qualified 3rd)
"I think the weather is going to have a big impact on qualifying. If the humidity gets heavy like it did last year then I think they will slow down a little bit. If the weather doesn't get heavy then they're going to run a little quicker. We thought we'd run a .30, so we're a little bit off from that, but it looks like everybody is off. Bill (Lester) ran a good lap in comparison to what he ran in practice, so we don't know how much sandbagging was going on. We'll have to wait and see, but the Ford truck was great. If I had to say, the Kingsford Ford I feel is good enough to win the race if we can get in the show. We felt like we could run a little bit quicker and I'm not sure if the weather tricked us, but we've got a great truck. The Kingsford F-150 is awesome in race trim. We need to get in the show, and there are only five spots out there for us to get in. If we get in the show, the truck is great and I think we have a chance to win this race. We'll keep our fingers crossed. We beat one truck that we needed to beat. We sure would have liked to sit on the pole, but we're not going to get greedy. We'll get in the show and we've got a great race truck, and that's all we're worried about."
YOU HAVEN'T MADE A TRUCK SERIES START IN A FEW YEARS. ARE YOU COMFORTABLE DRAFTING IN THE TRUCKS WITH THE AERO PACKAGE? "I drafted with some good trucks today and I felt that we were as good as anybody out there. You have to be careful. You look around and you know who you can race with and who you can't. We need to finish. We need to be there at the end, and we'll probably ride around in the back until 20 to go, and watch out when it's 20 to go because this truck is awesome right now."
JON WOOD-20-U.S. Air Force Ford F-150 (Qualified 4th)
WITHOUT ANY OWNER'S POINTS TO FALL BACK ON, YOU CLEARED THE BIGGEST HURDLE IN QUALIFYING FOR THE RACE. "All we did when we were here testing was qualifying runs because there are some Toyotas that aren't in on points, like us, and it's very crucial to have a good qualifying position, the very opposite of our Busch car."
YOU HAVEN'T MADE A TRUCK SERIES START IN TWO YEARS. DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE NEW DRIVERS IN THE SERIES? "There are 16 rookies in this field, and there isn't a lot of experience, so I'm just going to try to stay out of trouble. If somebody wants to work with me, that's fine, but I'm not really looking for anybody to work with until the end of the race. I'm a little scared on this starting-up-front thing because we're in qualifying trim, so we'll be lagging in the back pretty quick."