ERIK DARNELL-99-Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th) "It was a decent lap. We made one qualifying run in practice, but it was kind of a half qualifying run to see what it would do. We know it will race well and we know it ran ...
ERIK DARNELL-99-Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th)
"It was a decent lap. We made one qualifying run in practice, but it was kind of a half qualifying run to see what it would do. We know it will race well and we know it ran excellent in the draft, and I think that's really all we could ask for come race time."
YOU HAVE SOME NEW TEAMMATES THIS YEAR. ARE THEY GOING TO BE A BIG HELP IN THE RACE TOMORROW? "Definitely, especially with Travis Kvapil coming over. He's a past champion in the series and he knows what it takes to make these trucks fast and get them going. It's just going to be a big help for us. I think we showed at testing that we've got some excellent trucks, both with myself and my teammates Travis Kvapil and Carl Edwards. John Quinn (crew chief) and all of the guys on the Northern Tool + Equipment crew have done a great job. They've given us a great truck all throughout Speed Weeks and we know it runs well in the draft. Whether or not we end up on the pole, ultimately we'd like to, but I'm just more worried about the race."
HOW WERE THE TRACK CONDITIONS? "It's just kind of sprinkling right now. Not enough to get the track wet at all and you don't even notice it out there."
ARE YOU PLANNING TO HOOK UP WITH THE OTHER ROUSH TRUCKS FROM THE GET-GO TOMORROW? "We ran together in drafting today, myself Carl and Travis, and ultimately our trucks ran very well together and I think that's going to play into our favor come race time just because we know we have three trucks that we're going to be able to work with each other out there. Hopefully we'll be able to hook up in the draft and get to the front and go."
DO YOU PLAN ON SITTING DOWN WITH TRAVIS AND CARL BEFORE THE RACE TOMORROW TO DEVISE A RACE STRATEGY? "I think so. Between testing and between practice yesterday and today, I got to run with Travis and Carl, and when all three of us were together and hooked up, we were pretty string. Ultimately during the race, I think we'd like to get hooked up with one another and get to the front and go. I think we have a good shot of running right up at the front."
JOEY CLANTON-09-Zaxby's Ford F-150 (Qualified 17th)
"The truck, that's actually our backup. We came here and tested. They built a brand new truck and it just wasn't even as good as that one. I'll tell you, out there racing, it's not about qualifying. We're in the show and it's all about the race. And right now with the tires that we're having to run on the right side here, seeing all of the trouble that the Busch guys and Cup guys have had, most of the other drivers that I'm hearing, two-thirds of them right now are talking about having to lift today and yesterday. When we got the truck dialed in just right the whole fuel run, I could run it wide open. Behind one particular truck I was awesome. There's one guy out there that I'm going to try to hook up with, and we did it today and took off to the front and actually pulled away from the big pack and was gone. I think we have a truck we can run in the top five with."
SO YOU HAVE A PLAN FOR TOMORROW? "I've got my drafting partner, and if he lets me hang on, I'm going to hang on."
STACY COMPTON-16-Melling Engine Parts Ford F-150 (Qualified 20th)
"You have to give credit where credit is due. These guys put this thing together in a hurry, and it's not a bad effort. Everything we did all day made the truck better. That's the first qualifying run we made. I think we'll be OK. The truck is driving good. We were extremely loose in practice, and that's never a bad thing unless it doesn't tighten up. I'm proud of the guys. It's good to see Mark Melling back on the truck and it's good to see Dave Fuge back down here. It looked like he maybe wasn't going to be down here, and Mark stepped up, and Tad (Geschickter) did some things to help, and I'm pretty excited about it."
SO, IS THIS A PROVEN TEAM WITH AN UNPROVEN ENTITY? "Absolutely. You think about Dave Fuge and he's won races and won championships. That team knows what it's doing. Obviously never running a Ford in the past and not coming down here and testing or Homestead testing, we were way, way behind the 8 ball when we showed up. They worked hard all weekend and we have a decent truck. Dave is extremely smart and they're a proven commodity. We just have to make sure we can get the Ford working like they did with the Chevrolet, and this team can win races definitely."
TRAVIS KVAPIL-6-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 4th)
"I got everything I thought I could get out of the truck. We slowed down a little bit from what we ran all throughout testing and even what we ran today. You go through the template room and you've got to put NASCAR shocks and springs on, and I guess there's always something there. It's raining and cold, and I don't know, I didn't expect that. We thought we'd run about a .20. I'm kind of disappointed."
THE ROUSH TRUCKS WILL START SECOND, FOURTH AND FIFTH TOMORROW. "I'm happy with that, but I thought we had a shot a the pole, so I'm disappointed about that. In race trim I'm not worried about it at all. All three Roush trucks are performing awesome. They're driving good and we just need to get them lined up and be smart and be there at the end of the day, and then I think we'll definitely have a shot at it."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-150 (Qualified 13th)
"We were a really good truck today in practice and handled really well. We had good corner speed on the Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-Series pickup. With the help of David Starr and Dennis Connor, and Kevin Starland, who was already on the No. 14 Circle Bar truck, I can already see knowledge being passed along. It really fixed my truck and gave me a good, fun truck to drive, and it will be up front tomorrow night."
TALK ABOUT HAVING A TEAMMATE ON THE TRACK TOMORROW NIGHT. "We worked on that in practice today, and nothing against my teammate, and if I can help him I will and if he can help me and I know he will, but the best teammate out there is a really fast truck."
DAVID STARR-10-Maxx Force Diesel Ford F-150 (Qualified 19th)
"I think we're OK. We're a new team with new guys, and I think every race that we go to that we're just going to get better and better. With everybody working together, this is our third time at the race track together as a team. Me and Dennis Connor worked together at the Daytona test and went down to Miami-Homestead for that test, and this is our third time back at the race track. I feel really good about everything. We had a good test at Homestead, and when we were down here testing in January, Rick Crawford was nice enough to loan us his backup truck. It's not the same truck we have, but I think week after week you'll see this team getting better."
TALK ABOUT THE IMPACT OF HAVING A TEAMMATE IN THE RACE TRACK AT DAYTONA. "Well, I think it's good. The truck series is exciting already, and they draft so well and punch such a big hole on the race track that you've just got to go and do what you have to do to advance yourself to the front. Having a teammate like Rick, if we can get hooked up in the race, we'll definitely work together. It's good to know that you can count on somebody to work with, but it doesn't always work out that way. If we come down to 10 laps to go and he's in front of me or behind me, I'm sure we'll work together to try to get one of our trucks in Victory Lane. If not, we'll just get what we can get, and hopefully we'll have one of these Ford F-150s in Victory Lane."
-credit: ford racing