ERIK DARNELL - No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 - (qualified 1st) "I knew after practice that our Northern Tool + Equipment Ford was going to be pretty good. It was good in the draft, it was good by itself and I thought we'd have a...
ERIK DARNELL - No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 - (qualified 1st)
"I knew after practice that our Northern Tool + Equipment Ford was going to be pretty good. It was good in the draft, it was good by itself and I thought we'd have a shot at the pole and hopefully that lap time will be able to stay up there. Anywhere in the top five would be a good start for Friday night because I know we have a good truck for the race. All the credit goes back to the guys at the shop. Qualifying here in Daytona has nothing to do with the driver and everything to do with the truck. If it wasn't for the guys back at the shop putting the truck together, we wouldn't be able to do what we've done tonight."
YOU'RE THE SEASONED MEMBER OF ROUSH FENWAY RACING THIS SEASON, IS THIS THE START OF YOUR CHAMPIONISHIP RUN THIS YEAR? "I'd like to hope so. You always want to start the year strong and we've had some good runs in the past here at Daytona and I think this is our year. We're gonna go after that championship and chase after that thing. Definitely a great start here at Daytona will be a good way to kick off the 2008 season and I think you'll see us in the hunt this year. We've got good trucks back in the shop. The guys have been working real hard. Matt Puccia [crew chief] and all the guys on this crew have done a great job at tests and so far here today. Hopefully that will translate over to the rest of the season."
COLIN BRAUN - No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 - (qualified 9th)
"We are pleased with the run. I think we have a better race truck than qualifying truck and that's something we opted to go towards, me being a rookie and all. That's what great about Roush Fenway and having a crew chief like Mike Beam and a spotter like Bobby Hudson, those guys bring so much knowledge to our program. They can tell me that I need a truck with more down force. We start a little worse than we wanted, but our Con-way Freight Ford will be up front for the race. I think all of the Fords will be in the top 10 or so. Hopefully, we'll all get together and out run the trucks."
YOU TALK ABOUT GETTING ALL THE LAPS AND LEARNING AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT QUALIFYING TONIGHT? "It's pretty easier for the driver. You're going pedal to the metal and try to do as good a job as you can. I guess you get a chance kind of feel what you're truck is like out of the draft. I wish my truck drove like that when it's in the draft, but that's not going to happen."
JOEY CLANTON - No. 09 Zaxby's Ford F-150 - (qualified 11th)
"It wasn't what we expected and it took a lot of speed out of it. We did a 51 flat today running all by ourselves in race trim. The air is a little thicker tonight and I guess it didn't work good for the Fords or whatever. I know we have a good truck for tomorrow night. It's handling good and that's the key thing. Once the race gets here, that's what's important. We have something that can drive to the front and run up front. We've definitely got that because we saw that today. We've got to focus on tomorrow night and keep it out of trouble."
RICK CRAWFORD - No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150 - (qualified 19th
"I was trying to get 14th, because it looked like everyone was trying to match their numbers there near the end, plus today's the 14th. We're good; I was expecting 20th or 25th. Maybe it will take a few laps to get the Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-Series pick-up up front. You know we'll be making bold moves tomorrow night. We were close in Talladega to missing the victory there, so if I start-up a little bit closer, I'll be closer to winning."
IS THE TRUCK WHERE YOU WANT IT FOR TOMORROW NIGHT? "It's pretty close. It's a little different here at Daytona than it was at Talladega. We've raced here at night before and we practiced during the day. Thank goodness Kevin Starland, myself and the entire Circle Bar Racing team has been here at this game before, so I feel pretty confident about my trucks are driving."
BRENDAN GAUGHAN - No. 10 International MAXX Force Diesel Ford F-150 - (qualified 28th
"We're going to be fast in the race. When I came to the Circle Bar Racing team and the testing, we knew we had great Ford trucks to race. Our focus is on a solid race truck and not qualifying. When I came here [Daytona] this was one of the best trucks that I've ever driven and I've driven a lot of makes recently. This is the best truck that I've ever had at Daytona. So, whether it's the Roush Yates engines which are feel way better than anything than I've driven in a long time or the body package. I'm not considered with slicking that Ford body up to make it go real fast in qualifying because I think it's a Ford that can win the race. I'm going to do that, I've got to impress MAXX Force and they're not considered about qualifying, they want to win the race. I don't care where we start, but I know Rick Crawford and I will have our Circle Bar Racing Fords up front in the end."
JON WOOD - No. 21 The Barnhill Group Ford F-150 - (qualified 31st)
IT DIDN'T LOOK LIKE THE TRUCK WAS DOWN ON THE TRACK. "The truck looked high, if you think about, that qualifying lap that I just ran was four seconds slower than the lap that I posted during drafting practice this morning. Four seconds is a lot and the faster you go, it's into the race track. Essentially, we've just prepared it for the race. We decided to forego the qualifying before we got here and that's exactly what we've done. We're trying to focus on the race. We have an awesome sponsor in The Barnhill Group, it's the first time the truck has ever had true decals on it. So, we really want to put on a good show tomorrow night."
DOES THE TRUCK HANDLE THE WAY YOU WANT IT? "Yes, to the untrained eye, this is a 180-degree turnaround from where we qualified in the last truck race, literally. It's almost impossible to have a race truck that has straight line speed and handles well at a place like this. Daytona has become more of a handling race track, that's been what we've focused on from the get go. I'm certain that we've gone in the right direction."
SCOTT LAGASSE JR. - No. 20 JTG Racing Ford F-150 - (qualified 33rd)
"Everything has been going real well. We came here with a plan and we're sticking to our guns. We're going to continue that way and that's including the race. We're going to make it to where it drives real good and make it to where it races real well and not worry about how fast it runs. I thought it would run a little bit better today, I think we all did, for whatever reason, it didn't. But race-ability wise, I'm really excited about it. It should race real well, we drafted a bit last night and it ran through the pack on it's own and I didn't have to use any tricks. We should be good. I'm very excited for the race."
-credit: ford racing