BRANDON WHITT-38-Cure Autism Now/McMillin Homes Ford F-150 (Qualified 18th) "We've had a pretty good truck since we rolled off the trailer this morning, so we're happy with that. The track has slickened up a little bit and we were really loose...
BRANDON WHITT-38-Cure Autism Now/McMillin Homes Ford F-150 (Qualified 18th)
"We've had a pretty good truck since we rolled off the trailer this morning, so we're happy with that. The track has slickened up a little bit and we were really loose that run, so I don't know if we got everything out of the truck. We'll take what we can get and see what happens."
TODAY WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT YOU SAW THIS TRACK. HOW DID YOU LEARN THE LINE AROUND THE TRACK? "I talked to a lot of people when I got out here this morning and followed some of the guys that I know have experience here and just watched where they ran, and it helped a lot when I went out behind them. You just pick up on the little stuff and it works out to be big stuff."
WHO IN PARTICULAR DID YOU FOLLOW AROUND THE TRACK? "I tried to follow Bobby Hamilton, Ted Musgrave and Rick Crawford as much as I could. I talked to Carl Edwards. He hosted the rookie meeting and I talked to him and got a ride around the track in the pace car with him beforehand, and that helped the most probably."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Sears Ford F-150 (Qualified 4th)
"I hope it holds up on the front row, but if it doesn't, we've got a really nice truck here. I think it will get faster on the long run. Craig (Huartson, crew chief) and Ray Stonkus have worked real good as a team, and the team put a real good truck under me this weekend. I'm just happy to be running the Sears truck, the one-stop shop for Father's Day. I think we've got something to perform with in the race, too."
IS THIS A TRACK WHERE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE BEHIND THE WHEEL FOR 200 MILES? "You're supposed to be comfortable here and you need a good truck, and that's why I was commending my guys for putting a great truck under me. But, you've got to attack this race track. It's almost like a one-mile Bristol. It gives you some room to attack it and this is a real race track and some more rubber will be put down with the Busch guys and the Cup guys, so our race tomorrow afternoon will be exciting."
HOW WILL THE ADDITIONAL RUBBER AFFECT THE RACING SURFACE? "More rubber here will open up more grooves, and it's really a one-groove race track right now. With more lines I think the trucks can move around a little bit and you might see some more passing."
WITH THE NUMBER OF VETERAN RACERS IN THE FIELD THIS YEAR, CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE MORE BEATING AND BANGING ON THE RACE TRACK? "I don't think this is race track for beating and banging. This is a place like Texas and California, a place where if you do some beating and banging you're not going to finish the race. The veterans, I think understand that, although I think there are some that have a point to prove and we have some races to win, so take that as I said it."
JON WOOD-50-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 23rd)
"We're just struggling right now. Everybody loves to make changes, and I think we made too many for qualifying. I don't know what it is, but we're definitely lacking somewhere."
YOU FINISHED FOURTH HERE LAST YEAR. CAN YOU USE LAST YEAR'S NOTES TO GET THE TRUCK UP TO SPEED? "We'll definitely use some of the stuff we ran here last, and I'm not sure what. We've got a teammate starting up front, so we'll look at what he's running and try to use that to get us better."
TERRY COOK-10-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Qualified 14th)
"We found a little something in practice. I don't think we found a whole bunch; it looks like maybe the track slowed up about a tenth and we ran about the same as what we ran earlier. Maybe I left a little bit out there, but I tried to hold it wide open and it was shoving the nose a little bit, so I had to breathe off the throttle and I think we lost a little bit of time. Hopefully that will get us in the top 10 and get us a good starting spot. And if we do, this is a brand new truck and it's driving extremely well. We're more concerned about racing than qualifying, and, of course, you say that when you don't qualify really good, but I think we'll be OK."
WITH A NEW CREW CHIEF THIS WEEK, ARE YOU MAKING THE CALLS ON WHAT ADJUSTMENTS TO MAKE TO THE TRUCK? "Not really. This is not Jamie Jones' first rodeo as a crew chief. He's got some experience doing it, and he's extremely good at it. He's made all of the calls so far this weekend, and they've all been good calls. This is a new truck and it's never been tested and we brought it here right out of the box and it's running well. Our goal this weekend is to come out of here with a top-10 finish, and if we can do that, we've met our goal for the first race and we can move from there and build momentum. Right now, the more you work together the better you get."
CARL EDWARDS-99-Superchips Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st)
"I don't want to jinx ourselves, but so far this has gone a lot better than last Dover. The lap wasn't as fast as we ran in practice, but I think the track is a little hotter and it lost some grip. If that's not the pole, I'll still be satisfied because that is the most perfect qualifying lap that I've made yet. I felt the best about it."
YOU WERE ONE OF ONLY A FEW DRIVERS TO GO FASTER ON THE SECOND LAP. "I drove it a little harder on the second lap because I really wanted to get the pole. It track looser from practice, so the first lap I didn't know what to expect, and then it got a little bit loose the first lap and I backed off a little bit. The second lap I realized that it was going to be that loose, so it made it a little bit easier to drive the second lap."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO START UP FRONT HERE? "So much happens at the start. You're going so fast and the track is so narrow, as long as we're in the top five that makes it a lot simpler. There are so many fast trucks like Crawford and Hamilton on their race runs, so getting to start in front of them will help a lot."
HOW MUCH WILL THE TRACK CHANGE BETWEEN NOW AND TOMORROW NIGHT? "It's changed a lot just since the sun came out here. With a full day's of rubber from the Busch and Cup cars, it will be different. With the rubber, plus, it will be different if the temperature is different tomorrow. I'm just noticing a loss grip with the temperature. We're going to tune to that."