CARL EDWARDS-99-Superchips Ford F-150 (Qualified 6th) "The Toyotas obviously have an advantage here for some reason, but it's really neat because we just ran a half of a second faster than we ran in practice and the only difference is we changed...
CARL EDWARDS-99-Superchips Ford F-150 (Qualified 6th)
"The Toyotas obviously have an advantage here for some reason, but it's really neat because we just ran a half of a second faster than we ran in practice and the only difference is we changed some springs. It's good to know that we're not that far out. We just have to massage the setup a little bit. That's literally a half a second faster than I thought we were going to run. The truck's fast, and it makes me feel better about tomorrow's race; I'm pretty excited now."
GIVEN THE FACT YOU PICKED UP A HALF OF A SECOND FROM PRACTICE, DID YOU HAVE TO HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR TWO LAPS? "The truck was really easy to drive. The only thing that I was worried about is that we were tight in the middle of turns one and two and the sun sets in three and four, so it gets slick down there. I just didn't know if I should lift off the gas. I just didn't lift and it stuck great. That's a good lap and I wouldn't change anything about it."
YOU ARE THE ONLY DRIVER THAT HAS EXPERIENCE RACING HERE UNDER THE LIGHTS WITH LAST MONTH'S RUNNING OF THE NEXTEL CUP SERIES EVENT HERE. HOW IS THE TRACK DIFFERENT AT NIGHT? "It's a little bit different; it has a lot more grip. I've got some secrets that I learned in that Cup race that I'm hoping will pay off. I don't know if they will or not, but there is some stuff that I really felt that I figured out in that Cup race that I hope will pay off tomorrow night."
IS IT STUFF IN TERMS OF SETUPS OR A CHANGE IN THE PREFERRED LINE? "Just driving and the line, and a little bit of setup stuff but nothing that can transfer. If we can have a good balanced truck all night tomorrow night we'll be awesome."
WHAT IS YOUR PLAN FOR HAPPY HOUR PRACTICE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SHOW YOUR HAND TO THE OTHER DRIVERS? "The biggest thing we'll do in Happy Hour is just get our balance right. This race is going to be one that is really dictated a lot by traffic and drafting, so I don't think you can really move around on the race tack and trying different stuff isn't going to pay off until you're in that pack of trucks. At that point, who knows what's going to happen. If it's anything like Michigan, it's going to be a lot of drafting and it's going to be pretty tough to practice all of that in Happy Hour. I think the biggest thing we'll do is get the balance right."
BRANDON WHITT-38-Cure Autism Now/Werner Ladder Ford F-150 (Qualified 19th)
"We picked up some from practice, and we probably would have picked up even more on the second lap but it started getting a little warm (engine), so I cut it off. We ran pretty well here last year, and we're going to be pretty good tomorrow night. Ah, well. I can't tell you who won the pole here a year ago, but everybody knows Ted Musgrave won the race. Of course, he won it the year before, and the year before. The point is, I guess, is if we do well in the race, we won't remember qualifying. Then again, if we have a bad night, we won't remember qualifying either."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 15th)
"Ronnie White, Ray Stonkus and everybody on the Circle Bar team is doing what they can do. I know we have some making up to do; you can only do as much as you can with what you've got. We brought the best piece we had here and we hope it runs good. I'm driving my heart out, and that's all I can do. I like my job and I'm trying to do it."
ARE THE HORSEPOWER ADVANTAGES NEGATED ANY IN THE DRAFT? "I always look at it like if you open the gate, a lot of them are going to take advantage of that and get out. If you're really strong, you have a long straightaway here, so that's where horsepower comes into play. You can keep up with drafting, but you can't complete the pass with not enough horsepower. Take that first statement and I think that's what happened. I think our sanctioning body left the gate open and one of the manufacturers got out."
JON WOOD-50-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 20th)
"I don't think my truck is that bad. I haven't looked forward to a race in about eight races now, but this is one that I'm fairly optimistic about just given the fact that I know we have a better race package than we did in qualifying. It's a night race and I've had pretty good success here, so given all of that and based off of last year and the year before, I think we have a good piece."
HOW MUCH OF A FACTOR DOES DRAFTING PLAY IN THE RACE? "It's considerable. Here, as even as the trucks are lately, this place and Michigan it acts like a car does at places like Daytona."
TERRY COOK-10-Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l Ford F-150 (Qualified 22nd)
"We come to these speedways, and there's not doubt about it, there's a new manufacturer on the block that has, right now, more horsepower than the rest of us. That's come from having a clean sheet of paper to build a brand new motor. When you're running the same motor, the basic concept that's been around since the late 50's, it's hard to be competitive with that. I know that the Ford camp is lobbying hard with NASCAR to get us back on an even playing field, but until we get a little bit of help in the motor department, it really shows up in qualifying. I think you'll see all of the Fords race well, but traditionally at these big tracks, qualifying really shows up when you're down a little bit of horsepower. As a whole, we're al down significantly. You can just ask NASCAR, they have all of the latest chassis dyno results, and the last two tests they've done at Michigan and Las Vegas, the new manufacturer seems to have a lot of horsepower over everybody, but more so the Fords. Again, that comes form having a clean sheet of paper to build a motor."
WILL THE DRAFT NEGATE ANY OF THE HORSEPOWER DEFICITS? "Horsepower still plays into an advantage. It doesn't matter if it's a night race, a morning race or mid-afternoon race, when it comes to horsepower at these tracks. Because the fact the straightaways are so long and you're on the gas for so long, it really shows up. Right now we have Power Stroke Diesel Ford driving exceptionally well. I'm very pleased with it. We were wide open all the way around here. We ran as fast as it would go, and that's all the Power Stroke Diesel Ford would give us today. I'm not even remotely concerned about it because I know it's driving so well in race trim that we'll drive right to the front."
WHAT KIND OF TRACK CONDITIONS DO YOU EXPECT FOR THE RACE TOMORROW NIGHT? "In the past, we've always raced here in the heat of the day and the track gets extremely slick. I watched the Cup race and they were complaining all through the race that they've never seen the track get here so slick, and they've never raced here at night. They made it sound like the track was slicker for the night race than it was for the day races. I think the track temperatures will be down considerably from when they were here. I'm just looking for a good run. If we work on the balance and chase it all night long we should be great."