Ford Racing Chicago race notes

KYLE BUSCH -99-Eldon Ford F-150 (Finished 17th) DID YOU RUN THE TRUCK OUT OF FUEL? "Yeah, we miscalculated a little bit on the fuel mileage, but nonetheless, we had a great run with the Eldon Ford. I just can't thank everybody enough for ...

KYLE BUSCH -99-Eldon Ford F-150 (Finished 17th)

DID YOU RUN THE TRUCK OUT OF FUEL?

"Yeah, we miscalculated a little bit on the fuel mileage, but nonetheless, we had a great run with the Eldon Ford. I just can't thank everybody enough for sticking with me through all of this, especially after the qualifying run at IRP. We had a blast here this weekend, running up front and showed these boys that we're not here to play, but to run up front."

DID YOU QUESTION THE CALL TO STAY OUT?

"Never. I was willing to stay out and I don't know enough about the engines here to make those kinds of calls. That's what these guys do for a living, and I just get paid to drive. If they tell me I can make it all the way, I'm not going to question that. I figured we came in in enough time to make it all the way, and according to the calculations, we should have made it 10 laps over."

WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN YOU TOOK THE LEAD ON THE CALL TO STAY OUT AND SAW THE FIELD IN YOU MIRROR?

"It was great. On that restart when Riggs was behind me, I was just thinking about getting a good, clean restart and keeping him behind me and maybe we can have the rest of this thing go green. We wouldn't have made it anyway, it doesn't look like on fuel, but we made a statement."

WAS THIS A CONFIDENCE BUILDER?

"Yeah, hopefully I gained the respect of these guys and we're really looking forward to maybe running Richmond. NASCAR has to evaluate this one and we'll have to see what they come up with."

THERE WAS A LOT OF BEATING AND BANGING TODAY, BUT YOU RAN UP FRONT AND KEPT YOUR NOSE CLEAN.

"I didn't rub or touch a soul until Sprague spun around, but that just something I got mixed up in. I went low to avoid his spinning truck, but his touched me as he went spinning on the apron."

RICK CRAWFORD -14-Milwaukee Electric Tool Ford F-150 (Finished 5th) -

"I'm just real proud of the run we had here today. I'm real proud of my guys, too. This isn't my favorite place, but we could turn it into it. We just needed to be 50 yards over my shoulder there in Victory Lane and that would have made my day. We had a good day and will take it home and go from there."

YOU WENT FOR THE LEAD EARLY.

"We had that good of a truck, and it doesn't hurt to show your stuff. I wasn't straining when we did that. And then the race went on and if somebody wanted to race, I would race them for a little bit and then I would let them go and then I'd get back to them and pass them again. It was a good race for us; we definitely had the strongest piece here. Track position there at the end killed us with 25 to 30 to go. We just tried to get the best finish we could and we ended up fifth. With a top five, I can go home and at least the team still has the momentum and moral up. We'll get them at Nazareth because we'll have a strong piece there."

THERE WAS A LOT OF PHYSICAL RACING EARLY.

"Well, heck, I represented the Chicago Blackhawks, so I'm the only sports team out there that can be in the penalty box. We had to show them something on the track, not necessarily on the ice, but on the track."

WAS IT TOO PHYSICAL?

"It's a physical race track. If you want to ride around out there like some race-car drivers are paid to do, you aren't going to pass anybody. If you want to pass somebody and move up, you have to touch them a little bit, like you do at Martinsville. Nothing to hurt anybody, but you have to go."

IF YOU HAD TO MAKE THE LAST CALL AGAIN, WOULD YOU PIT?

"I'm not going to second-guess my crew chief. I have one of the smartest in the business. He thought we needed tires, so we needed tires."

TERRY COOK -29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Finished 6th) -

"This was one-mile, short-track racing at its finest today. The Power Stroke Ford F-150 was a first-place truck today. We had a truck that could win, but unfortunately, it's a team effort from pit strategy to racing on the track and we elected to pit early and I think it was a good call. But, every time that we went for race strategy, it backfired on us. We pitted early, took on tires early and had fuel to go a long ways and figured that if it would play into our hand that we would have better fuel run than everybody else, and it was going that way. I don't know what happened with the 8 truck, but he brought out the caution when the leaders were within a few laps of pitting under green, and we could go another 20 to 25 laps. We ended up cycling through with them and then we did it all over again. We came in at the end and pitted, and in hindsight we shouldn't have. We were putting up good lap times up towards that point, but that's just race strategy and how it comes out. If we had to do it all over again, we know what we wouldn't do, and that's pitting at the end. Nevertheless, the Power Stroke Diesel Ford was fast again today and we just proved to ourselves and everybody else that we're here and we're going to get a win here soon. Unfortunately, today wasn't the day."

WAS THE RACE MORE PHYSICAL ON THE TRACK THAN THE PREVIOUS FEW?

"Yeah, and I did my fair share. You don't intentionally do it to anybody. There were a couple of guys that I may have beat and banged on a little more than I normally would, but that's the racing. You get here to Chicago Motor Speedway, it's single-file through the corners and the only way you can get by somebody is to root them up occasionally. Unfortunately when you come up on a guy and he's holding you up lap after lap, sometimes you've got to use the chrome horn to get his attention."

YOU CHOSE TO PIT ON THE LAP 15 CAUTION.

"It was definitely race strategy. It was designed to get us a longer green-flag run. We feel that anytime we have to make a big chassis adjustment, we want to get it done early and get it out of the way, and we did. We had a spring rubber we had to get out of the left rear. We got the spring rubber out and the truck was better, but we still were just tight under throttle. Unfortunately, track position just got us back too far in the race."

MORGAN SHEPHERD -21-Shepherd Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 33rd)

WHAT ENDED YOUR DAY?

"We had an ignition problem. It's a shame we can't find a sponsor where we could really go out and run the way we should run. We've got good equipment and everything, we just need some financial help for this. Hopefully it will be coming before long."

EVEN WITH THE MECHANICAL PROBLEMS THAT YOU'VE HAD, YOU KEEP COMING BACK EVERY WEEK. "I'm glad just for living in this country. So many other people in this world don't have choices that Morgan Shepherd does and I'll just keep going until the end. Maybe somebody will come along and help us."

JON WOOD -50-Eldon Ford F-150 (Finished 12th)

IT LOOKED LIKE YOU SUFFERED FROM SOME BAD LUCK.

"We did. When we came in and made our pit stops, every time that we put on tires, we were junk. We probably needed what the 99 had, but even there, he wasn't a lot quicker than we were; it was all about track position. Where you were on the track on that last caution pretty much was the finishing order. We struggled a little bit on pit stops and that hurt us and we really couldn't make up any track position because this place is hard to pass at. That was all the difference."

DID YOU HAVE THE OPTION TO TAKE ONLY FUEL AT THE END?

"Yeah, but we figured we needed right sides. We didn't know that you could run as good as you could on old tires."

DID YOU EVER CONSIDER STAYING OUT LIKE THE 99 DID?

"We stopped early and they didn't, so we knew we could make it. I don't know what the deal was with them, but we came in early because we didn't think we could go all the way."

THERE WAS SOME BEATING AND BANGING AT THE END?

"Heck, it was going on all day. I didn't race anybody any harder than they raced me."

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Morgan Shepherd