TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th) "We backed up what we ran in practice. The track was cooler earlier and the sun came out and we ran a 32.10. We ran a 32.11 earlier in practice, so we were able to back up...
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th)
"We backed up what we ran in practice. The track was cooler earlier and the sun came out and we ran a 32.10. We ran a 32.11 earlier in practice, so we were able to back up what we did earlier. I think the track and everybody is going to slow down just a little bit from what we were. I tried to hold it wide open around here and I had to lift just a little in one and two and a little less in three and four. I'm a little disappointed with that, but nevertheless I think it will get us in the top 15 and give us a good starting spot for Friday's race and we look forward to that."
WITH THE THREE DAYS OF TESTING, HAS A PREFERRED GROOVE DEVELOPED? "Definitely. The fastest way around here is right around the bottom. Maybe not exactly on the bottom but just a little bit up from the bottom. I see where a lot of guys got in the fence today between the trucks and the Busch cars, both. It appears to me that the top groove when we were here Monday had a lot of grip, the whole track had a lot of grip from top to bottom. You could run pretty much wherever you wanted. Now, the top groove doesn't have that much grip; it's pretty slick up there. What's happening is a lot of guys are sliding from the bottom of the track up to the top because they are not handling very well, and the top groove, you can't get it turned back down and it sucks you into fence. It's unfortunate for a lot of guys, but you have to be prepared for that."
IS THIS ASPHALT SENSITIVE TO CHANGES IN WEATHER CONDITIONS? "Asphalt in general is temperamental, especially when you have asphalt that is this black. If this was a gray asphalt it wouldn't be that sun sensitive, but anybody who wore a black shirt out here today knows how hot you get very quickly, and it does the same thing with the track. If the sun continues to beat, the asphalt continues to absorb more and more heat. Now we're at about the hottest part of the day, so I think qualifying for everybody will be pretty much even, but it does change the setup just a little bit and I think that's one reason why I couldn't hold it wide open now where earlier today I could almost hold it completely wide open."
CARL EDWARDS-99-Superchips Ford F-150 (Qualified 23rd)
"This has been a pretty bad day for the Superchips Ford team. We went out in the first practice and we were just a little it loose, and I thought, 'it will come in.' We kept going faster and faster and I think I ran into either a little bit of fluid or just got out of the groove and into some dust or something on the track because it got real loose and we slapped the fence pretty good. They've been advertising those walls as soft, but they're definitely not soft enough; we had to go to the backup truck. We didn't get much practice on it so we just kinda worked our way through qualifying just trying to get a lap. I'm looking forward to Happy Hour. It is pretty embarrassing because we had a pretty good truck and now we have to start over again. We'll race well, though."
HAS THE TRACK CHANGED SINCE MONDAY? "We went out this morning, and, obviously, where we've been running all week wasn't good. It was really slick up in the upper groove. So, I'd say the bottom like Andy (Houston) and Chad (Chaffin) said."
YOU WERE FORCED TO BRING YOUR BACKUP TRUCK OUT THIS MORNING AFTER AN INCIDENT IN PRACTICE. WHAT HAPPENED? "I'm not too certain the track didn't have just a little something on it, whether it was just dust or maybe a little bit of fluid because the truck felt really good through one and two, felt great all the way down to the center of three and four and really snapped loose. It was a really quick loose condition, not like it was something real normal. I overcorrected just a hair and hit the fence just hard enough that we needed to bring the backup. We didn't destroy it or anything. It's just so frustrating. I think another truck hit right behind me, too, so he feels like there was something on the track. Heck, I'll agree with that."
THERE WERE A FEW OTHER INCIDENTS IN TURN FOUR TODAY. HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR THAT? "I just think there is so much grip on the track. In our trucks, you get into turn three and you're wide open and you're really hauling the mail through four, and I think it's just a case where the whole track looks the same. You can't see any rubber or any sandy spots, it's all one big, black sheet, but it's not all one uniform level of grip. That's probably what happened to me. I probably got a little bit high and the track wasn't cleared off yet."
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING RUN. "That's embarrassing. We're still way too loose. I was turning right going into turn one. It's just to be expected though because we don't have that many laps on this truck. We're going to treat Happy Hour with a high level of importance and get as much as we can out of it. I think we'll be pretty good. We'll get it dialed in."
HOW DIFFICULT IT IS GOING TO A BACKUP TRUCK AFTER YOU SPENT A FULL DAY TESTING THE PRIMARY ONE? "Every change you have a direction. You know what the truck is going to do, but it's just not the same truck. You have to go through all of it again, but you can go through it twice the speed now that we've done it all once. But, I think the track is changing, too. It's kind of doubly tough for us now."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Newspapers in Education Ford F-150 (Qualified 7th) -
"I'd say it's going to be hot race truck; it's going to run good. We're going to find out in Happy Hour if she can race. I'm a little disappointed in the qualifying run. We slowed a tenth and a half, and we should have gained a tenth. It didn't feel the way I wanted it to feel."
IT WAS RELATIVELY CLOUDY ON MONDAY WHEN THE TRUCKS TESTED, BUT NOW THEW SUN IS SHINING. IS THAT HAVING AN IMPACT ON THE TRACK CONDITIONS? "It's not. It's got a lot of grip. Yeah, heat is going to slow you down a little bit, but it has a tremendous amount of grip so the speeds are going to stay fast, which they are."
WILL THE TRUCKS BE ABLE TO RACE SIDE BY SIDE TOMORROW? "There is a preferred groove coming in, but usually, if you've caught somebody and are ready to pass somebody, they're going to take the preferred lane, but they're not running as fast as you are so there is another lane out there you can run in."
JON WOOD-50- Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 9th)
HAVE THE TRACK CONDITIONS CHANGED DRASTICALLY FROM PRACTICE THIS MORNING? "No, we just have to work on our speedway package some more. We ran good at some of the bigger tracks earlier in the year, but we're struggling right now. The speedways like California and Michigan, all of these long, sweeping corner places, we're missing it. I don't know what more we can do. It's bad because we go to the intermediate tracks and run real, real well, but we come here and we struggle."
DID THE EXTRA TIME IN THE BUSCH CAR HELP YOU TODAY IN THE TRUCK? "That lap was wide open in the truck, so there's nothing any differently that I could have done. We've got to really work on that. I'm sure you're going to see a lot of Dodges up front, but there's still no excuse to run as slow as we did."
IS THERE A PREFERRED GROOVE STARTING TO COME INTO EXISTENCE? "The bottom is starting to work now. The trend when we first got here, the top was relatively quick. You could run on the bottom but you weren't going to be real fast, and now it seems with more rubber built up and as the track gets some laps on it, the bottom is getting worked in more."