RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th) "We went out sorta early and didn't get a cloud, so I don't know if that will hold up or not. We gave it all we had. The Circle Bar Ford's been a handful to work with this...
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th)
"We went out sorta early and didn't get a cloud, so I don't know if that will hold up or not. We gave it all we had. The Circle Bar Ford's been a handful to work with this morning. It was following the line pretty well. I'd just like to thank Milwaukee Electric Tool, they've been with us for two years and they decided to come back and sponsor us this last race; it's pretty neat deal. They wouldn't forget about us and we haven't forgotten about them. Maybe we can take them to the championship this weekend."
DID YOU GET EVERYTHING OUT OF THE TRUCK IN QUALIFYING? "I got all that was there, so we just need some more."
HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS YOUR CHANCES AT WINNING THE CHAMPIONSHIP TOMORROW? "As good as any of the three. I'm going to push it all day, and if we get beat, we get beat. We've had a great year, and that's about all I can say. We came here to win. We unloaded the best truck and the best engine we had in our stable. It ain't cause we're not trying hard. We've tried hard all year and we'll going to try it again tomorrow."
CONSIDERING THE TIGHT POINTS RACE, HOW IMPORTANT IS STARTING POSITION? "It's not that critical if you can move up through the field, and you know you're going to have a couple of pit stops. A good pit crew on pit road, it's easier to pass on pit road than it is on the track anyway. A good pit crew on pit road will help you. But, If you have a good truck that's maneuverable out there, this track hasn't been run on in a couple of years for the truck, so it was hard to get a handle on it today."
WHAT WOULD THE CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP MEAN TO YOU? "Everything. Tomorrow is probably the most important race in my career. I'm up for it."
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING LAP. "It was the best we had. Robert (Pressley) was a little ahead of us in practice this morning, but he didn't beat us by much there. I hope it holds up to where we start in the top 10. I think we have a good truck and can maneuver around some traffic. Keep it up front all day and give them a run for the championship, that's our plan."
YOU'RE RUNNING FOR THE WIN TOMORROW, AREN'T YOU? "I'd love to repeat here and maybe celebrate a little bit with the championship. If not, we've had a great year and what a way to end it here in Homestead. We just need a good run here tomorrow."
ARE YOU WORRIED THAT MIKE BLISS HAS A TEAMMATE THIS WEEKEND? "I'm worried about the red, white and blue 14, and we'll just give it all we've got. If they're trying to confuse me, I'm not confused. It's the best truck and motor combination we got and we brought it here to win. If it don't it's not like the old dog is laying on the porch; we're running with the big dogs. They're doing what they have to do. They're racing out of their own garage area and I'm racing out of mine."
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Qualified 8th)
"That wasn't bad. I'm a little disappointed because I thought we could run a little bit better than that, but everybody's lap times seem to have fallen off a little bit. I didn't think we'd fall off three-tenths, so I'm a little disappointed with that effort there. It's another situation where we didn't come down here to qualify well, we came down here to race well, and it feels like we have a good truck on longer runs. Any time we were out in practice, at then end of putting 15 to 20 laps on our tires, we're able to continuous run quicker lap times on our 21st, 22nd and 23rd laps out, even though we were doing this in three-lap intervals where a lot of guys could only do that when they had good tires. So, I'm still optimistic about the race, but a little disappointed with qualifying; I thought we could be a little better than that."
THIS IS ONE OF THE BIGGER RACE TRACKS ON THE CIRCUIT, BUT ALSO ONE OF THE FLATTEST. WHAT KIND OF CHALLENGES DOES THAT PRESENT? "This track is all about the chassis. This is a track where you have to handle all day long and handling is the biggest thing here. If you're just a little off in the chassis department, it's going to kill your lap times and we've already seen a tremendous amount of tire wear, although I think that will get better as more rubber is laid down on the track. We're not only going to fight a fuel mileage race, but probably for the first time all season long, we might fight a tire wear issue as well. You have to have your chassis right on to make sure that you have the best tires, especially over a 40-lap run. You need to maximize your fuel load here, but if you're tires are falling off 10 or 15 laps before your fuel window, you're in trouble, so you have to be handling good all day."