ERIK DARNELL-99-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 2nd) YOU WERE LEADING THE RACE WITH JUST A HANDFUL OF LAP TO GO? "The truck was good tonight. It was real good on long runs. I've got to thank John Quinn (crew chief) and all of the guys. They...
ERIK DARNELL-99-Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Finished 2nd)
YOU WERE LEADING THE RACE WITH JUST A HANDFUL OF LAP TO GO? "The truck was good tonight. It was real good on long runs. I've got to thank John Quinn (crew chief) and all of the guys. They did a good job of giving me a good truck out there tonight. It wasn't as good on the short runs and I kinda knew that when I saw Jack up front earlier and he was real good on the short runs. Besides Dennis Setzer, I think we were about the best on the long runs. It just bit us there at the end. We needed to go after that second-to-last restart and we didn't get it."
HOW STEEP OF A LEARNING CURVE HAVE YOU GONE THROUGH THIS YEAR? "It's definitely a big learning curve, but at the same time, all of the guys around me have kind of helped ease me into it. Being able to talk to Mark Martin and Carl Edwards helps a lot, and just having Roush and organization has helped me quite a bit, too. It's eased it for me quite a bit. We ran good at the beginning of the year and we kind of faltered a little bit, but we're running good right now."
DID YOU HAVE A PLAN TO HOLD SPRAGUE OFF ON THE SECOND-TO-LAST RESTART? "My plan at that point was to get by the lapped trucks and get up front. We were able to do that and I got a little bit of a lead opened up on him, but just watching him all night on fresh tires, he was bad-fast. I knew he'd be coming hard and I just tried to stay out front, and I think I overdrove it a little bit and that hurt me there and he was able to get up to me and pass me. On the same token, as soon as he got by me he was overdriving it and I was able to stay right with him. There were a couple of times that I probably could have touched him a little bit in the center of the corner; we were real even there at the end and it would have been close."
DID YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS OF TRYING TO MOVE SPRAGUE TO GET YOUR FIRST WIN? "Thoughts of it, yeah, but on the other hand, you want to try to go out there as a rookie and get respect from some of these guys. I think you get a lot more of that running them clean than hitting them. I didn't want to win my first one spinning somebody out and wrecking them. We had a good truck tonight and it showed. I think everybody saw that and we'll be back at it in a few weeks."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150 (Finished 8th)
THERE LOOKED TO BE A LOT OF ONE-GROOVE RACING TONIGHT. "That's not our fault. Racers want to race and the racers are wanting to put on a great show for the fans. We've got a lot of fans here tonight and we were on a real hard tire. We were on a real hard tire and you can't get a second groove like that. You get up there and you start skating away and they just freight train up under you. You're trying to protect the bottom, but you're also trying to root the guy up ahead out of the way. The Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford just hung in there all night long. That's all we had and maybe we'll get them at IRP."
DAVID RAGAN-6-Scotts Ford F-150 (Finished 6th)
"It's pretty amazing when I'm disappointed with a sixth-place finish. That just shows you what kind of awesome team that Mark Martin and Jack Roush and everybody at Roush Racing has put together. Erik and I both finished in the top 10 and we had awesome race trucks. It just makes it super-easy on us. I take that back, Jack, it's not super-easy, but we're having a good time and this is what racing is all about."
WERE YOU WATCHING YOUR TEAMMATE ERIK DARNELL IN THE CLOSING LAPS? "You know Erik, I want to beat him more than anybody else on the race track and he wants to beat me, but what an awesome feeling to see a teammate of ours up there in the top two or three racing hard for the win. We're going to win soon. It might not be next week or the following, but we've got some awesome race trucks and Erik and I are having a blast."
TERRY COOK-10-Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-150 (Finished 13th)
"That was pretty incredible seeing how our day went. It all starts for when you pull for qualifying, and that's in essence before practice starts. I drew number one here at Memphis, and I don't think that's a good thing to go out when the sun has beating on the track for a day. I think that put us behind the 8-ball with qualifying, so we didn't get a very good qualifying spot. But, we had a good race truck, and we were just pacing with it and we had to make an adjustment early on, but Dennis Connor called another great race. We elected to come down for tires and fuel around lap 85 and planned to stay out for the rest of the race. Had there not been a caution at the end, everybody else was going to have to pit and we were going to put them a lap down and we were just flying at that point in comparison to tires. There at the end on the old tires, we just couldn't hold them off. I've got to thank Mike Skinner for racing me clean there at the end. He could have done me pretty dirty there and he raced me really clean so I really appreciate that. There's some class acts here in the truck series and there are some guys that you know who you can with and who you can't, and Mike is definitely one of those that you can race with."
PETER SHEPHERD-50-Headz Gamez Ford F-150 (Finished 23rd)
"As far as the green-flag racing, that was the longest race that I've ever run. I've just got to thank the guys so much for giving me a good truck. Griddly Headz came on board for this one race and I think we got a good finish for them. I've just got to thank the team and everybody here at Roush; they did an awesome job. They just did an awesome job. I'm just so happy to be able to finish my first race. I wasn't quite on the lead lap, but one lap down, and that's OK. We'll just get better as we go."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU DID ENOUGH TONIGHT TO GET APPROVED FOR THE BIGGER TRACKS? "I think so. I didn't cause anything, so that's the main thing. I didn't cause any trouble, and as long as you don't cause any trouble it won't be a problem. I ran clean all day and I got out of the way when the faster trucks were coming. I did my job tonight and that's what I had to do. I'm happy."
MARCOS AMBROSE-20-Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 (Finished 34th)
IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE TONIGHT? "These short tracks haven't been kind to us. I saw him spinning and we were tight and we were stuck in the groove he was in, and I tried to check up and I couldn't slowed down in time. I was just a victim."
DID YOU USE THE REST OF THE RACE AS A TEST SESSION? "We put our old tires on thinking there'd be another caution and we'd fix it all up, but we had to do 100 laps. We had cords showing on the right-front tire and it was a mess. We just have to toss this away."