For the third time in four races, rain showers forced the cancellation of qualifying activities for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The field for tomorrow's Line-X 200 was set by the NASCAR rulebook, and with fewer competitors than starting ...
For the third time in four races, rain showers forced the cancellation of qualifying activities for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The field for tomorrow's Line-X 200 was set by the NASCAR rulebook, and with fewer competitors than starting positions, no teams were forced to pack up early.
Carl Edwards, last year's fifth-place finisher at Michigan International Speedway, will start third in tomorrow's 100-lap race. Heading into this weekend's 13th race of the season, Edwards, who has scored victories this season at Daytona International Speedway and Kansas Speedway, trails first-place Dennis Setzer by 166 points in the point standings.
CARL EDWARDS -99-Superchips Ford F-150
YOU WERE THE FASTEST TRUCK IN THE MORNING PRACTICE SESSION. HOW DISAPPOINTED ARE YOU THAT QUALIFYING WAS RAINED OUT?
"I was really looking forward to qualifying. Cowboy (Kevin Starland, crew chief) and the guys did some stuff after practice that we think was going to make it a little bit faster, so we were looking for a really great lap there. Plus, it's really fun to qualify here because you're running wide open and the thing moves around a lot. We were really looking forward to it, but to start third, who knows, we might not have even qualified as well as third. It's still a pretty good guaranteed starting spot."
DID YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE CHANCE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER TODAY?
"We started practice assuming that it was going to rain, so we spent a lot of time working on some race stuff that we were curious about. The way the tire situation works in the truck series, you only have one set of tires to practice on. Barring any inclement weather, we were going to save our tires for Happy Hour, but since we saw it was going to rain, we did a lot of practice that first session. We spent most of that practice doing race runs and made only one qualifying attempt, which ended up being the fastest lap turned in all of practice. Still, if it rains out Happy Hour, we feel like we have an advantage, but if it doesn't we'll probably be on a level playing field."
YOU WERE ABLE TO TEST AT CHICAGOLAND LAST WEEK DURING AN OFF WEEKEND. DID THAT TEST HELP YOU TODAY?
"The Chicago test was really important to us. We tried some different stuff that we hadn't yet tried this year. It at least gave us a little bit more of a direction on where some of the other guys are headed. I think the setups are evolving right now and that's why I think you see a guy every once in a while be super-fast at one race. I think that's due to some interesting aero stuff going on and that Chicago test helped us a lot with that."
THIS RACE MARKS THE MIDPOINT OF THE 25-RACE SEASON. AS A DRIVER, IS THERE ANY SIGNIFICANCE TO THE MIDPOINT OF A SEASON?
"Yeah because it feels like we've been racing for a whole year, yet we've only raced 12 races. To me, I'm really grateful that we have 13 races left. I feel like I've learned a lot as a driver and our team has learned a lot together the last 12 races. We're kind of fortunate that it's been drawn out so much because it gave us a lot time to work on some things and now we can apply that for the last 13 races."
DRIVERS HAVE COMMENTED THAT THIS TRACK IS MORE FORGIVING THAN SOME OF THE OTHER LARGER VENUES ON THE SCHEDULE. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT?
"It is, but that's a deceiving statement. It's more forgiving so everybody runs their setups a little bit more on the edge, so, to me, you almost have to run closer to the edge to be fast. It's big, but it's still pretty treacherous and it's pretty wild when the truck gets loose here."
LAST YEAR'S RACE HAD JUST ONE CAUTION PERIOD. DO YOU EXPECT THIS YEAR'S RACE TO HAVE SIMILAR LONG GREEN-FLAG RUNS?
"For some reason, the trucks seem more unstable next to each other this year, so I think it will be a treacherous race when guys are racing in a group. It seems like the draft is a really big deal, so I think there will be groups of trucks running together. I'm really kind of nervous about restarts. After what we saw at Kansas and Kentucky, it's going to be a little bit treacherous on restarts when everybody is bunched up."