KURT BUSCH-99-Eldon Ford F-150 (Qualified 4th) YOUR QUALIFYING RUN WAS JUST A BIT SLOWER THAN YOUR PRACTICE TIME. "I thought we might be a little bit slower with the Busch cars having practice after us, but we got a good cloud. It helps when...
KURT BUSCH-99-Eldon Ford F-150 (Qualified 4th)
YOUR QUALIFYING RUN WAS JUST A BIT SLOWER THAN YOUR PRACTICE TIME.
"I thought we might be a little bit slower with the Busch cars having practice after us, but we got a good cloud. It helps when you're running on a fine line, clouds and weather help you. It should be good enough to start the Eldon truck in the top five, where we need to be and we'll work on it through Happy Hour and the race."
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO GET USED TO DRIVING A TRUCK THIS MORNING?
"It was a good 10 laps or so just to feel the big, heavy weight; it feels like everything is in slow motion. Getting into the corner, through the middle, and obviously coming off corners with the power they've taken away from the trucks this year. It isn't too bad of an adjustment and we'll see if we can't work on it and see if we can't make the sport better."
DO YOU FEEL ANY CHANGES FROM THE TRUCKS LAST SEASON?
"Just the power. The power that they took away and the rear downforce that they added doesn't seem to match the Fords as well as I thought it would. It's somewhat of a good package, but I think it needs to be tuned on a little bit with some more front downforce; it's the same as the Ford Taurus."
WHAT WAS YOUR GAME PLAN THIS MORNING?
"With two hours of straight practice, we just wanted to get used the race track. We worked on our race runs first, and then set the truck up for qualifying at the end. I think we've got a good truck that will run solidly for 200 laps and it feels great just to back in the trucks."
DO YOU FEEL LESS PRESSURE THIS WEEKEND, AND DOES THAT MAKE IT EASIER ON YOU?
"It's got its pros and cons. I'm working on a project with Jack Roush trying to make trucks better, whether it be the Roush Racing trucks or the Fords. Biffle gave a lot of input last week, and I'm giving my input this week, and I think we have a situation where it's going to be fun this weekend. It's not high pressure like it is in Winston Cup every weekend, yet we want to get something accomplished. I have the frame of mind to come away with information for Jack, so I'm just as focused as if I was driving a Cup car."
YOU'RE NOT HERE RACING FOR POINTS. CAN YOU TAKE SOME MORE CHANCES THAN YOU USUALLY WOULD?
"That's going to be up to Lumpy (Jeff Campey), the new crew chief, to come up with pit strategy. As far as setups and things like that, I've gone with something very consistent thus far through qualifying. In Happy Hour, we may try some aggressive changes to see what Lumpy has learned this year, and see if that applies to the truck today. What we need to do is run consistently up front and dice around traffic to get a good read on what the Fords do in race trim."
HOW ABOUT AS A DRIVER, CAN YOU TAKE SOME MORE CHANCES IN THE RACE TOMORROW?
"I don't need to make any enemies out there, but we need to run strong and learn something from it. I can do that by making conservative or aggressive passes. We're going to try to take the 99 truck to the front whether that opportunity presents itself or it doesn't; we're still going run the same as I've always done."
JON WOOD-50-Eldon Ford F-150 (Qualified 14th)
"We're definitely improving over what we had last week. We're just lacking a little bit in our qualifying deal here. In our last round of practice, we were pretty good, but for some reason the truck just got a little tight. We should definitely be in the top 15, at the worst, and that's an improvement. We'll have to see what happens."
IS THE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN YOU AND DAN BINKS IMPROVING?
"Yeah, but I don't think that's where the improvement on the track is coming from right now. Just the difference in me driving versus what the other guys; what they want to feel and what I want to feel."
THIS IS YOUR SECOND RACE WITH ROUSH AND YOUR SECOND DIFFERENT TEAMMATE. DO YOU NOTICE A DIFFERENCE?
"It's about the same as last week, and there's nothing really different. I'm still working on getting used to these trucks."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Milwaukee Electric Tools Ford F-150 (Qualified 13th) - "That's about as fast as the Milwaukee Electric Tools Ford was going to run, and it's the fastest that we've been all day. I'm happy with the guys, we just need to tweak on it a little more. We have a good race truck, and I know that because we passed a lot of trucks in practice. Hopefully we can repeat it tomorrow and have a good day tomorrow."
HOW HARD IS IT TO PASS AROUND HERE?
"If you have a good truck and a good motor, you can pass anybody. If you don't have that combination, it's hard to pass. Sometimes some people can qualify better than they can race, and I think the shoes on the other foot here. I think we can race better than we qualify. Last week, we didn't qualify or race very good, but typically, we race better than we qualify."
TERRY COOK-29-K-Automotive Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th)
IT LOOKS LIKE THE WEATHER WAS IN YOUR FAVOR TODAY.
"I had a cloud cover, but I honestly don't know if it helped or hurt. I never have been able to figure that out, with different tracks come different deals. I had a real good truck today. We've been fast since we unloaded and we decided to go on scuff tires instead of stickers for qualifying and that may have hurt us a little bit, but it was something different that we wanted to try. We were trying to go for the pole, but we didn't quite get it. It looks like we're probably going to end up with a pretty good starting spot at any rate and that's what we're looking for. We're trying to get a good run for our new sponsor that will debut in Kansas next weekend. As we say, it's a six-race program, but with announcing here in Milwaukee, it's like a seven-race program."
YOU DON'T START YOUR NEW SPONSORSHIP DEAL UNTIL KANSAS CITY NEXT WEEKEND, BUT DOES THAT SERVE AS A MOTIVATIONAL FACTOR THIS WEEKEND?
"From the spotter to transport driver to the driver of the vehicle and down on the line, it adds a lot of new life and enthusiasm to the team. It's a really nice program with Power Stroke Diesel. We get some in-truck cameras that we haven't had all year long, and it gives us the funding and the security that we're at least solid for the next six races. We can only hope to put Power Stroke Diesel in Victory Lane by the end of the year."