TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford F-150 (Qualified 13th) WAS YOUR EARLY QUALIFYING DRAW A DISADVANTAGE TODAY WITH THE HOOSIER RUBBER ON THE TRACK FROM THE SOUTHWEST SERIES CARS? "I was anticipating the track to be really, really...
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford F-150 (Qualified 13th)
WAS YOUR EARLY QUALIFYING DRAW A DISADVANTAGE TODAY WITH THE HOOSIER RUBBER ON THE TRACK FROM THE SOUTHWEST SERIES CARS? "I was anticipating the track to be really, really snotty, and it had decent grip. It didn't handle as good as it did in on our simulated qualifying run, but actually we went faster than we did then. It's the little tune-up tricks that you do for qualifying that got us some extra speed out of it, but we weren't even able to hit the rev chip on this run like we did earlier. Without speed we didn't get off of turn 2 as good as we needed. We tried to free the truck up because of a situation where we were tight through the center, and didn't get it enough. We probably should have went a little bit more because it was still too tight through the center. I couldn't get back to the throttle as quick and as hard as I wanted to as early, but it's almost two tenths faster than we ran all day, so we're happy with that. We'll get it in race trim tomorrow and I think we'll be OK. If that qualifying lap time gets us in the top 10, we'll be satisfied with that."
WITH THE ADDITION OF THE TUNNEL IN TURN 4 AND THE CHANGES IN TURN 2, HOW HAS THAT AFFECTED THE TRACK CONDITIONS? "This place is so much different from the last time we were here. I had no idea they were even putting a tunnel in it. When they did they put a big, huge strip of asphalt in turn 4 and the race track complexion has really changed. Usually you couldn't get to the throttle as quick and as hard off of turn 2, but when you get up on the new asphalt, the new asphalt has so much grip compared to the old asphalt, I'm even fighting a situation where you drive through the middle of turns 1 and 2 and as you get through the corner the truck kinda transitions left and right, left and right, and when you hit the new asphalt there is so much grip there it straightens you right back out. It's amazing what that new asphalt is doing. It's going to be the same old Phoenix once we get in the race, but for right now it's definitely different, that's for sure."
CARL EDWARDS-99-Superchips Ford F-150 (Qualified 9th)
"I'm a little frustrated with that. I don't know if it's the different set of tires, the Hoosier rubber or the temperature, but a lot of things changed since practice. We were actually faster when it was hotter. The only problem I had driving it was that I was way too loose in the middle of turn 1 and 2 and off of 2. I'm surprised we went as fast as we did. As much grip as the track has now I would have thought we'd have gone a lot faster. I guess it's neat to be frustrated sitting third on the board right now."
YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE HERE IN A SILVER CAR VEHICLE, BUT THIS TRACK HAS UNDERGONE NUMEROUS CHAISE SINCE YOU WERE LAST HERE. "It's a little different, and it's been a year and a half since I ran here and it's a totally different type of vehicle and I had no real pavement experience back then, so I don't remember much from it that I can apply. The track is a little different. The patch over turn 4 is a little different, too. I just hope we race well. I think we're gonna, I think we're going to run well in the race. The patch changes things a little bit, but that's really not the issue. The issue is just how different turns 1 and 2 are from turns 3 and 4. Turns 3 and 4 are bigger and flatter, and turns 1 and 2 are tighter and have more banking. It seems like you drive in a couple of different lines and go the same speed, so it makes it really hard for a driver to pick which one to go with."
WITH TWO RACES REMAINING IN THE SEASON, IS YOUR MAIN FOCUS ON BREAKING KURT BUSCH'S FOUR-WIN ROOKIE SEASON? "I'm thinking about a five-win season. We just want to win these last two. Every win is so special, so to me, just to win any of these is awesome. I think we gave away a couple of them this year and I wish we had them back, but we still have two left and you can do a lot of racing in two races."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 5th)
"That lap didn't surprise me. We have Blake Bainbridge taking Ray's place this weekend, and he did a good job of getting this truck better from the time we unloaded. We missed it a little in practice and were down on the sheet, and I was giving him some feedback and he was putting it in the memory bank and made a deposit out there. It was a top-five run for the Circle Bar Ford today."
ARE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE SO MANY VETERAN DRIVERS UP FRONT? "No, this is a race track that it's hard to get experience at and the person with the most experience is going to be up front or the person that comes out here and races the most. It's almost like a road course where you have marks you have to hit. They've changed it so much that it has messed some of the veterans marks up, so we're sorta driving in Braille right now."
SPECIFICALLY, HOW HAVE THE CHANGES AFFECTED THE TRUCK'S HANDLING? "The asphalt has helped it a little bit. You come off of turn 4, we'll start there, and you have no grip on first forward bite. All of a sudden you have new asphalt which gives you the grip, so you actually can turn a little bit and it keeps you off of the wall. Then you get back to no grip gain and get into turn 1, and turn 1 is the same, but turn 2 is different because they widened out the outside wall. I wish they would have left that alone because that was sorta my trademark over there where I did a lot of passing. Now everybody can run over there two or three wide. You go down the back straightaway and the dogleg is the same and going off into three is the same but your reference point to get back on the throttle in three is four is gone when they took the bridge away. Usually you were three or four car length before the bridge getting back in the throttle, and now the bridge is gone so now as soon as you feel it in the seat of the pants and the truck is heading in the right direction you just gas it up."
JON WOOD-50- Roush Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 10th)
"We just aren't very good right now and we haven't been any good since we got here, which is frustrating when you're coming off of a win at the last race. I'm not sure where we're missing it right now, but we have some work to do before Friday."
IS THE FACT THAT THIS RACE IS A THREE-DAY SHOW COMFORTING BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOU HAVE TIME TO FIX THE PROBLEM? "It would if we knew what we have to work on. The 99 isn't very good now either, so we may have to pool our resources tomorrow, take the trucks in different directions setup-wise and see whose has the best setup for the race."