RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st) YOU WON YOUR SECOND CAREER POLE BY THE SLIMMEST OF MARGINS. "That wasn't a pretty lap, but it was all we had. I didn't let off much, and it wasn't real pretty, but it was...
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 1st)
YOU WON YOUR SECOND CAREER POLE BY THE SLIMMEST OF MARGINS. "That wasn't a pretty lap, but it was all we had. I didn't let off much, and it wasn't real pretty, but it was fast enough.
YOU'VE BEEN AT THE TOP OF THE SPEED CHARTS MOST OF THE WEEKEND. "We were quickest in practice today, quickest in qualifying and now we need to win tomorrow. That would be a complete weekend. That would get me feeling better.
YOU'VE BEEN FEELING UNDER THE WEATHER THIS WEEK. HOW ARE YOU FEELING TODAY? "I haven't been able to shake this cold. It isn't real bad, and usually I don't get sick; I'm not a sick-type person. Something jumped on me last Sunday in California, and I haven't been able to shake it. It's bothering me a little bit, but I'm OK. That's the best medicine in the world - to have a fast race car.
YOU LIKE TO GET YOUR TRUCK OUT FRONT EARLY IN THE RACE, BUT STARTING ON THE POLE THAT SHOULD TAKE OFF SOME OF THE PRESSURE. "Shoot yeah. I want to get out front and lead all of the laps and win this thing tomorrow."
TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Qualified 4th)
"I'm very happy. We've struggled since we got here. Our flat-track program has been on kill mode all year long and we come here and this track has thrown us for a loop. We've just struggled, struggled, struggled, and I told crew chief Bob Keselowski before qualifying, I said, 'We are a 20th-place truck right now, so we need to make this thing a lot better, so just change anything you want.' He put on four new shocks, four new springs, two bars, and it paid off. I think we'll end up in the top five somewhere.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE THESE LAST TWO RACES TO ESTABLISH SOME POSITIVE MOMENTUM FOR YOUR TEAM? "They really are. I've said it all along and I'll say it again, it's al about the momentum that you build and it carries over from season to season. I don't wan to sit all off-season moaning because we had a bad last couple of races to the season. You want to build momentum up for the team so that these guys get excited about to coming to work when there are no footballs flying in northern Detroit. You want to end the season on the high note and then you start the season on a high note. If you end the season on a bad note, it kinda puts a bad taste in your mouth and you don't have chance to redeem yourself. The next race isn't until the middle of February at Daytona. You try real hard and these are two tracks that should really fit our program, but for whatever reason, we have just flat struggled since we unloaded. Bob put a whole new setup under the truck for qualifying and I think it paid off. I think we have a pretty good race truck. We just need to get through Happy Hour. Qualifying is just for track position basically, and I'm fortunate to get it up near the top five.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT IN THE RACE TOMORROW? "The track is slipperier and greasier than it usually is. I don't know why, but it needs a little bit of work. I'm not sure what it is, but hopefully come race time, the more that the Busch cars and Winston Cup cars run on the track prior to our race, I think it will only help our race. We'll get some of the Goodyear Eagle rubber laid down and I think it will be a big key for the race."
REGAN SMITH-63-Diamond Cut Jeans/Mittler Bros. Ford F-150 (Qualified 12th)
ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THAT LAP? "No, I don't think so. We turned about a 55 in practice and I figured we had about two-tenths left in it. Two-tenths in the driver and truck combined, that's about right. I was actually wishing that we would be a little bit higher than. We said coming into the weekend, top 15 and we'd be happy. We have to get her ready to race, and see what we have in race setup. We were pretty good yesterday in race setup, so I think we will be decent tomorrow."
YOU RAN THE TRUCK RACE AT SOUTH BOSTON. NOW THAT YOU HAVE ONE START UNDER YOUR BELT, DO YOU HAVE HIGHER EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS WEEKEND? "I wouldn't so much say higher. I just want to get all of the laps in and complete the race. I think if we finish the race that we'll have a top-15 no problem. I need experience. The more laps I can get, the better it's going to be. I've run the Busch race since then, so I'm more accustomed to the radial tires and the different vehicles, so I think we should be pretty good.
YOU HAVEN'T RACED HERE BEFORE, SO HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THIS RACE? "I came out here two weeks ago when a couple of guys came out here testing and just watched them. (Jeff) Gordon was out here testing and a few more good guys, and I got an idea of the line. Believe it or not, the video game can actually help. It's actually pretty similar to this place, so I had decent idea coming in to here on what I needed to do just knowing what they did."
ANDY HOUSTON-15-Billy Ballew Motorsports Ford F-150 (Qualified 19th) -
"I'm a little disappointed. We thought that we would be better than that. We ran a 49 in practice and got in traffic and felt like we had a 20 in it, but it just didn't grip the race track like it had this morning. I think we might have missed it on what we chose to do on scuffing our tires. We might have put a little bit too much time on our tires. All in all, the truck is pretty good. The times are real tight and we'll just get it ready to race. Hopefully in race trim, we'll be better.
THERE ARE SOME FAMILIAR FACES HERE THIS WEEKEND THAT INCLUDE MIKE BLISS, KEVIN HARVICK AND STACY COMPTON. "It's good to get back and have those guys come back and race against. It does feel a little bit like old times; we just need to get this Billy Ballew Ford back up in the top-10 where it belongs."