Sparta: Ford qualifying quotes

TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Qualified 4th) - "I don't know if the track slowed down, but it changed. You don't see that very often. You don't see that, especially here at Kentucky. We did practice most of the day in the heat...

TERRY COOK-29-Power Stroke Diesel Ford F-150 (Qualified 4th) - "I don't know if the track slowed down, but it changed. You don't see that very often. You don't see that, especially here at Kentucky. We did practice most of the day in the heat of the day, and the track has cooled down and normally they tighten up and that's what's happened to us. We thought we were pretty good in practice runs earlier for qualifying stuff, but who would have even anticipated that it would four hours to qualify the field? It's one of those good things, bad things. It's good that we're toward the back to let them clean the oil dry that was on the track, but a bad situation that we qualified so late that the track conditions changed on us quite a bit. The truck was just real tight under throttle, but it was still a decent lap and should put us in the top five for the race."

HOW IMPORTANT WILL TONIGHT'S HAPPY HOUR PRACTICE SESSION BE FOR TOMORROW'S RACE?

"This afternoon was pretty much all about qualifying. With the track changing as much as it did, you just have to combat that and be prepared to make the changes for it, especially now. If your truck is already tight in your qualifying run, you're going to take all of the tape off the grille and open 80-square inches, and it will get even tighter yet. You've got to do something to combat that, and we're going to make some adjustments and hopefully be right on top of it."

THERE SEEMS TO BE A BIG MARGIN BETWEEN FIRST AND TENTH IN TERMS OF QUALIFYING TIMES. IS IT UNUSUAL TO SEE THAT MUCH OF A DISCREPANCY?

"There are a lot of guys that guessed wrong for qualifying. We don't usually see that much of a spread, and that is kind of surprising. I will say this, a lot of the guys back there -- the guys that didn't qualify up front that you would normally expect -- will be there for race time. This is a track that a lot of the times in the draft here, you'll run slower because this track depends so much for handling through both corners. The guy behind you might make you wiggle a little bit and you're off the throttle for a split second and you'll slow your lap down. If a guy can get out front and drive out away from the field, sometimes you're actually quicker by yourself rather than drafting."

DOES THAT MEAN THERE COULD BE AN EARLY CAUTION TOMORROW?

"Yeah. I think those guys will be coming. That's a plus for us already because you want to qualify well in these types of situations. You get good track position in case there are a lot of good guys starting in the back, where there could be an early caution. The guys that haven't qualified well, I'll give them 50 laps before they make their way up front."

CARL EDWARDS-63-Mittler Brothers/Blazin' Pits Ford F-150 (Qualified 8th) - "We're carrying a lot of momentum from last weekend's eight-place finish and that probably helped us today. I learned so much last week, just about driving on these mile-and-a-half tracks. And then, I think the team was pretty pumped. I got to the shop on Wednesday and they already had everything all done. These guys worked really hard and the motor worked great. Everything just went smoothly today and that's all I can ask for in my fourth race in this series."

IS THIS THE SAME TRUCK FROM LAST WEEK? "This is the same truck and the same engine. They just tore it all down and worked 18 hours a day for three straight nights to get this thing ready. We're doing a lot of with the resources we have. I know that when I read down the list and I see my name around the drivers that I've looked up to for so long, it's neat. It's like Mike (Mittler, owner) says, he says we don't have all of the money in the world, but we have heart and soul, and that's what we put into this."

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT HAS CHANGED FOR THIS TEAM BESIDES THE DRIVER?

"I don't exactly know what it is, but we've been getting some help from some of Mike's previous drivers - Jamie McMurray and Larry Gunselman. Larry is a heck of a body man and he knows some stuff about getting the air to go around these things. That's helped us and I've talked to a lot of guys like Larry and Ted Musgrave and that's helped me immensely; just getting used to something as different as this."

JON WOOD-50-U.S. Navy Racing Ford F-150 (Qualified 23rd) - "It just seems like a different race track. The clouds moved in after practice and the track got real loose. The truck wouldn't stick in any part of the corner and was all over the place. It was loose in, the middle and through the corner."

DID YOUR EARLY QUALIFYING DRAW HURT YOU TODAY?

"I guess it could have. Practice ended this afternoon when someone lost a motor and we didn't have a chance to make any more laps, but for how loose we were out there just now, there would have been very little we could have done on pit road to fix the problem. We need to look over our notes from last year and try to figure what's changed since then."

RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford F-150 (Qualified 12th) - "The track has changed drastically from the heat of the day to now. I don't know if the blown engine right at the end of practice had anything to do with it. We were on the loose side and I just had to use the whole race track to make my laps, so it took us out of the fast groove."

IS THERE ANY DISADVANTAGE TO AN EARLY QUALIFYING DRAW TODAY?

"Not with the amount of time it seems to take between qualifying runs. The cloud cover is over us and darkness is setting in, so everybody is basically going out at the same time. I think the track changed from the end of practice to now because we did have the sun out, and the Circle Bar Motel and RV Park Ford couldn't back up its time from practice."

HOW IMPORTANT WILL TONIGHT'S HAPPY HOUR PRACTICE SESSION BE FOR TOMORROW'S RACE?

"This afternoon's practice session was geared towards qualifying and tonight's practice will be geared towards the race tomorrow. The track conditions we had this afternoon aren't even close to what we'll see here at night. I think whoever gets their truck handling the best tonight will be the one chase tomorrow."

RICK BICKLE-15-Dickies/Popeyes Ford F-150 (Qualified 22nd) - "We put tires and tape on it last week and I about wrecked qualifying. We went to make a qualifying run at the end of practice today and that guy blew up there at the end, so we didn't get a chance. Just coming to get the green I about busted my ass. We have something so bad with this truck aerodynamic-wise. The air pushes so bad and we're trying to crutch it with the chassis. We've got the chassis so loose and then we put tape on it, and it's like, 'oh my gosh.' It definitely needs a little work."

YOU SAID THAT YOU DIDN'T WANT TO DRIVE IF YOU WEREN'T ENJOYING IT. ARE YOU STILL HAVING FUN?

"We didn't know what we had for a speedway truck going into last week. Obviously, it wasn't any good and it's the only other truck that they have right now. We thought if they would do a little work to it that it would help, but something is wrong with it. I don't think it's a chassis thing, it's just aerodynamics. Until we cut off the body, we can't fix it. There's nothing wrong with the chassis, it just needs a body hung on it."

-Ford-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ted Musgrave , Larry Gunselman , Jamie McMurray