Three Top-10 Finishes for Ford F-150s

 at Gateway International Raceway

Erik Darnell, Rick Crawford and Colin Braun each earned a top-10 finish during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Gateway International Raceway. In the Saturday afternoon race, three drivers started in the top-10 and three drivers finished in the top-10.

ERIK DARNELL – No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 – (finished 6th, qualified 18th) – “We had a really good truck.  Our Northern Tool + Equipment Ford was pretty good today.  I think we knew that after practice yesterday.  We didn’t qualify where we wanted to but we knew we had a really good truck in race trim. The guys did a great job today.  They were awesome on pit road.  Our stops were phenomenal today.  They got out ahead of guys every time.  Track position was just very important today.  I think we saw that at the end with the 18 and 23.  I don’t necessarily know those guys were as good as some of the trucks out there, but track was position was huge and they got it and it was the right call for them.  We were just a little bit too tight at the end and we couldn’t do anything with those guys in front of us and had to settle for a sixth place finish.”

RICK CRAWFORD – No. 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral/Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150- (finished 8th, qualified 7th) – “To battle back all day and only lose one position from where you started, that was pretty good. Our pit selection might have hurt us a little bit on the getting out on the first round of pit stops.  We lost some track position because we had to rest for the rest of the field to go by before we could exit.  Kevin Starland and all the Circle Bar guys, Ford Power Stroke Diesel, the F-Series pick up, International and especially the Super Duty.  Everyone needs to drive one of those.  I drive one. It’s built Ford tough. Look at my truck; week in and week out I enjoy racing it.  Another top-10, that’s not what we wanted, we wanted a top-five or a win, but we’ll go back to a track this coming week that I’ve won at.  So, I know what to get.” 

ON THE INCIDENT WITH THE NO. 11 [DAVID STARR]. “I don’t know what happened.  I was on the outside and he was on the inside.  It looked like he lost it or wasn’t ready for the aero loose that we usually have in these trucks.  The last time I saw him, he backed into me.  I didn’t touch him with my truck.”

COLIN BRAUN – No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 – (finished 9th, qualified 4th) – TOP ROOKIE PRESS CONFERENCE – TALK ABOUT YOUR RACE. “It was a good run for everybody on the No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 truck.  We had a fast truck there at the start.  And with those lapped trucks and sometimes the way it works out, we kind of got shuffled a little bit towards the back there a little bit.  But we managed to stay in the top-10, I think, most of the day.  Coming off pit road once, the 7 [T.J. Bell] truck ran into our door and that kind of screwed us up for a little bit.  Then we got back going.  We were real fast in the middle.  I think we got up into the top five there, when the fourth or last caution came out.  After that, [I] just kind of kept driving around there and on one of those restarts some lapped trucks got screwed up and wrecked.  And we came to a stop and everybody else just decided to pile into the back of us and kind of got involved in that wreck.  I had to go to the tail end of the line and drove back up through the field, which was a lot of fun.  But certainly, it felt like we had a solid top-five truck there.  We were pretty quick and it just makes for an interesting day when you’ve got to drive back up through the field.”

DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING FOR HORNADAY? “I don’t really know.  I never got around him to race him. But I felt like in the middle, my crew chief was calling off lap times and there was quite a few laps where we were just as fast as the leader.  We made a final adjustment on the truck and I felt like that was in right direction. It felt like we were going to be real fast through that final run and unfortunately, we just got tangled up in that wreck and I had to go back of the pack.  It kind of marred us being able to go forward there.”

DID YOU HAVE ANYTHING FOR THE LEADERS? “I don’t know if I had anything for leaders.  We certainly had a top-five truck there. I guess our goal coming into this race was to make sure we finished it and we weren’t going to be impatient and try and race too early.  We tried to be smart and be patient there the whole race.  I felt like we definitely had a truck capable of finishing better than where we did, that’s for sure.”

KEVEN WOOD – No. 21 Air Force Ford F-150 – (finished 15th, qualified 16th) – “We had a lot better finish than what we expected.  We kept working on the Air Force Ford F-150 and it kept getting better and better.  In that very last run we got a little tight and we held on to a top-15 finish. That’s my best finish so far.  We’ll go to Loudon now with a little bit more enthusiasm.” 

WHAT CAN YOU TAKE FROM THIS RACE AND APPLY TO LOUDON? “It’s going to be another new track for me, so I’ll need a bit of time to get adjusted and used to it but the shape.  I’ll just take everything and try to apply it and see how we do.” 

YOU HAD A TOUGH PRACTICE AND WERE ABLE TO GET THE TRUCK RUNNING WHERE YOU LIKED IT? “After practice we were really skeptical.  We actually changed it for qualifying, a whole new set-up and it paid off.  We just had to do some tuning on it and once we got in the race it was okay. We had a lot of luck today.  A lot of the action was right in front of me.  I’ve just got to thank my team for all the hard work they put into my Ford this weekend.”

BRENDAN GAUGHAN – No. 10 International MAXX Force Diesel Ford F-150 – (finished 21st, qualified 30th) – YOU RACED YOUR WAY INTO THE TOP-10, THEN WHAT HAPPENED? “Bryan Berry and the whole team they don’t quit and I’ve said it all year.  It just drives you crazy when we can’t catch a break.  We had a great Ford truck today.  We got there in the end and we’re sitting in eighth in the time that normally is time for me with 30 to go.  I got a Lucky Dog and made my way from 24th to 10th.  The end of the race, that’s when the MAXX Force Ford F-150’s time.  Bryan worked on it and worked on it and the guys stopped and stopped.  My guys will never win any pit stop money.  We stopped too many times.  In the end, we end up with a flat right rear.  The right rear tire has a hole in it and in the last 10 laps we go from 10th to 21st barely holding on because I had a flat.  It just really rips your heart out when you see the guys work this hard.  Week after week we have things like this happen.”