Darnell Leads Ford Qualifying Sweep


            Ford drivers Erik Darnell, John Wes Townley and Colin Braun qualified one-two-three respectively for Saturday’s Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. 

COLIN BRAUN – No. 6 Con-way Freight F-150 – “I think it was really good.  I’m really proud of the job all of the guys are doing back at the shop.  To see all three Roush Fenway trucks in the top three, I think, is pretty impressive and really just shows the hard work the guys have been doing at the shop.  They’ve been working their butts off and, certainly, my crew chief, Mike Beam, is a pretty smart guy when it comes to setting up trucks for these superspeedways, so I think it definitely showed off in qualifying, but when we get in the race it’s a whole new ballgame.  I think it’s gonna be a lot different.  It’s gonna be a big pack of trucks racing, so it should be fun.  I’m just real proud of everybody on the No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 truck.”

JOHN WES TOWNLEY – No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 – “I was really hoping we could hang on there, but I didn’t quite have it for him (Erik Darnell).  It’s kind of like Colin said, all three of us are up there so hopefully we can get in the draft and we’ll sit there for the race.  I’ve just really got to thank Roush Fenway and  Roush Yates for the horsepower.  And I’ve got to thank Zaxby’s.  It’s been a long road and I really do appreciate everybody’s hard work.”

COLIN BRAUN CONTINUED – YOU GUYS WERE A SECOND FASTER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE.  DID YOUR TEAM FIND SOMETHING?  “It wasn’t quite a second.  I think the fourth-fastest qualifier ran a .40 or something like that.  I think we were eight-tenths clear, but I think it’s not obviously Roush Yates power.  You’ve got the 10 truck and the 14 truck, we all have Roush Yates engines – all powerful engines, but those guys didn’t qualify up in that top group.  I think it’s more just the hard work that all the guy at Roush Fenway have done, obviously.  Everybody’s got the same motors in all the Ford cars and trucks and I think it just goes to show that our specific team has done a really good job on these speedways.  Erik got the pole in Daytona earlier in the year and he brought back the same truck, so I think it really just goes to show how much hard work these guys have done.” 

WHAT ABOUT THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF DAYTONA?  “I think at Daytona we all qualified up in the top 10, I believe, and we were all pretty strong so it was disappointing the way the race turned out – getting the 6 truck and the 09 truck tangled up and wrecked all in the same accident.  Erik was leading the race pretty strong and then got in a wreck, so that was disappointing, but we’ve just proved that we can rebuild our stuff, bring it back and it be even stronger than we were before.”

ERIK DARNELL – No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 – “It was a good lap for our Northern Tool + Equipment Ford.  We found out in practice yesterday we had a pretty good truck.  All three of the Roush Fenway trucks were pretty fast, but we concentrated primarily on getting it to run well in the draft, which I think we accomplished.  This is the same truck we had at Daytona.  It was pretty good there.  We led a bunch of laps there with it and, like I said, we were just trying to get it to where it runs well in the draft and I think we got it there, and wherever qualifying panned out, that’s what it was gonna be, but just getting the pole is kind of icing on the cake.” 

WAS THERE A PROBLEM AFTER QUALIFING?  “Yeah, I guess.  I’m not really sure.  I haven’t talked to the crew chief yet, but, apparently everything is all right.  We rolled the truck to Victory Lane and we’re good to go for the race.  I don’t know what’s going on yet.” 

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT DAYTONA AND THAT DISAPPOINTMENT?  “This is the same truck we had at Daytona.  That was kind of a heartbreaker.  We led a bunch of laps there and leading inside 15 to go and end up not getting the win was a little bit frustrating, but Roush Fenway has a very strong track record with their truck program.  Mark Martin won both races at Daytona and Talladega in ’06 and we’re always up front with these things and we’re looking to be there when we end the day tomorrow.”

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