Braun Finishes Fourth In Talladega

 Truck Series Race

Colin Braun nearly pulled off a memorable victory as he restarted 21st with seven laps remaining and finished fourth in Saturday's Mountain Dew 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. Braun, who suffered a flat tire just a couple laps before that final restart, was the highest-finishing Ford F-150.

RICK CRAWFORD – No. 14 Powerstroke Diesel by Int’l Ford F-150 (Finished 28th) – “This Ford Powerstroke Diesel by International was putting us in a position to win the race.  The whole front line there decided to pit and when we pulled off to go to pit road, Mike Wallace just got on the brakes a little harder than I did and I bumped him.  It wasn’t a big hit at all.  There wasn’t much damage on the Ford Powerstroke Diesel, but it kicked the radiator cap off of it.  It’s just one of those things.”

COLIN BRAUN – No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 (Finished 4th) – YOU WENT FROM 21ST TO 4TH ON THE FINAL RESTART.  “Yeah, we did it twice, too, which was the impressive part.  My guys did a great job.  We just had a little bit of a mishap down on pit road, so that made it extra difficult, but those guys just dug in.  Obviously, my guys built me a real fast truck to be able to go from the front to the back like that everytime.  I had really good help, but Jack Roush and these Roush Yates guys built a heck of an engine.  They deserved to win that race, but just disappointed we had a few mistakes there.  It’s unfortunate, too, that we blew a tire.  I thought we were gonna be in good position, but I ended up blowing a left-rear tire and had to go to the back and then go back to the front again.  It was a heck of a race.  I think it just shows the willpower of all these guys.  They work their butts off.” 

IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE IN PERFECT POSITION.  “I thought we were gonna have a shot to win the race.  We led it the last time by.  I don’t know what happened to the 7 at end, but I just lost all my help there the last little bit and was on my own.  It’s unfortunate, but, hey, that’s the way it goes.” 

DID YOU THINK OF CUTTING DOWN AT THE END OR WAS THERE NOWHERE TO GO?  “There wasn’t really anywhere to go and I thought all those guys were gonna wreck and thought if we stayed high we’d avoid it, but it didn’t turn out that way.  But, all in all, it was a great day for us and it was certainly a good day for points.” 

DID YOU KNOW THEY WERE WRECKING BEHIND YOU?  “Yeah, my spotter said something but I wasn’t lifting.  There wasn’t a chance of that.” 

WHAT WAS THE KEY FOR YOU GETTING FROM 21ST TO 4TH IN THE LAST SEVEN LAPS?  “I think we just had a real fast truck and had good help behind us.  We just had a real fast truck.  We risked a lot there towards the end going to the middle.  I scraped the paint off a couple guys on both sides and just went up through the middle.  I think it just shows the willpower of this team and how bad we want to do well.” 

WHAT HAPPENED ON THE SPIN?  “We cut a left-rear tire.  I could feel it going down getting in the corner, but there’s not much you can do running second right on the bottom there.  I was hoping it was gonna stay up until we got on the straightaway and was gonna pull down and come into the pits, but it blew out right there in the middle of the corner.”  HOW MUCH FUN DID YOU HAVE?  “I had a lot of fun.  That was a pretty cool deal.  It was a lot of fun.  If that race was one lap shorter, we’d be in a different spot, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t.”

JOHN WES TOWNLEY – No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 (Finished 18th) – “We had a pretty good starting spot today and when we got sorted out we were able to ride up front for a little bit.  All in all, it was a pretty good day and I feel confident for my next race.  I’ve got to thank Zaxby’s and Roush Yates for the horsepower and Roush Fenway for a great truck.” 

WHAT HAPPENED PITTING UNDER GREEN WHEN YOU SPUN?  “He ran into the back of us there and I think he might have just had a little bit too much steam there because I was pretty tucked up on the guy in front of me.  I don’t know, I guess he may have miscalculated it a little bit.” 

WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE LAST SEVEN LAPS?  “I’ve been in situations that were similar to that, but racing is racing and that’s the way it is sometimes.”

ERIK DARNELL – No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 (Finished 12th) – “It’s a little frustrating.  I’ve got to thank Matt Pucia and all the guys back in the body shop for all the work they did on these trucks.  All three of the Roush Fenway trucks were real fast today and ours was really good up front.  It just seemed like once I got back in traffic a little bit I never really could get anybody to help me too much.  I’d get a run and somebody would duck back down in line.  I made a couple of dumb moves trying to get back up to the front back there because I was frustrated trying to get back to the front of the field and ended up costing us in the end.  It’s frustrating.” 

BUT YOU WERE DOING ALL YOU COULD TO WIN.  “Yeah, I was trying to do anything I could to get back to the front.  It seemed anytime I had somebody behind me, though, and I had a run and got to the outside, either their truck would stall out or something would happen and they couldn’t stay on my bumper and we’d lose our momentum and start falling back again.  If I had a solid line of trucks behind me, it might have been different but we didn’t and we ended up where we ended up.”

JON WOOD – No. 21 U.S. Air Ford Ford F-150 (Finished 22nd) – “You don’t really know how frustrating it is in the truck race here to map out a race strategy or to have a predetermined strategy on who you’re gonna run with, how you’re gonna do it and how you’re gonna execute the whole race.  You can’t do it because these trucks have such a closure rate that when you catch the guy in front of you, you’ve got that Dick Tracy ‘I’m gonna go in with two guns a blazing attitude’ and thinking you  can pull out and pass the field and you just can’t do it.  Unfortunately, it creates a false sense of dominance for the entire field, so you get that big head of steam and pull out and then 10 trucks pass you.  That made it to where at least for the people I was around nobody was working together, so it got very stagnant.  You could only make it so far and then your luck runs out and you’ve got no help.  Then you go back and have to start all over again.  At the very end we got tore up on the last lap and that was just last-lap intensity.  Somebody got into the back of the 40 truck and drove him right into my door, but this was, without a doubt, the best truck I’ve had here at Talladega.  And the motor was unbelievable.  We had an awesome truck and just weren’t able to fully capitalize.”

BRENDAN GAUGHAN – No. 10 Int’l MAXXFORCE Diesel Ford F-150 (Finished 20th) – “Another day for the Circle Bar Ford.  Man, I cannot get a finish.  We had a top-10 Ford and, actually, if you look – Colin and the 99 – Fords were strong today.  They made it go on the outside.  We could run anywhere we wanted to be fast and had the horsepower.  The Roush Yates stuff definitely has great horsepower for this kind of racing and Circle Bar builds great speedway bodies.  In the end, I was trying to fill a hole and got hit from behind – got bump-drafted from behind and it was just a last-lap deal.  I got pointed straight and was able to at least drive it to the finish, but we just tore up another Ford.  Our team had just got such bad luck.  We cannot finish.”