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November 16, 2007

Willie Allen

Johnny Benson

Kyle Busch

Rick Crawford


a THE MODERATOR: We have in here our runner up for tonight's race, Kyle Busch. Kyle drives the #51 Miccosukee Resorts Chevrolet Truck. Kyle, talk about your run and your thoughts about the race tonight.
KYLE BUSCH: Well, the biggest thing was just in the beginning of the race we were horrible, and absolutely couldn't even run 20th or anything like that. Just a really bad beginning for us, but we were able to come in the pits and make some adjustments on it and caught that caution luckily when we had just about come down Pit Road with fuel, tires and everything and we got everybody a lap down being able to stay out like we did.
That was our saving grace. We came in and made some more adjustments to the truck and all the adjustments really seemed to help and free it up. We were just battling really tight. Just being able to make those adjustments, got us out front and got us out in clean air and we were able to pull away from everybody, keep it up there, battling Harvick right there for a while, but just disappointed in NASCAR's decision there to throw a caution at the end of the race there with a truck that got real sideways. I don't think it was any worse than what Greg Biffle or Kyle Busch ever do. It's really sad that they threw a caution for a truck that didn't even spin out, all it did was make a little bit of a smoke show. It cost us the race.
Johnny had a better truck than we did and was able to prove it there at the end in those final two laps, he got by us, but we'll build some new ones for next year and try and get back after him again.

Q. What happened on that last lap? It looked like you just got it to the wall, or just when they threw the caution what was going through your mind and what happened with the truck?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, when they threw the caution I was wondering what it was for because I didn't see anything on the racetrack. I saw the replay of a truck that got real sideways off turn 4 and just laid a little bit of smoke down but didn't spin out or anything like that, so I was pretty disappointed. I mean, not necessarily angry, but devastated that NASCAR would throw a caution like that. But I guess it's in the interest of safety and they wanted to check everything out and make sure it was all good.
There in that last restart I got a good jump, but Johnny was able to get his truck lower on the corner than mine, mine was just too tight, and was able to power past us, and there in that last lap going into 3 and 4 I just held it wide open, I didn't care if I ran through the wall and went out in the parking lot, I was just going to try to win the race.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, good luck. Appreciate it.
We're also pleased now to be joined by the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year. Congratulations goes out to the driver of the #13 ThorSport Chevrolet, that's Willie Allen. Congratulations on being named Rookie of the Year. How does it feel?
WILLIE ALLEN: It feels real good to be Rookie of the Year. Definitely it was a goal of ours at the first of the year. I think everyone who's a rookie wants to win it, especially in the Truck Series it's such a coveted honor and a lot of the guys have moved on to the Cup Series and really made a name for themselves, and I'm just glad to be in that list of drivers.
THE MODERATOR: Willie, I think you covered the bases. I think people will understand how big this is for you. Congratulations.
We're going to continue with our post-race press conferences for the Ford 200, and we bring in our third place finisher in tonight's race, and that is Rick Crawford. Rick drives the #14 Power Stroke Diesel International Ford. Rick, tell us about your run out there tonight and how you thought the race unfolded.
RICK CRAWFORD: It started out a little difficult. We started 23rd on the field, and we stayed hovering back there around 20th for -- even after the first pit stop. I think that was the call of the race was pit on the first caution, 15 laps left in the race. That extended our fuel mileage to when the next guys had to sit on the green.
Pitting the second time under the next caution we caught a lot of guys, two laps down, that had really been in the hunt all night. Track position is everything. We found a groove for the Ford Power Stroke Diesel International to run good in, and that engine under the hood did its job and carried us to a third place finish.
Great call by Kevin "Cowboy" Starland on the pit box, good job by the Circle Bar crew in the pits, and I've had a lot of fun in 2007.

Q. Those final laps, the green-white checkered, what were you thinking? I asked this of Kyle Busch, but did you think he had a chance there?
RICK CRAWFORD: What did he say?

Q. He didn't like the caution.
RICK CRAWFORD: No, he possibly had the race won had it not been for the caution. For me the first thing I think about is who's behind me, and that's Kevin Harvick, and we all know how he runs with a restart going on. So that was a concern. So I had a good start. Me and Johnny did get a good start. Me and Johnny was able to get on the inside of Kyle.
In my mind as a racer it ain't over until the checkered flag falls. So I didn't think I was out of it until I seen the checkered flag, and there was Kyle up on the outside wall, Johnny wasn't in the race, and at any minute the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race things can change. Johnny could have hit Kyle and 14 Truck could have won the race and won races for six straight years in a row, but we didn't. But I can go ahead and guarantee it now, the 14 Truck will be in victory lane next year.

Q. Were you surprised by that caution?
RICK CRAWFORD: No, NASCAR don't surprise me throwing cautions anymore.
THE MODERATOR: We're going to proceed now with our race winner. You we've got Johnny Benson won this race here tonight. He's driver of the #23 Exide Batteries Toyota, came from behind there in the closing laps to beat Kyle Busch. Johnny, congratulations. Talk about your win tonight.
JOHNNY BENSON: Appreciate it. Our win was great. We were really dominant early on and was just trying to play it cool there. I couldn't figure out how we got so far behind there in the cautions. But we worked our way back up, it looked like we were probably more than likely pretty sure going to run second until that last caution.
I was good enough to catch him but I couldn't really work around him until I got my tires cooled off. I was getting loose and I was gaining on him, but at that time I couldn't do anything about it. So the green-white checkered actually worked out in our favor this time. That was pretty cool.
I've really got to say thanks to Exide Batteries for being on board for this race and everybody at Toyota Certified Used Vehicles, all the Tundra Toyota people and Havoline and Bosch, and just everybody that was involved in Bill Davis racing. It was a great night.
You know, I know Mike Skinner had his problems, but right when his left rear come off, mine was ready to come off, too, so that caution was timely for us. You know, the rest just made for an exciting finish.

Q. You challenged for the title last year. Where do you see your chances are next season?
JOHNNY BENSON: You know, hopefully great. Trip Bruce and the guys have done a tremendous job for us, too. I believe we ended up third. It was a really good year if you really considered what happened. When Rick Ren came on board we worked six months together before we ran into the year. We ran second last year.
Trip came about two days before we left to go to Daytona to test, so for us to have the year that we had with four wins and ended up where we did, it's been a tremendous year. We've been competitive. Mainly all year we've probably had three or four races that we weren't as competitive as we needed to be and we'll work on that stuff over the winter and hopefully we can be a championship contender next year for sure.

Q. Kyle was pretty upset that they threw that caution flag and felt that they should not have because it wasn't that big a deal. What are your thoughts on that?
JOHNNY BENSON: Well, I saw a wrecked truck. I don't know how much you need a caution for. It depends how big a piece of debris you need. I think a whole truck probably classifies for one. I'm not sure, maybe they're looking for small pieces.
You know, I don't know. I wasn't the one that threw the caution. That's his gripe with whoever, but it sure made a great event for those fans in those grandstands and the people on TV. He's been on both sides of those deals. He's made up ground before I'm sure on a green and white checkered deal, and he's lost on them.
Obviously this race here we were able to take advantage of it. He spun the wheels pretty bad, I spun the wheels pretty bad on the restart. At first I didn't think he wanted to be on the outside for sure. I needed to go to the bottom, and I don't think he felt that I was going to be as good on the bottom as what I was, but I was really good all day long down there. I was running top trying to save the tires a little bit.
But he's right, I would have run second had it gone green, but it didn't go green, and we had a green-white checker and I was able to get by him.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
JOHNNY BENSON: Actually I can. He had a good time, right?

Q. (Indiscernible.)
JOHNNY BENSON: I'm sure he didn't look real happy obviously losing the title. That's something that's eluded them for a while, and you know, it just came down to the last race and they had some issues that probably hurt the deal. But Jeff Hensley and their whole crew and Mike Skinner had had a tremendous year. I think Bill Davis Racing can be proud of what they accomplished and what they did in their whole season. Hopefully it's the same way with the 23 team. I just hope that next year comes down to just myself and Mike instead of anybody else in the mix, and I think that'll be a great year hopefully next year for Bill Davis Racing for sure.

Q. Bruce kind of asked the question I was going to ask, but as a teammate how do you feel about that? It had to bother you when you see that kind of misfortune.
JOHNNY BENSON: Absolutely. I wanted to see Mike win this thing as bad as anybody, even though through our whole deal last week I wanted to see him win this. It was something that they needed to race the last couple of races really hard to get it, and I know he caused a little friction last week. It puts it in a very tough situation, but with the problems that he had, it actually got us up in the third spot.
It's things that you need to do -- you know, you can go through every race and find fine points that you either threw it away or that somebody else took from you. It's probably just ill timing last week on our deal.
But Mike and those guys had a tremendous season. You know the Championship comes down to the last race, and unfortunately he had some issues. Yeah, my heart feels for him that they didn't win it because they deserved to win it. But Ron Hornaday and those guys had a great season, also, and they deserved it. So however it ended up, one side is going to be happy and the other side is not.

Q. Could you have imagined it coming down to that, though, wheel coming off, a broken stud?
JOHNNY BENSON: Well, we've seen stranger things. It can be a number of things that happen, and it just happened to happen to them. Like I say, you can pick any race during the year and it can cost you X amount of points because it does take the whole season for the points championship, at least in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series because they count every race; they don't have the Chase. It's unfortunate that it had to happen on the last race for sure.

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