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February 16, 2014

Todd Berrier

Martin Truex, Jr.


KERRY THARP:  Our second fastest qualifier for next Sunday's 56th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona and being on the front row for the second time in his NASCAR career, he was a pole sitter here in 2009, Martin Truex Jr., his first year with this race team, and he drives the No.╩78 Furniture Row Chevrolet for Furniture Row and Barney Visser.  He's joined by his crew chief Todd Berrier, who was the Daytona 500 winning crew chief in 2007 with Kevin Harvick.  Congratulations, Martin.  Talk about what it means to be starting on the front row for next Sunday.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.:  Well, it means a ton to me.  Obviously going to a new team, this is the kind of thing that you look for.  Can't say how proud I am of Todd and Cole and Barney and everybody at Furniture Row Racing for what they've been able to do, and it's pretty amazing to not test, run one run yesterday, literally this was only the second time the car had been on the racetrack, and just shows what kind of race cars this team builds, and just proud to be the one holding the gas on the floor today.
KERRY THARP:  Todd, congratulations, got a new driver here in the Martin Truex Jr.  He knows how to wheel a car and you know how to win the Daytona 500, so how's that combination going to work for you?
TODD BERRIER:  It should work good.  At the end of the day if we can keep him talking and not practicing, the less we practice the better we're going to be.  I'm going to try to sell him on that, so if you guys will help me do that, we'll be good.

Q.  Todd, Martin said you're a little superstitious and follow the same game plan that you had when you won the Daytona 500 with Kevin.  Can you elaborate, please?
TODD BERRIER:  You know, I've came here a lot of times, and there's been several times we've came here and not tested.  With that being said it's easy to say we didn't test, but at the same time you've got RCR's group that's testing and doing that stuff, and we're affiliated with those guys and it's an open book when it comes to that.
I mean, if those guys had to test, it wouldn't have even been an option for us.  Even previously when we didn't test here, there was cars in the organization that came and tested.
With that being said, I still felt really good about continuing to work in the wind tunnel, continue to work in the shop and do all the detail works that it takes to make the cars go fast.  I feel you're better suited to do that work in the shop, and while those guys are down here testing, we were back there beating the car up trying to get just a little bit more out of it.  Obviously we should have started a week sooner, I think, but at the end of the day we were pretty close.

Q.  Are you superstitious?
TODD BERRIER:  Oh, yeah, absolutely.  I'm superstitious.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.:  That was a good guess.  I was just guessing when I said that.  That was the only thing I could come up with on why you didn't want to test.
TODD BERRIER:  I guess.  What is it, $50 bills and green, shoes, I don't know how many races we've run bad or whatever and I leave my shoes at the track and walk home in my socks or whatever.  Absolutely.

Q.  Martin, despite not testing and the late practice yesterday, were you surprised by how fast you guys ran your lap in the Daytona 500 qualifying?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.:  No, not really because yesterday the first run out, out of everyone's first run, I believe, except for the 27, we ran the quickest lap.  Everyone that went faster did it on their second or third runs yesterday.
I knew we were in the ballpark, but to pick up whatever it was, fourth tenths from yesterday to today, you just never know.  I had no idea.  All I do is get in there, hold the throttle on the floor.  I thought on the lap that it felt good based on rpm and where it was and the wind was quite a bit different today.
Honestly, you never know.  Honestly we were watching TV when I seen that Biffle ran in the 45‑second bracket.  I honestly thought that was going to be really tough to beat, and then Newman went out and went fast, and of course that Austin went and put up a big number, and I was like, okay, I think we do have a shot now.
You never know until you go here.  There's so many tiny little things that the team do to find that little speed, and fortunately Todd and the guys did a great job of finding some.

Q.  Danny Lawrence just said earlier that you're afraid if you knocked Austin off the pole, you might not get as good as engine for the rest of the season.

Q.  Talk a little bit about how good this engine is and how close it is to what the Childress guys have.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.:  Well, obviously it's good enough to be on the front row, so it's pretty dang good.
Yeah, I mean, obviously without that, that thing under the hood, we wouldn't be where we're at, so we obviously owe a lot to them, Richie Gilmore, Danny Lawrence, everybody at ECR.  It's been quite a few years since I ran an ECR engine.  I think last time I did was here at Daytona and I was on the pole.  Got a pretty good track record of qualifying here with an ECR engine under the hood, and obviously they're building some big power, and definitely glad I didn't knock the 3 off the pole.  That's all I'm going to say.  We'll wait until July to get ours.

Q.  Todd, you guys have come a long way from Denver to get here with that car.  Have you had a chance to get it in the wind tunnel much to get the kind of results you got?  You do static or you do rolling road such as over at wind shear?
TODD BERRIER:  Yeah, we tested this car a few times, and obviously the week that those guys were here actually on track testing we had this actual car in the wind tunnel again for the second or third time or something.  No, we don't do rolling road, but we do static wind tunnel testing.  We do it at Aerodyne.

Q.  Todd, why the decision to run just one lap before qualifying?  Did you already know, or did you just feel that confident?
TODD BERRIER:  You know, you really╩‑‑ your work is done at the shop.  You really don't get them a lot better when you get here.  I was raised, Richard taught me not to practice, you know what I mean, so at the end of the day, I pretty much followed suit with that my whole career, and then things have changed because I saw Gil and them practicing every practice, and I couldn't believe that was actually allowed.

Q.  Martin, all the teams and the drivers, they've come into the new season with a new slate and upbeat and everything else, but when you get something like this happening right away, does that make a big difference, and how long do you think it'll last for?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.:  I think it'll last until Thursday, you know.  That's the good thing about qualifying here, you get to think about it for a few days and not just overnight.  Yeah, it's a big deal.  Honestly it's a big deal for all the guys that put in the hard work building the race cars, going to the wind tunnel, the guys that drive it back and forth across the country, the engine shop guys.
I think for me it just makes me feel good that I've got a great team that can build fast race cars, and obviously I knew coming in that they were going to be able to do that.  They did it last year, and so it's fun to go to the racetrack when you know your stuff is going to be fast.  I just hope, again, I can do a great job for them this year.  This is a lot different than what we're going to do all year where we need to really be strong, and so this is just the start for us.
We've got a lot of work to do still this week, get the car driving good in the pack, and we obviously want to win the Daytona 500.  Qualifying, yeah, you can start dead last and win this thing, so it's not over, there's a lot of work to do.  Just proud of the guys, and they should definitely be patted on the back for their efforts here.
KERRY THARP:  Martin and Todd, congratulations with the No.╩78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, and good luck next week.

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