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September 17, 2008 12:45 PM

Braun Eyes Rookie Title and Looks Ahead to 2009

CONCORD, N.C. --  With seven races to go in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, Colin Braun talked about his thoughts on winning the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award (he currently has a 21-point lead), and his season in general.

COLIN BRAUN, No. 6 CON-WAY FREIGHT FORD:  HOW IMPORTANT IS WINNING RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TO YOU AND THIS TEAM? 

“Well, that’d be really important to us.  When Con-way first signed up this year to come and sponsor this No. 6 truck one of their big things was to win that Raybestos Rookie of the Year championship.  Jack [Roush, truck owner] has pretty much had a lock on winning this championship in the truck series.  It’s something that we definitely had to do.  Like my crew chief said, it would almost be embarrassing if we didn’t win this just because of the dynasty that they’ve set up here.  Certainly that’s our number one goal and something that we’ve got to do and that’s what we set out to do at the start of the year.” 

YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE HUNT TO WIN SOME RACES THIS SEASON. 

“I think we have.  Everybody on the No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150 team has worked really hard.  They started off the season working long hours in the winter and got a lot of good trucks built up.  So far I’ve had a great season.  In a lot of races I’ve made a lot of rookie mistakes.  We’ve had tough luck a lot of times just getting caught up in some accidents and things like that.  Certainly I’ve learned a lot and feel like now we’re a pretty darn strong team.  Everybody has kind of jelled together, and we made a few pit crew changes there in the middle of the season on some guys over the wall and I think that’s definitely for the better. Now I think we have one of the strongest teams on pit lane.  We always gain spots on pit road.  I feel like we’ve all really come together here the last little bit as a team and I think going into next year we’re going to be a pretty strong team.  We’re looking at this year to learn as much as we can and hit the ground running next year to try to be a contender for the championship overall.” 

HAS COMPETING IN THIS SERIES BEEN AS DIFFICULT AS YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE? 

“You know, I think anytime you race against these guys at this level is obviously pretty challenging.  And we had some good results early on in the ARCA Series the first couple of races and had a good start to the year.  We were running strong at Daytona when we got into an accident, and went to Fontana and finished ninth.  Went to Martinsville and we were fast in both practice sessions, real strong there.  You know, I’m not sure, I think there for a little bit I might have got a little carried away with myself there thinking that we’d go out and win a race  in the first five races of the season and racing against these guys, it’s just not going to happen.  So we set back our goals a little bit back to reality, and I think ever since then we’ve been in good shape.” 

HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO WINNING A RACE?  IS IT JUST A MATTER OF HAVING GOOD RACING LUCK? 

“I feel like we’ve been in position to win a race two or three different times this year.  We’ve been fast enough to and we’ve had a truck that could.  Whether we’re in a position and throw it away by wrecking just because I’m trying too hard, or the next time we’re in a position to win a race and we had a left-front shock break at Nashville.  We ended up still finishing sixth but man we had a real fast truck up to that point.  It seems like whenever we’re in a position to win and we’ve got a good enough truck something happens.  A lot of times when you don’t have a truck good enough to win, you solider on with no problems.  We’ve got to get our luck together here a little bit and I think we should be in good shape.”   

About Roush Fenway Racing

Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Travis Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

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