Concord, NC -- During this season of giving, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Rick Crawford is asking the Charlotte community to lend a helping hand to the service men and women overseas. Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Circle Bar Ford F-150,...
Concord, NC -- During this season of giving, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Rick Crawford is asking the Charlotte community to lend a helping hand to the service men and women overseas.
Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Circle Bar Ford F-150, will be celebrating the dawning of a new year with America's military men and women stationed in the Middle East. He'll be traveling with several other NASCAR personalities and representatives from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and Speedway Children's Charities. The trip, which will leave Dec. 29, is scheduled to include stops in Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar and Kuwait.
In an attempt to raise solider morale during the holiday season, Crawford is requesting that people in Charlotte and the surrounding communities donate one of two items that the troops have requested -- international phone cards or disposable cameras.
"Our service men and women are halfway across the world with limited access to family and friends," said Crawford. "Some have been on patrol for months, receiving phone cards and disposable cameras helps our troops convey the message of what their actually going through abroad."
Circle Bar Racing is working with local businesses including the Concord area Sears store, Alabama Grill at Concord Mills and Lowe's Motor Speedway to coordinate drop box locations for these desired goods.
Items will be collected starting Dec. 15-22. Items will be collected in the Craftsman tool department at the Concord Sears store, at the Alabama Grill and in the second floor lobby at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The items collected will be shipped overseas for distribution to our soldiers.
"The holidays are a very important time in all of our lives," mentioned Crawford. "I am fortunate that I can spend them with my family. Unfortunately, many in our community will not be able to be with their families this holiday season.
"I greatly appreciate the services our soldiers are providing around the world and want to show NASCAR and Charlotte's support by bringing these precious gifts straight to the front lines."
Crawford and Circle Bar Racing have often shown their patriotism on and off the race track. In fact this year, Crawford won the season-opening NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Daytona in a truck saluting the Strategic Air Command.
"Our owner Tom Mitchell served in the United States Air Force as a member of the historic Strategic Air Command in the early 1950's and wanted to use the Circle Bar Ford as a symbolic token of patriotic support," Crawford said.
Crawford has also become a frequent visitor to the troops. He went to the USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier in the Atlantic Ocean in 2002. He also went on last year's ESGR-sponsored tour, which included visits to Germany, Bosnia and Spain.
"Visiting our troops overseas has become a yearly trip for me," Crawford said. "The troops are always excited when we visit. They follow NASCAR closely even though they're thousands of miles from home. If we're able to let them know they're never far from our thoughts and prayers, then we've accomplished a major task."