Crawford - Ford interview 2009-07-14

This Week in Ford Racing: Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 International Truck and Engine Ford F- 150, will be leading the Ford contingent to Kentucky Speedway for this Saturday night's Built Ford Tough 225. Crawford, who currently sits ...

This Week in Ford Racing:

Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 International Truck and Engine Ford F- 150, will be leading the Ford contingent to Kentucky Speedway for this Saturday night's Built Ford Tough 225. Crawford, who currently sits ninth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings, recently spoke about returning to Kentucky and his career with Circle Bar Racing.

YOU HAVE HAD A LONG RELATIONSHIP WITH CIRCLE BAR RACING. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT? "It's been 18 years in the racing industry and (Mr. Mitchell) was even in the racing industry in the late seventies. He had cars at Indy and is just an owner, a southwest Texas businessman, who is passionate about the sport. He has a lot of integrity and devotion to NASCAR racing in general and loves what the truck series offers. We watched it for two years before we became an owner/driver combination in the truck series and what he was looking for was factory commitment, NASCAR commitment, and what the competition level was gonna be like in the trucks before we ever got into it. Once he saw the Big Three automakers were involved and saw teams like Dale Earnhardt, Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick and Jack Roush involved in the truck series he was like, 'Let's step in and see what we can do.' He's not one of the ego owners that come in and spend a lot of money and find out it's not for them. The racing business is not for everybody to be an owner. It's not for everybody to be a driver. You must be dedicated to the sport and make some sacrifices. That's the only way to survive because it's tough and it's tough on you."

YOU SAID YOU DON'T THINK HE'S MADE A WRONG DECISION SINCE GETTING INTO THIS SERIES AND THAT'S A REASON FOR YOUR LONGEVITY. IS THAT ACCURATE? "I think so, and he's kept me from making wrong decisions. Anytime I need advice on what to do as team manager or driver of the 14 truck - the International Truck and Engine Ford F-150 - I can go to Mr. Mitchell and he'll give you solid advice, and it's the right advice, and we go from there. No matter what I'm thinking, if I pull the hammer back I'm gonna pull the trigger and Mr. Mitchell's advice is always to have the hammer back and be ready to pull the trigger because sometimes you don't know what you're shooting at. Mr. Mitchell has been very helpful as far as managing the race team. It's his race team and we all respect that."

HOW IS THE KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY SURFACE COMPARED TO OTHER PLACES YOU GO? "It's different. It's been aged quite a bit, but that's not a bad thing. It's not a normal layout, either. I think turns one and two are different than three and four and the front straightaway is a D-shaped oval. There's a lot of speed there and a lot of width for side-by-side racing, so you're gonna have a lot of excitement at Kentucky Speedway for the Built Ford Tough 225."

WHERE IS YOUR TEAM AT THIS SEASON? "We probably need to take a small step back and I think we're evaluating our season and talking. I think communication is the key to success right now. We've got to get back on the track and do some testing and we've got to improve our performance. It's just like Ford Motor Company building the 2009 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. They knew going in what they had and knew they had the best truck to go drive and enjoy. Well, we knew going into the 2009 season what it was going to be and we tried to extend our reach a little bit and what we were reaching for we're not ready to accomplish. So what we really need to do is take a small step back, be focused on the job at hand, and go about it a little different."

HOW HARD IS IT TO MAKE THINGS WORK IN THIS SERIES UNDER THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE? "Circle Bar Racing is fortunate to have International Truck and Engine as a sponsor with Maxx Force Diesel brand, and we have small factory support from Ford Motor Company, and it could be a lot worse. We have tightened our belt some because of economic times, but we're not really strapped to not being at the next race or being able to finish the season out or things like that. We are in pretty good shape, but it's a delicate situation. It could go the other way pretty fast if you don't keep an eye on it and you're not concentrating on it day in and day out. It can get away from you, so we're just trying to stay in tune to what's going on and keep the truck tuned up."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Rick Crawford , Jack Roush