Crawford finishes second in 2002 Craftsman Truck Series standings.
Homestead, FL -- The 2002 Championship Season came to a close Friday afternoon at the Homestead-Miami Speedway with Rick Crawford driver of the #14 Circle Bar Ford F-150 capturing his career best finish in the championship points chase finishing second.
Crawford came into the season finale Ford 200 32-markers behind point's leader Mike Bliss who only needed to finish fifth in the event to capture the title. The Craftsman Truck Series proved to be NASCAR's toughest series in 2002 as the difference between the top-three title contenders was a mere 71 points.
When the series unloaded Thursday at the South Florida oval Crawford quickly established himself as one of the toughest trucks qualifying fourth at the same track he recorded his first ever Craftsman Truck Series Victory.
When the green flag flew Friday afternoon, Crawford settled into the top-five for the races first fifty-laps before the Circle Bar pit crew ripped off a blistering fast pit stop, returning Crawford to the track in the second position.
As the race continued Crawford ran in the second position until the races second green flag pit stop caught him. As Crawford returned to the action, a yellow-flag flew placing him a lap down to the field in eighth position.
"We had a pit strategy that we thought would work, we gained three positions on our first stop and would come out in the same position. Right as we returned to the track the yellow flew and we got caught a lap down," stated Crawford.
As the leaders dove to pit road Crawford moved to the tail-end of the lead lap when the green flag flew. Hoping for a caution flag, Crawford battled eventual race winner Ron Hornaday for nearly 10-laps before hitting the checkered flag in seventh position. Crawford's battle to the finish sealed his first second place finish in NASCAR Craftsman Series
"The Circle Bar Motel and RV Park Ford crew gave it everything they had today in Miami and all season long," explained Crawford. "I couldn't be prouder of this team, we're celebrating second place in the points. Hats off to Mike Bliss for winning the championship, but this Circle Bar team had the best year of their Truck Series career and were ready for 2003."
The Sheraton Bal Harbour is the final stop of the 2002 Season for the Circle Bar Motel and RV Park crew. Crawford and team will celebrate taking top honors among the Ford teams and their career best season in the standings.