Kansas: Crawford - Ford Friday interview

Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Ford F-150, was honored by his hometown of Mobile, Ala., last weekend when he was inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame, the first auto racer to receive the distinction. Crawford, who has posted top-10 ...

Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Ford F-150, was honored by his hometown of Mobile, Ala., last weekend when he was inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame, the first auto racer to receive the distinction. Crawford, who has posted top-10 finishes in the past three truck series races at Kansas Speedway - including a second-place finish last year - spoke about being honored last weekend and his outlook for this weekend's race.

RICK CRAWFORD-14-Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-150

YOU WERE INDUCTED INTO THE MOBILE SPORTS HALL OF FAME LAST WEEKEND. HOW BIG OF A MOMENT WAS THAT FOR YOU? "As a kid growing up around motorsports, and knowing that's what you want to do all your live, to recognized for it is an honor. I've always said that Mobile (Ala.) recognizes their people, and I was surrounded by icons and legends and people I've looked up. There are a lot of great people that are a part of the Mobile Hall of Fame including Hank Aaron, Vince Dooley, Kenny Stabler, Satchel Paige, Cleon Jones and Richard Todd. Just to be associated with those guys is a big honor."

WAS THERE ONE PARTICULAR NAME THAT YOU SAW IN THE HALL OF FAME THAT REALLY RESONATED WITH YOU? "It was not just one name, but just when list they all the guys, you watched them on them TV when you grew up. Ozzie Smith, Scott Hunter, Jack Tillman and lot of stick-and-ball guys were in there, and then the guys inducted with me - John Mitchell, Turner Ward and Joe Whitt - they're all people I've looked up to. I didn't take this as an individual accomplishment. This award is dedicated to the people that dedicated their time, effort and money to Rick Crawford to be able to race. How I felt about it was that all these people were responsible for myself being in the Hall of Fame, and I just appreciate them believing in me."

YOU FINISHED SECOND HERE LAST YEAR, LED HEADING TO THE WHITE FLAG THE YEAR BEFORE, AND FINISHED THIRD IN 2004. DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS TRACK OWES YOU ONE? "Not necessarily. I've come into Kansas with a lot of confidence because we've run good here. As far as a race track owing you anything, no, I don't ever think that's the case. It was a rotor off another guy's truck that knocked the rear end gear off on the white-flag lap two years ago, and Bobby Hamilton and Carl Edwards were better than us in 2004. Terry (Cook) had a better truck than us last year, but we acquired that truck when we formed the David's team in the off-season. I don't believe any track owes you anything; you just have to go after it and go get it. In other words, it's just like buying a new Ford F-250 pickup or F-150 pickup today. You have to take a chance and go out there and drive you one."

TRADITIONALLY, THIS RACE HAS BEEN RUN IN JULY. HOW WILL THE CHANGE TO APRIL IMPACT WHAT WE SEE ON THE RACE TRACK? "Well, I didn't mind coming here in over 100-degree weather. I felt like that was a plus for me because I could wear these younger guys out. Now that we're in the cooler-type weather, I think it's great for the fans. Although they're not going to be working on their tans, it will be more comfortable for them. Like today, I'm thinking today is a little cooler and tomorrow might be a little warmer with sunny skies. In race runs already this morning, we're adjusting for tomorrow. When it's hot and you have 36 trucks on the race track, everybody is going to be a little bit slicker and everybody is going to be a little bit hotter. When it's cooler, everybody is going to be a little bit better."

WILL THERE BE A CONSISTENT SECOND GROOVE DURING THE RACE TOMORROW? "No, not lap after lap. I think two guys can race side by side, but there is still a distinct groove on the outside. You can pass now and you can use the inside lane to make a pass, but it's not all the way around the track yet."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Rick Crawford , Carl Edwards