This Week in Ford Racing June 8, 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rick Crawford loves to race his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) Ford F-150 at the Texas Motor Speedway. In addition to being fast there, as evidenced by his third-place...
This Week in Ford Racing June 8, 1999
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Rick Crawford loves to race his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) Ford F-150 at the Texas Motor Speedway. In addition to being fast there, as evidenced by his third-place finish in 1997, Crawford's primary sponsor, the Circle Bar Motel and RV Park, is located in Ozona, TX. Although disappointed with the team's current spot in the points standings, Crawford is hoping to finish strong this Friday night in front of his sponsor and extended family.
RICK CRAWFORD - 14 - Circle Bar Racing F-150 THE CIRCLE BAR RACING TEAM CAME INTO THE 1999 SEASON WITH HIGH HOPES. AFTER NINE RACES, YOU ARE SITTING IN 18TH PLACE IN THE POINTS RACE. HOW TOUGH HAS THE EARLY PART OF THE SEASON BEEN? "It's definitely been tough on us. Disgusting might be a better word. But we're basically trying to hold our shoulders back and stay positive as we go into the rest of the season. We started out the season strong, but lately we've not done as well as we would have liked. It's really discouraging, especially when you look at it from my standpoint as both the team manager and driver. But I'm the first one that has to put his shoulders back and not let our chins hit our shoelaces. We need to get this thing back on track. I can't go out into the shop and start placing blame on anyone because all the fingers are pointing at me."
TEXAS IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES AND THE TEAM SPONSOR IS LOCATED IN TEXAS. "There seems to be a family atmosphere for us at Texas. It's the respect that we get from Tom Mitchell (team owner) that gives us the equipment to run well. It's a deal where you have to bring the best you have to Texas. It's not a matter of saving anything; we just have to take the best that we have there. It's just like a football team that wants to play well at home to keep the fan support. We need the family support at home so we need to do well in front of our family. There will be plenty of the Mitchell family members and employees from the Circle Bar Motel and RV Park at the race. I manage this race team from the heart and I think that our boss and sponsors really care about this team. Of course we're disappointed on our season so far, but we do care about where we are and do appreciate all the help from Circle Bar Racing and our fans. We're gonna turn this thing around this weekend and run up front."
DO YOU LIKE THE BIGGER OVAL TRACKS BETTER THAN THE SHORT OVALS LIKE YOU'VE RUN ON LATELY? "No, that's not our focus at all. We try to be the best race team that we can be at every racetrack. We have the equipment here specially designed for short tracks, road courses and super speedways. When I crawl into the window of that truck, it ought to be ready to win. We're building up Circle Bar Racing. We've got a lot of depth and a lot of inventory within the team. I'm just disappointed that we haven't finished races where we should be finishing."
AFTER TEXAS, YOU GO ON TO TWO ROAD COURSES (PORTLAND AND WATKINS GLEN). ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE CHANGE OF SCENERY? "I look forward to each and every racetrack. I especially enjoy running on road courses because it is something different. It's a different avenue of racing and I enjoy the competition. Our F-Series truck seems to adapt to my style of driving on the road courses. We tend to run well on the road courses."
THE TEAM HIRED A NEW CREW CHIEF IN GEORGE CHURCH BEFORE THE SEASON. HOW HAS GEORGE BEEN TO WORK WITH? "Our relationship couldn't be any better. Our results could be a lot better. We had a meeting this morning to discuss our weekend (post- Bristol) and it was a one-on-one deal with us. We know that we can give each other the information, the feedback, the dissecting of the truck necessary to be fast. It shows on our practice speeds. But we've got to keep focused on the results. Our bottom line has to be good results. We can win in practice but it doesn't pay anything. We can win in qualifying but it doesn't pay anything. We've got to win races."