Crocker to race for Outlaws' 2004 Rookie of the Year Award
BUFFALO, NY (December 15) -- From Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year to the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year in one year? That's "First Lady" Erin Crocker's dream.
The 22-year-old driver of Mike Woodring's #16 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute J&J, who became the first female to qualify for the Knoxville Nationals championship feature last August, has decided to race with the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series next season.
"I would really like to be the World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year in 2004," Crocker said Monday. "This is really a dream come true. I never thought this would happen back when I was watching the World of Outlaws race at Lebanon Valley Speedway and Syracuse (New York State Fair Speedway).
"I started driving quarter-midgets and mini-sprints before driving sprint cars. It's something I really enjoy. One of my goals has been to race with the World of Outlaws. I have been racing sprints for Mike for two years. The week before last year's Nationals was the first time we put a 410- engine in the car."
The rest is history. Crocker finished 22nd in sprint car racing's premier event and, just last month became the first driver -- male or female -- to receive the Wild Card Awards for exciting sprint car performances in the 360- and 410-cubic inch sprint car sprint car polls in the same year. Now Erin wants to make history as the first female driver to receive the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series. Woodring, who has dominated the Empire Super Sprints 360- sprint car division in recent years, winning 50 feature races on his way to eight series championships, believes she can do it.
"Erin is a natural in sprint car racing," Woodring said. "She really enjoys it. She has always wanted to race the World of Outlaws tour so, after last year's success at the Nationals, we decided to race with the series in 2004. She is a good driver. I think she will turn some heads again with the World of Outlaws. We have good sponsorship and four J&J Chassis and three motors to start with. We hope to announce more sponsorship before the season starts."