Ricky Craven Needs Speed for Dayton Success

Craven needs speed to continue Daytona success DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 9, 1999) For Ricky Craven, its hard to say whether success has led to his love of Daytona International Speedway, or vice versa. In four starts in the Daytona 500, the ...

Craven needs speed to continue Daytona success

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 9, 1999) For Ricky Craven, its hard to say whether success has led to his love of Daytona International Speedway, or vice versa. In four starts in the Daytona 500, the Newburgh, Maine native has an average finish of 11.5, including a third in 1997. He says that Daytona holds a special place in his heart.

"It does and I think so much of the outcome is relative to your attitude about where you're at and I like Daytona," he said. "I love Daytona. The 500 is the premier race and in the three 500s that I've run, I think we've been in the top 15 in each of them and I think attitude has a lot to do with that. But circumstances help, too, and as rewarding as it can be, it can be equally as aggravating because what we do here to make a car go fast doesn't apply to the other race tracks with the exception of Talladega. So I come here with the right attitude. It's important to run well in every race, but this race is just a little bit more significant."

Craven comes into this year's race with a new team, the SBIII Motorsports No. 58 Ford. It is a team that has been searching for speed (Craven posted the 47th-fastest time in Saturday Bud Pole qualifying, and was 40th-fastest in Tuesday practice). But Craven chooses to see it as a new lease on life.

"We're starting fresh, there's no question, but there's a positive to in all that and what it is, for me, is standing on the things I felt that I did well, but correcting the things that I feel I didn't do so well," he said. "That's what experience is all about."

The pressure of trying to make up that speed between now and Thursday's Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying Race, but Craven says he is used to it.

"There's a lot of pressure, but when hasn't there been?," he said. "I think that we have our own set of challenges and goals, which are different from the other teams in this garage. Being a new team we have very little security, so we need to overcome that. It's not just here, it's the three races after this, but I accepted that challenge in November and I'm still comfortable with it now. Although I wish we were faster you need to earn that and we'll earn it because I believe in what we have here and I believe it will work."

The goals have certainly changed for Craven in recent years. From winning the Daytona 500 to making it in the first place is quite a change in outlooks.

"Well, it might be a little different than two months ago because I feel like I came close to winning this race two years ago and now we just want to be in the Daytona 500. That's the harsh reality. Am I comfortable with it? No, I don't think anybody on this team is, but we're prepared for the challenge and we in no way underestimate the challenge."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven