Texas: Ricky Craven preview

HICKORY, NC (March 29, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, was involved in a practice crash during the first race at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 that put him on the sidelines for two races. He returns to the Texas this ...

HICKORY, NC (March 29, 2004) - Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet, was involved in a practice crash during the first race at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 that put him on the sidelines for two races. He returns to the Texas this weekend to the track that he feels "owes him one."

Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet:

Take me for a lap around Texas...

"They have changed it a number of times but it is 1.5-miles with similarities to Charlotte and Atlanta, and more recently, like Kansas and Chicago. In my mind, it has become a better racetrack as they have made some improvements. Also, the track has aged so there is more than one way around there. You don't have to run the very bottom anymore, which is the least enjoyable type of racing. I think it will be better now more than ever. It was really good last year, so I think it will be great this year. The track is not a lot different than those other 1.5-mile tracks. It is flatter and it really flattens out on the exits of the corners, particularly off turn four. You are flat getting into turn one too. From an aerial view, it probably seems a lot like Charlotte, but from a driver's perspective, it is really quite different."

Does your wreck in 1997 ever weigh on your mind when you return to race at Texas?

"Only that it isn't my favorite track. I wish it could be because I really like racing at Texas. It is really cool going to the Lone Star State and I love westerns. I'd love to win there. Until we can go there and really contend for a win, it is not going to be in the same category as Darlington, Martinsville and New Hampshire in my book. I wished it were because we only go there once a year and the grandstands are always packed. It hasn't been real good to me so far and that's sort of how you judge tracks. It is a place I want to win probably as much as anyplace and in some cases a little worse because I'd like to get even with the racetrack."

Favorite westerns?

'I'd have to say Wyatt Earp and Tombstone. I have the Western Channel at home that I watch the old westerns from time to time. As I get older, I've learned to appreciate John Wayne more. As a kid, I had no use for him, but as an adult, I just think that guy is cool."

Appearances: Craven will make the following appearances during the race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

* Thursday, April 1st from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: Craven will sign autographs at Bono's Race Place of Plano. Address is 4801 W. Park Blvd., Suite 435, Plano, TX 75093.

* Friday, April 2nd from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: Chevy Thunder appearance at Sundance Square in Fort Worth, TX. Please visit www.chevythunderdays.com <http://www.chevythunderdays.com> for more information.

* Saturday, April 3rd from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Craven will sign autographs at his souvenir rig. Please check with the souvenir rig in advance for ticket distribution.

-ppim-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven