Concord, NC - When Rick Crawford takes the green flag in the MBNA e-commerce.com 200 on Friday, he will set his second major milestone in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this year by. Crawford will make his 100th start in the NASCAR Craftsman...
Concord, NC - When Rick Crawford takes the green flag in the MBNA e-commerce.com 200 on Friday, he will set his second major milestone in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this year by. Crawford will make his 100th start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Earlier this season he became the 13th NCTS driver to eclipse the $1 million dollar earnings mark.
It is also the 100th start for Circle Bar Racing and owner Tom Mitchell after four years of competition in the NCTS. The starts have come consecutively since his first start in 1997 at Walt Disney World Speedway, thus Crawford has put himself in some esteemed company. With the start Crawford will become the 7th NCTS driver to make 100 consecutive starts and will be only the 3rd active driver with 100 consecutive starts. He also becomes just the 10th NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver to reach 100 starts in the series 6-year history.
Other drivers who have completed 100 starts include defending champion, Jack Sprague, two-time NCTS champion Ron Hornaday, Jimmy Hensley, Mike Bliss, Butch Miller, and Rick Carelli. Those with active streaks other than Crawford include Sprague and Hensley. Sprague and Crawford are the only two active drivers to post consecutive races with the same team.
Through that span Rick Crawford has posted some of the most consistent numbers of any driver. He has one win (Homestead 1998), 9 top-5s and 35 top-10s. Crawford was runner up in the "Rookie of the Year" standings in 1997 to the late Kenny Irwin and has posted championship point finishes of 12th, 18th, and 14th. He is currently looking for his highest career NCTS point finish as the team resides in 11th place with 3 races remaining on the schedule.
The record was news to driver, Rick Crawford, as he stated, "I am surprised at how fast this has happened. It seems like yesterday we were making our first start and we were the rookies of the series. I guess its like they say, `time flies when you're having fun', and we have had a lot of fun racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. I'm thankful that we got to this point by being healthy, consistent and competitive. I'm also very proud to be racing for my owner, Tom Mitchell, and hope that we have made them proud with our performance so far, and look toward many more races together in the future."
With the completion of this weekend's inaugural event at Dover Downs International Speedway Rick Crawford will solidify his place in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history. However, this is far from the last chapter in the book for Crawford, Tom Mitchell, and Circle Bar Racing. The team feels that the 2000 season, even though they have been very consistent, is going to be considered a re-building year.
Circle Bar Racing and Crawford plan to be back together for their 5th season of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition in 2001. Next year will also mark the 10th anniversary of Crawford and Circle Bar and the best could be yet to come. The team and everyone involved with this organization look to more records, and more milestones in the very near future.