NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES AND ITS DRIVERS MARK MAJOR MILESTONES IN 2005 Rick Crawford To Start 200th Consecutive Race at California The 2005 season marks a major milestone for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as it celebrates its...
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES AND ITS DRIVERS MARK MAJOR MILESTONES IN 2005
Rick Crawford To Start 200th Consecutive Race at California
The 2005 season marks a major milestone for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as it celebrates its 10th anniversary season -- "10 Years Tough" -- of pickup truck racing.
The landmark season is being honored with a special logo and a countdown of the Series' "Toughest Moments" on SPEED Channel during each race broadcast.
But the Series' 10th year isn't the only milestone being celebrated in 2005. One driver will mark a major highlight in his NASCAR career at California Speedway this weekend.
Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford, will attempt to become the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver to start his 200th race. In fact, the start at California is Crawford's 200th consecutive start in the pickup truck series. The impressive start streak has earned Crawford the reputation as the Series' true "Ironman."
Since 1997, Crawford has made more consecutive starts than any driver in Series history -- and all have come from behind the wheel of owner Tom Mitchell's No. 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford, a rarity in present-day NASCAR.
"When Mr. Mitchell and I came together on this deal, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was still relatively new," Crawford said. "I don't think we had any idea that we would be starting 200 races in this Series.
"When we started the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series we had one truck and one engine for the first six races -- so to go 200 in a row is pretty unbelievable," Crawford added.
Now, like the other top NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams, Crawford has a fleet of trucks at his disposal.
" It just shows the strength of this Circle Bar Racing team and the effort that Mr. Mitchell has put forth to make this team go for the past eight years. It has been a total team effort."
In eight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series seasons, Crawford has notched three victories (Homestead-Miami Speedway --1998; Daytona International Speedway -- 2003; Martinsville Speedway -- 2004), two poles, 46 top-five finishes and 95 top-10 finishes.
Although Crawford is the first to reach the 200-start mark, other competitors are close on his heels. Three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Jack Sprague will make his 200th start at the season's third race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Sprague, who returned to the Series in 2004 after a three-year stint racing in other NASCAR Series, won the 1997, 1999 and 2001 championships. Sprague has 24 wins to his credit (second on the all-time win list behind Ron Hornaday with 26) and 26 poles (all-time pole leader) in his eight seasons in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"It's cool to be one of a couple of drivers with 200 starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, but I think that you are going to see a lot of records made and broken this season," Sprague said. "This is going to be the toughest season competition wise -- I think we're going to see some of the closest racing ever.
"And I think we'll have a record number of drivers win this year. 2005 is going to be one heck of a season, and I think that everyone's going to be busy keeping up with all the records."
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