This Week in Ford Racing Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150, will make his 14th appearance at the one-mile flat track of Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. Crawford has four ...
This Week in Ford Racing
Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150, will make his 14th appearance at the one-mile flat track of Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. Crawford has four top-five finishes at the track in the valley of the sun.
"Phoenix was probably one of the bigger tracks in my career that I went to when I was short-track racing for the annual Copper Classic. I started doing that program in 1986 and just the people of Phoenix and the track promoters and the owners back then just welcomed me to come out there from south Alabama all the way to Phoenix, Arizona. It's always been one of my favorite places to go race. We had the track record out there with the Ford Thunderbird. Then in the truck, we've sat out there on the pole before for that event. It's just a place you like to go race and you like to go. Your truck runs well there, you know what's coming, so you know what to expect. It's a neat time of year to go to Phoenix. It's the week before Ford Championship at Homestead. It's a place where the Ford F- Series pick up and Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International and Rick Crawford love to go."
WHY DO YOU ENJOY RACING AT PHOENIX? "I've been running there since 1986, it was a place that was televised. At one point in time, when we ran the short-track car there, you run what you brung and you hope you brung enough. For me, starting racing on the short-track side of the circuit it, you couldn't out-money people back then, you had to out-smart them. And for a guy to tow a 30-hour trek from Alabama to Arizona, you didn't go there to lose. You went there to showcase your team and to be on television and run against the best in the country. That's where they all came in January of every year. We tried to make that an annual event, plus when I started driving for Circle Bar that allowed me to break the trip up in half. Circle Bar Truck Corral is right there on Interstate 10, exit 372 in Ozona, Texas. We'd stop there and see the boss for a couple of days and go on to Phoenix. But Phoenix has always been one of my favorite places to race."
THE TRACK DOESN'T LOOK VERY WIDE, WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE RACING ON THE TRACK? "The front straightaway narrows down some, but the rest of the race track is your typical one-mile race track. It's got that dogleg on the back straightaway. The race track has made some improvements coming off turn two, they've widened that out. It used to be real tight and people used to hit the corner of the wall and things like that during the day; it was just something that you had to look out for. Phoenix is a fun place to race."
HOW DO YOU RACE THE TRACK? "You race it like a one-mile flat track, which is what it is. You race it as a Milwaukee, a Loudon. It's a little bit trickier than Loudon but you have to apply yourself about the same way. It's more like a Milwaukee."
IS THIS A RACE THE TRACK OR RACE THE COMPETITORS TRACK? "Oh, no, you can race there. It puts on an exciting race. You've got to have good equipment. Your crew guys have got to be on top of their game in the pits for track position, of course, but the driver can go out there, have some and race. It's a race track."
-credit: ford racing