Crawford, Gaughan comments on new series sponsor

NASCAR announced today that Camping World will assume the role of title sponsor for the Truck Series beginning in 2009, replacing Craftsman, which has been associated with the series since its inception in 1995. Circle Bar Racing teammates Rick ...

NASCAR announced today that Camping World will assume the role of title sponsor for the Truck Series beginning in 2009, replacing Craftsman, which has been associated with the series since its inception in 1995. Circle Bar Racing teammates Rick Crawford and Brendan Gaughan shared their initial thoughts on the Camping World Truck Series announcement as the teams prepare for a Saturday afternoon race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

RICK CRAWFORD--14--Ford Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l F-150

WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL THOUGHTS ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT? "I think it's great. I think it's great for the series. We've proved for more than a decade that it's a good product. I hate to see Craftsman go away, but Craftsman has been in the series for 14 years and has done a fantastic job. Camping World can be proud that they're going to get a good product. Our TV ratings are up on SPEED, our races are great, and I think if you ask the fans, they'll tell you it's probably the best racing in NASCAR. Camping World must be real serious about this if they're willing to sign a seven-year program with us, and I'm real excited to see it. I'm going to have to go out and get a couple of lounge chairs from my local Camping World and pretend that I have camper. I just think it's good for NASCAR to go ahead and announce it because we're working on some associate sponsorships, other teams are working on sponsorships and the series has some added strength now with a title sponsor. It's a definite plus to go to a sponsor and be able to tell them who the title sponsor of the series is, whereas the last few months we couldn't. I think this being a seven-year deal really shows the strength of the series. Ford Power Stroke Diesels pull campers to the race track and International's Workhorse Custom Chassis are found in Monaco motor homes, so this another great reason for our sponsors to be involved with NASCAR and the Camping World Truck Series."

CRAFTSMAN TOOLS HAD A NATURAL TIE-IN WITH ITS SPONSORSHIP OF THE SERIES. DO YOU SEE THAT WITH CAMPING WORLD? "I can see how it makes business sense for Camping World. The first thing that you see when you travel down the entry road to a race track is campers. I see a lot of campers, and a lot of folks would rather stay in a camper than a motel room nowadays. It's convenient and they can get as much luxury as they want, plus, they're right there in the middle of the excitement all weekend. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers are very accessible to the fans and we'll go out and be amongst the campers and we can relax with the fans."

AFTER 14 YEARS OF TITLE SPONSORSHIP, HOW DIFFICULT WILL IT BE TO TRANSITION FROM CRAFTSMAN TO CAMPING WORLD? "Craftsman has been one of the best associates in business that I have ever had. From the time that I was welcomed into the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1997 to 2008, Craftsman, Craftsman Tools and Sears have really supported the truck series and built it to what it is today. The one thing that they can be proud of is that whoever takes over the series sponsorship, they can be assured that they got handed over a great series, and one that is still growing, and one that you can take over and be proud of."

BRENDAN GAUGHAN--10--Maxx Force Diesel Ford F-150 -- WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL THOUGHTS ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT?

"The length of the deal is amazing. It's fantastic to see that Camping World has that much faith and commitment to NASCAR and the former Craftsman Truck Series. This is a testament to what a great job NASCAR has done promoting this series and what great racing that we put on for the fans. This is actually the best market that I can think of for Camping World. When they came into the sport, I said, 'Wow. That is the sponsor for NASCAR.' Look at the trailers that come to every race weekend, whether it's a truck race, Nationwide race or Sprint Cup race. This is definitely a market that they need to be in. It's a great crossover for our sponsor as well with International and Power Stroke Diesel. You know, they're pulling all those Camping World campers down the road anyway. I think that shows International, through its MaxxForce and Power Stroke brands, that it's a great place for them to be."

AFTER 14 YEARS OF TITLE SPONSORSHIP, HOW DIFFICULT WILL IT BE TO TRANSITION FROM CRAFTSMAN TO CAMPING WORLD? "Saying the Camping World Truck Series versus the Craftsman Truck Series? I can guarantee you that guys like myself, Rick Crawford, Ron Hornaday, Mike Skinner and Jack Sprague -- guys that have been in this series since the beginning -- it's going to be real hard to break that Craftsman moniker. Craftsman was great to us all and this series would not be where it's at without the support and hard work that they put into this when this was a fledgling NASCAR series. Making that mistake is just an honor to them. They got us to this point and I think Camping World will help with the evolution of this series. We're going to work real hard to start calling it the Camping World Truck Series."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jack Sprague , Rick Crawford , Brendan Gaughan