Rick Crawford goes three-wide to win Florida Dodge Dealers 250. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., -- In a three-wide photo finish that mirrored the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959, Rick Crawford won the fourth annual Florida Dodge Dealers 250 on Friday at ...
Rick Crawford goes three-wide to win Florida Dodge Dealers 250.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., -- In a three-wide photo finish that mirrored the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959, Rick Crawford won the fourth annual Florida Dodge Dealers 250 on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series continued to prove it's one of the best shows of Speedweeks as drivers had two three-wide battles for the lead on the final lap of the race.
Defending Florida Dodge Dealers 250 champion Robert Pressley, with Bobby Hamilton in tow, went high on Rick Crawford and Terry Cook in Turn 1 to take the lead. But the victory wasn't sealed for Pressley just yet.
Coming out of Turn 4, Pressley tried to block a charging Crawford on the high side. But Crawford ducked low on Pressley while Travis Kvapil soared to the high side to make three wide at the start/finish line.
"I got a little pull off of Robert Pressley going to Turn 3," Crawford said. "Coming off of Turn 4, I had a head of steam. He put a block on me. He thought I was going high. I was going for a win anyway. I went low and had some room and beat him to the line."
Crawford's margin of victory was .027 seconds, the sixth closest finish in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series history.
It's the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory for Crawford since 1998 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, 120 starts ago. Crawford pocketed $84,585 for the victory, the richest payout to a winner in the history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Being in Victory Lane at Daytona is a really special feeling," said Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Ford. "I think when I get through and change clothes I'm think I'm going back to Victory Lane to sit there for a minute and let it soak in."
Pressley, driver of the No. 59 Kingsford/Harris Trucking Dodge, settled for third-place honors behind Kvapil. Rounding out the top five was Hamilton and Andy Houston.
Said Pressley: "They moved the start/finish line too far down I guess. We were in pretty good shape. I looked back there and had another Dodge pushing me. I thought all we had to do was keep everything straight and we'd be all right. Then the Fords and Chevrolets teamed up and got three wide. They gave me a big old gap.
"That's good if you're on a short track and got a little room going into Turn 3. Whenever they singled up there coming off of Turn 4 I was a sitting duck."
The top finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Year was Randy Briggs, who came home in the 14th position. Before the green flag waved, Briggs proposed to his longtime girlfriend Mary Ward over the radio and she said yes.
Next up at the Speedway is Saturday's Koolerz 300 NASCAR Busch Series season opener. For tickets, call the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.