RICK CRAWFORD-14-Newspapers in Education Ford F-150 (Finished 2nd) "We can start with Monday. We came down here and I did a deal with him (Hamilton) in Ft. Myers and we did a media event and he showed me a model of the race track that was half...
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Newspapers in Education Ford F-150 (Finished 2nd)
"We can start with Monday. We came down here and I did a deal with him (Hamilton) in Ft. Myers and we did a media event and he showed me a model of the race track that was half the size of this desk and he said he wouldn't bring me down here and show it to me, so he kept it as a surprise until Monday morning, and when I saw the place I said, 'This looks like Daytona in the corners.' We ran pretty good at Daytona and I had the confidence built in. They did a super job on the facility and really built a race track for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series to race on and that proved to be an exciting day for the fans and I enjoyed it as well."
YOU ALMOST BECAME THE FIRST DRIVER TO WIN ON THE OLD TRACK AND THE NEW TRACK.
"I've been racing for a long time and race pretty hard and don't mind being almost as long I'm out there and giving it all I've got with a great team, and we're proud to be racing and proud to be competitive."
DID YOU THINK YOU HAD ANYTHING FOR HAMILTON ON THE LAST RESTART?
"I thought I did, but it didn't last but about a lap. Undo that caution all I could think about was how I was going to go through the gears, how much room I needed behind the truck and what he was going to do when he got to the first turn. Believe it or not, it all panned out. It did exactly what I thought it was going to do. He was good through the gears, he took the line I thought he was going to take through one and two, I built momentum up down the back straightaway. The Robert Yates engine started making a lot of horsepower on the top side and pulled it under coming off of four. I led to the white flag, but he had the preferred line going into one and he didn't back off and we went into one and I knew I should have and I did. He had a little more momentum coming off of two, but we couldn't race back to the line, but I gave it all I could."
WAS FOUR-WIDE RACING WILDER THAN YOU IMAGINED FOR THE RACE TODAY?
"Yeah, I was probably the cause of that. Yeah, I probably caused that going down the front straightaway. The Ford representative for the media asked me on Monday, 'What do you think about this place?' I said when you come off of the corner you build a lot of momentum up. The trucks are great for racing like that. We don't have the aero package of the Cup cars, but when you have momentum you have to keep it going, so I had that momentum going down the front straightaway and it looked like I could complete the pass and I thought I did. I didn't know if I wasn't clear or if they just backed up because a guy had made a calculated risk on the bottom."