Kentucky: Crawford - Ford Friday interview

Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150, makes his 260th career start this weekend at the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers at Kentucky Speedway. Crawford sits fifth...

Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150, makes his 260th career start this weekend at the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers at Kentucky Speedway. Crawford sits fifth in the championship points.

YOU FINISHED HERE SECOND LAST YEAR, IN THE PAST THIS HAS BEEN A FAIRLY DECENT RACE TRACK FOR CIRCLE BAR RACING, WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR THIS YEAR? ARE YOU GOING TO PICK UP THAT ONE SPOT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR LAST YEAR? "Yes, it sounds easy, all I have to do is pass one truck. But it's not. We have 35 other competitors here at the Kentucky Speedway for the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers. You never know, last year we qualified 21st and marched straight to the front and stayed in the top-five all night long. We ended up running second. Qualifying is not necessarily a premium, but the race track lends to multi-grooves. So, whoever gets their truck working the best at the end is going to have the better run. You have to put yourself in the right position for track position. But as far as having a strong team, the Circle Bar Racing team with Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International has brought a race truck to each and every race that is capable of winning. I feel pretty good about my chances tomorrow night."

AFTER SIX RACES INTO THE SEASON, PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT TOYOTA WOULD HAVE THEIR WAY WITH EVERYBODY AND NO ONE WOULD HAVE A SHOT TO BEAT THEM WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT. WE HAVE NOW SEEN A VERY COMPETITIVE RACE UP FRONT, PARTICULARLY WITH THE FORDS. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE FORD PROGRAM; IN PARTICULAR, THE SECOND QUARTER OF THE SEASON THAT REALLY HAS SEEMS TO HIT A STRIDE. "I can tell you exactly what the Ford Motor Company program has done. Ford Motor Company is a dedicated company that drives on auto racing. When they decided to in bring factory support to their teams; they want their teams running up front. The teams have to take responsibility and are serious about it. And you know the teams they are helping are serious about racing, it's just the history of Ford Motor Company. If we compete, we want to win. Winning is everything. We're not rolling over by any means. We are not giving up. We are not waving the white flag. We're going for the checkered flag. We're going to win on Saturday and Sunday to be able to sell Ford trucks on Monday morning."

A LOT OF QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN RAISED BY THE FANS, IS IN REFERENCE TO SOME OF THE PENALTIES HERE IN THE TRUCK SERIES. PEOPLE ARE WONDERING THE DIFFERENCE IN THE PENALTY BETWEEN TED MUSGRAVE'S INFRACTION IN MILWAUKEE VERSUS KURT BUSCH'S PENALTY IN DOVER. YOU'VE BEEN AROUND THE TRUCK SERIES AS LONG AS ANYBODY, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON SOME OF THE PENALTIES THAT WE HAVE SEEN, NOT ONLY IN THE TRUCK SERIES BUT NASCAR OVERALL? ARE THEY A LITTLE TOO HARSH OR ARE THEY ABOUT WHERE YOU THINK THEY SHOULD BE? "Well, NASCAR has been around for many years and they're out to get your attention. And if they feel like they've let slack in that rope, for so long they seem to favor their drivers. Their drivers are putting on a show for the fans. But if the driver gets out of hand, NASCAR has a way to get them back in touch. I feel like the team or the drivers put themselves in that situation so he must face the consequences of NASCAR. Sometimes you need to take the slack way out.

But I understand as a driver, as a competitor, we're probably not the most high thought athletes out there when it comes to a pressure situation, as far as anger is concerned. It seems to show because a driver's got his life on the line, he's got a team to look out for, and a sponsor to look out for and things like that. So things are going to happen. You're going to say things and things are going to happen inside the race car, but the smarter mind will prevail and NASCAR won't have to touch them."

LIKE YOU SAID EARLIER, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PICK UP ONE SPOT. IS THAT EASIER SAID THAT DONE OR DO YOU HAVE A SOLID SHOT TO WIN HERE THIS WEEKEND. "I came here with the confidence and the attitude to win this race because last year, we were so close and we saw another manufacturer in victory lane. It was the Built Ford Tough 225 and our team is extremely Built Ford Tough, but the following week we won at ORP and that was the Power Stroke Diesel by International Race so we were able to come back there. Two weeks worth of racing last year was pretty good. We take one race at a time and we came to Kentucky to win here."

-credit: ford racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rick Crawford