This Week in Ford Racing October 18, 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Ford F-150, has won on every type of track in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career. Crawford secured his first-ever series...
This Week in Ford Racing
October 18, 2005
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Ford F-150, has won on every type of track in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career. Crawford secured his first-ever series win at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 1997, captured the crown jewel of the sport with his 2003 Daytona victory, and followed it up with two short tracks wins - one at Martinsville last season, and most recently at New Hampshire International Speedway in September. Crawford, who has made all 217 career starts with owner Tom Mitchell, spoke about the significance of his victory at Martinsville and the incentive of winning during a NEXTEL Cup companion weekend.
RICK CRAWFORD-No. 14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150
YOU CLAIMED YOUR THIRD CAREER TRUCK SERIES WIN LAST YEAR AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY. HOW MEMORABLE WAS THAT VICTORY? "I've won there in a short-track car in the All-Pro Series, and I've won there hurt in a pick-up truck. That race last year came after a hard hit at Atlanta, and that win was the best medicine. The F-150 was tested tough that day and so was I. That was a pretty good race for us, and this fall race coming up this weekend, we're taking a pair of winners in the trailer. The primary truck that we're taking won at Loudon - it's a good flat-track truck - and we tested it the other day at Greenville, and the backup truck is the one that won last year. The bullets are pretty big this weekend."
THREE OF YOUR FOUR TRUCK SERIES VICTORIES HAVE OCCURRED DURING NEXTEL CUP COMPANION WEEKENDS. IS THERE SOMETHING THAT BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN YOU DURING THOSE WEEKENDS? "Well, I'm trying to jump the fence (laughing). Benny Parsons told me one time that if I'm going to jump the fence that I better hurry up because I'm not getting any younger. I'll tell you what, any time that we do have a companion event, it brings out the best. I don't know why, but it brings out the best and 10 extra percent. I don't know how you can get more than 100 percent of something, but 10 extra comes out when we have a companion event because the factory reps are there and the Cup drivers are there, and your guys, not only the driver but the guys on the pit crew, really want to shine because we're just a grade-school team trying to get up another grade and become Cup people. I think that just brings out the best in people."
NOWADAYS THERE SEEMS TO BE AT LEAST ONE CUP DRIVER COMPETING IN THE TRUCK SERIES EVENTS DURING COMPANION WEEKENDS, SO DOES THE VICTORY MEAN MORE TO A DRIVER AND A TEAM WHEN IT COMES DURING A COMPANION WEEKEND? "It does and I think it raises the bar. When you have Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Ken Schrader and those guys coming in to run a truck event, it takes the truck racers to another level. I know Bobby Hamilton, Ted Musgrave, Jimmy Spencer, Jack Sprague and Dennis Setzer, those guys came from Cup or Busch and came back to the truck series, so they were there racing with them anyway. To a guy that's a truck racer or a rookie in the truck series, I feel like it raises the bar on the level of racing, the quality of drivers that you can go out and really race with, and you earn the respect of the veteran drivers that have really paved the way for this sport to grow."
YOU HAVE 217 CAREER TRUCK SERIES STARTS, AND UNTIL THE RACE AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY IN JULY, YOU HAD NOT MISSED A RACE, EARNING YOU IRON MAN STATUS IN THE SERIES. WHAT DOES THAT MONIKER MEAN TO YOU? "I don't know how much that means to other people, but it means a lot to me as far as Circle Bar Racing and Tom Mitchell, the owner, is concerned. He's supported this team for over 210 starts and I've been with him my entire truck career, and I think that shows you some stability of our race team. As far as the Iron Man title is concerned, I probably have the most starts of anyone, but I've just been around. I just try to finish races and try to finish in the top 10, the top five or win a few. We try to win as much as we can, but we're still a Ford factory-backed independent team. It's a one-truck operation and we're doing all we can do."