This Week in Ford Racing July 19, 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Ford F-150, is ready to start a new streak this weekend in Memphis. Crawford, who had posted a series-best 210 consecutive starts...
This Week in Ford Racing
July 19, 2005
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Rick Crawford, driver of the No. 14 Ford F-150, is ready to start a new streak this weekend in Memphis. Crawford, who had posted a series-best 210 consecutive starts prior to a qualifying incident at Kentucky, will return to the cockpit of his Circle Bar Truck Corral F-150 for the O'Reilly 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday night. Crawford, who is now tied with Jack Sprague for all-time series starts, talked about the end of his streak and previewed this weekend's race.
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Circle Bar Truck Corral Ford F-150
YOUR RECORD STREAK OF 210 CONSECUTIVE TRUCK SERIES STARTS ENDED TWO WEEKS AGO IN KENTUCKY. ARE YOU PREPARED TO START A NEW STREAK THIS WEEKEND IN MEMPHIS? "I hate what happened in Kentucky. I really feel bad for the whole Circle Bar Truck Corral race team. We had a shot at the pole, and I was trying probably a little too hard to get it. I really thought we had it, but we didn't and that's behind us. The streak is over and I have to drop those bags right now and this week marks a new beginning. I have a few years left in the tank and I'm determined now probably more than ever, and I was pretty determined then. This is now. Cowboy (Kevin Starland, crew chief) wants to put that Ford F-Series back in victory lane with our team really, really bad. I do, too, and our team has been working really hard with this particular truck that we're taking to Memphis. It's brand new, and we tested it and the reaction was very good and our expectations of it are very high. We're going to the hometown of Elvis, and we want to put on our blue suede shoes and dance in victory lane this weekend. I'm going to Memphis for one reason, and that's to start a new streak - a winning streak."
EVEN THOUGH YOUR CONSECUTIVE START STEAK IS OVER, YOU ARE TIED WITH JACK SPRAGUE FOR ALL-TIME SERIES STARTS. HOW DOES THAT RECORD COMPARE? "It was a good feeling to become the Iron Man of the series. If Jack would have stayed in the series rather than further his career in Busch racing and cup racing, he would truly be the Iron Man of the series. He was racing when the series first started, even when they had the exhibition races. In that sense, I don't mind being compared to Jack as far as career starts, but I am proud to have been truck racing for a while, and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been good to Rick Crawford and Circle Bar Racing. I'm going to continue to start races. I hate that I missed one, but I'm going to continue to start them and hopefully continue to finish up front."
WEATHER FORECASTERS ARE PREDICTING 100-DEGREE TEMPERATURES IN MEMPHIS THIS WEEKEND. WHAT EFFECT DOES THAT HAVE ON THE TRACK AND THE TRUCKS? "Especially with short-track racing, it's heat versus grip. The heat has a lot to do with adhesion and tire wear. You must have a great setup in your truck. You have to have a good shock package on the vehicle to absorb some of the energy that the tires are trying to absorb, and the driver has to be easy on it. You have to be easy on the throttle, and you can't be as aggressive in hot weather as you are in the right temperature of racing, which in the summertime there isn't really a comfortable temperature in racing. The driver can help his tires extend the wear. It's just like a street car. The easier you go from one red light to the other, or the easier you go around turns, the tires will last longer."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE INAUGURAL TRUCK RACE AT MEMPHIS UNDER THE LIGHTS? "Under the lights on a short track reminds me of the days of where we all started when we ran on Friday and Saturday nights under the lights. That's pretty neat as far as going back to the real roots of racing, and a lot of us - Bobby Hamilton, Jack Sprague, Dennis Setzer - I can name 80 percent of the truck series drivers that came from short track racing on the weekends. It's traditional to run a short track at night, but even during the day when we raced there at Memphis, it was a neat race. It was exciting for the fans and it will be nothing less when we go back this week."