Mesa Marin: Rick Crawford preview

Circle Bar shows patriotic support in Bakersfield. Bakersfield, CA - When the ...

Circle Bar shows patriotic support in Bakersfield.

Bakersfield, CA - When the #14 Circle Bar Motel and RV Park Ford F-150 takes to the half-mile Mesa Marin Raceway this weekend, they will show their support for the United States of America and its service men and women. The team will proudly display the Stars and Stripes on the sides of the truck and show their support further by display America's symbol of freedom on the deck-lid in the form of a Bald Eagle.

The team ran a similar scheme throughout the 2002 season and took the Air Force's Strategic Air Command to victory lane February 14th at the Daytona International Speedway. The team will continue to show support for the nation throughout the 2003 season.

Crawford's Thoughts

How do you get around the Mesa Marin Raceway:

"When you talk about Mesa Marin, you're talking about true racing excitement, old-school style. You're old pickup has to turn well in the middle of the corner, so you're able to get all 720-horesepower to hook-up down the straightaways."

After a year away from the Bakersfield track, what are you thoughts on returning:

"90% of the drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series got their start by racing at a local short track. To travel back to the roots of my racing career and compete at a place like Mesa Marin is special. It lets you know the short tracks of NASCAR have not been forgotten."

Your career began on America's short tracks, how important was that to where you are now:

"When NASCAR began promoting national touring series events, a larger group of people began to notice the talent that short track racing produced. An opportunity to showcase talent and abilities was created, and it eventually led Circle Bar Racing in the direction of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."

You have started 150-consecutive truck series events, how important has this series been in terms of your career:

"We started out in 1997 with one truck and one engine. Short track racing you could get by with one car; at this level in NASCAR you need equipment specific for every track. Owner Tom Mitchell, Crew chief Ray Stonkus and I have built an organization that we feel can win races and compete for championships."

FROM THE SPOTTERS STAND

The following quotes are from Circle Bar Racing Spotter Milt Bishop at the Darlington Raceway on March 14.

Discussing the back and forth racing early in the Craftsman 200: "Nice easy pace here. We're only 25-laps into this thing."

Trying to help Crawford keep an even pace around the Lady in Black: "Get a rhythm here, you're doing great."

Talking about the oncoming #62 truck of Brendan Gaughan: "He runs the highside in Turn 4, watch your outside."

After a late race nudge that led Crawford to a save securing a seventh place finish: "Looking outside, he's lookin, oooooo ok, ok, great save. Get back in the gas come on you can catch them your better than they are."

-cbr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rick Crawford , Brendan Gaughan