‘Iron Man’ of the truck series

Crawford has his sight set
on winning at Kentucky Speedway

He is among the most veteran drivers in the series

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(July 2007) – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Rick Crawford says he plans to win the July 14 “Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers,” at the Kentucky Speedway.

July 14 Schedule
• Distance: 150 laps, 225 miles (1.5-mile tri-oval)
• Qualifying: 4 p.m. Saturday (2 laps)
• Race: 8 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, July 14
• TV-Radio: SPEED Channel (live).
• Admission: $40-$70. Gates open 3 p.m. Saturday.

Also at the Speedway:
• ARCA RE/MAX Series’ “Channel 5-105.” (100 laps, 150 miles). 8 p.m. Friday.
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets $20.
• “American Idol” star Taylor Hicks performs at 6:30 p.m. Saturday before the race.
Truck Series
Drivers to Watch
• Mike Skinner, 50, Susanville, Calif. He has won three times this year with eight top-five finishes to lead the point standings.
• Ron Hornaday Jr., 49, Palmdale, Calif. The defending champ of this event has won twice this season.
• Todd Bodine, 42, Cheming, N.Y. The 2006 Truck Series champion won the 2002 Busch race here and is back to challenge in trucks.
• Website: www.nascar.com

“We finished just short, in second place, last year, but this year we hope to top that,” Crawford said in a recent telephone interview from his North Carolina shop.
The 48-year-old native of Mobile, Ala., drives the No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel Ford for Circle Bar Racing.
A longtime driver in the series who has often been called “Iron Man,” Crawford finished ninth in series points during the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. It included his fifth career victory when he won the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
After 10 starts during the 2007 season, Crawford in late June was fifth in series point with four top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes.
He began his career in the truck series in 1997 after making the move from NASCAR’s All-Pro Division. A high point in his racing career came in 2003 when he crossed the finish line first just a mere thousandth of a second ahead of two other trucks in one of the series’ closest-ever finishes. In 2002, Crawford finished second in series points for a career best and also won two poles, and in 2004 he became the series’ fifth-ever $3 million winner.
Crawford said he has thought about moving to another NASCAR series but hasn’t really taken any steps toward that idea.
“If I retire in trucks, I will be happy. I have had a long and very successful career.”
He shares the series starts record of 256 with Jack Sprague, who drives the No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota.
He likened the excitement of truck racing with that of the original Winston Cup Series.
“I just love doing this,” he said. “It also makes it particularly easy for me to continue in this series because my truck owner is so enthusiastic.”
The excitement of team owner Tom Mitchell is evident with his expansion in 2007 to a two-truck team with the addition of drivers David Starr, a four-time series race winner, and Dennis Connor, who with 26 victories is the truck series’ all-time crew chief leader.
Crawford is a third-generation driver. His grandfather and uncle were also racers, so he grew up around the sport. He said he was given the opportunity to have a career in racing, and “of course, I took it.”
He said the Kentucky Speedway is always a good race. “It’s a tough, but high-speed track; it’s a driver’s race track because it’s wide and you can pass.”

Back to 2007 Kentucky Speedway Articles.



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