NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Rick Crawford Driver Diary: 4 Feet Short & Gone Golfing

Sorry for keeping you all waiting on this edition of my diary. Sometimes our schedules just get crazy! Our last race at Talladega was definitely a good one. That was a very important one for me since Talladega is my home track. I’m from L.A. That stands for Lower Alabama, which is where my hometown of Mobile is. Kevin Starland and the Circle Bar Racing team gave me a great truck, and we just went out there and did our best to try and win that one, but came up about four feet short.

If you were watching that last lap it was actually kind of boring until we got to the tri-oval. We’d been practicing making our move all day in both the tri-oval and coming out of turn 4, but we decided the tri-oval would be the best place to actually do it. Talladega is a little different from Daytona because the start/finish line is not actually in the tri-oval, but past it on the way to turn 1. We figured if we made the move coming out of turn 4, we would probably have ended up 10th or 15th. The Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150 had been doing great all day and we went in there with Johnny Benson behind us and I think it was Jason Leffler behind him. I was just doing my best to keep Johnny behind me and keep my momentum going. I was surrounded in the end by Toyotas, so I didn’t have any help up there. I made one final push and asked that Roush Yates engine for everything it had and I was thinking “C’mon baby I think we can win this one” but we came up just short and finished second. But it was definitely exciting.

I also got a chance to go watch my good friend Red Farmer race while I was there. He’d invited me to come race with him over at the dirt track at Talladega. I turned him down on racing but I told him I’d come help him. He’s unbelievable, he’s in his mid-70s but he can still get the job done. Someone asked me if I would still be racing when I was 75 and I had to say I just don’t think, so but Red can still go out there and get it done. He actually helped me get my big break in racing. One year at the Snowball Derby, Red had two cars and asked me if I wanted to race one of them. I’m one of only two people Red had ever let get into one of his cars and the difference it made in my career is unbelievable. That put Rick Crawford on the map. It was after driving Red’s car that other car owners started to notice Rick Crawford and the phone started to ring.

We’ve been doing quite a lot of golfing, both playing and viewing, since the last diary. I went to Daytona Beach a couple of weeks ago and played in Mike Skinner‘s charity golf tournament. Mike’s a friend and I’ve been doing that every year. We have a good time and raise some money and while we were there we got to play some poker too with Betty Jane France in the charity poker game.

The week before Talladega, we got to go to Montgomery to a new LPGA tournament sponsored by Navistar. Navistar is the parent company for our Power Stroke Diesel by International sponsorship so we were guests of the sponsor. It was a great event and it did very well in its first year so I expect we will see that be a continuing event. We had a great time and it was fun to watch the ladies play.

This week we went to Danville, Va. on Wednesday to Goodyear Tire Company’s golf course and played our annual tournament for the participants in the Craftsman Truck Series. We do that every year and it’s for all the drivers and crewmen and officials. It’s for everyone and it really is a good time to go out there and just have some fun. It gives everyone a chance to spend some time together away from the racetrack and relax. Our Circle Bar Racing team won too so that made it even better to come back with bragging rights.

Last weekend I had a chance to go watch Adam race and he had a great weekend. It was a doubleheader weekend with a 100-lap race in Pensacola on Friday night and a 100-lap race on Saturday in Mobile. He qualified 18th on Friday night, which is not that great, but the car wasn’t set up right for him. We worked on it and he drove it up to third in the race. That was where he ended up finishing, third. On Saturday night in Mobile he finished seventh. He ended up third in season points at Mobile, so I’m really proud of him. He had a really good year.

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