NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Rick Crawford Driver Diary: Home & Home Away From Home

Since the last time we talked, we raced at Charlotte at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. It was a long drive from the Circle Bar race team shops with the Ford Powerstroke Diesel – it was almost a ride you could have made in a golf cart. It’s our neighbor track and probably the home track for a lot of teams but it’s really close for our team. We came out of there with a top five and with a truck that had been resurrected from a big crash last year. It’s one of my favorite trucks, CB-21. We were pretty pleased with that.

Then we went to Mansfield with CB-17 and thank goodness that we’re built Ford tough with the F-150s because that was probably one of the ugliest races I’ve ever been involved in. Coming out of there with 13th is just a finish. It was a rough day.

As far as leading the points, you know, I wish I could get more excited about it. I probably would if we were leading the points going in to Ford championship weekend at Homestead, but it’s not a bad place to be. I’m really proud of our team. Our Circle Bar race team has done a fantastic job preparing these trucks, but I really feel like we’re leading the points because of consistency, not necessarily because of our strength. That’s the reason why I can’t get excited about it, because I just wish our team was what you would call “the team to beat” and that’s the reason we were in the points lead. There’s a lot of hungry trucks out there and a lot more veteran drivers that probably deserve the top spot right now more than I do, but we’re not giving up. We want to win the championship too.

Adam was getting ready for some races the last time we did this, but since then, he’s actually made the commitment to work on the No. 14 truck for his Dad and Circle Bar Racing since we are running for a championship and we’re up at the top of the points. Adam’s actual job is to get the No. 14 truck prepared. He’s actually committed to helping his Dad win the championship. Adam’s racing has taken a back seat to Rick’s racing for now.

We haven’t done much else lately. We’ve just been busy racing week after week after week right now. I did get a chance to attend a country/rock n’roll concert the other night with Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd – two of my favorite entertainers – and had a good time at the Bobcats Arena in Charlotte. Along with racing – I have enjoyed racing, of course – but I’ve also enjoyed the things we get to do.

We’re in Texas this week and that’s the home track for the boss that owns the Circle Bar Truck Corral race team, Tom Mitchell. His family is here, with his daughter, Lisa Mitchell, and her family. We just love the Texas hospitality, but not only do we have the Texas hospitality here, but also give it. We really appreciate what they’ve done for this race team. Hopefully myself or Brendan Gaughan in the Maxx Force Diesel by International can pull out a victory here this weekend.

We’re paired up with the IndyCar Series this weekend and it doesn’t really present any unusual challenges for us and hopefully we don’t bring up any challenges for them. One of the neat things about it is that our Ford F-150s haul the mail and get the job done with Ford Powerstroke Diesel under the hood. We are really running, but what the fans need to understand is the Indy cars get out there and they’re running 50 mph faster than we are. To a racecar driver to have the sensation of what we’re running at 180 mph and those guys are running 220 mph, it’s really unbelievable!

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