Last time we talked, we were looking forward to going to Kentucky. We’d just left a two-day test at Darlington and ran very, very well there. We went to Kentucky and our chins were dragging our shoelaces! It just didn’t work out. We missed the setup; we weren’t performing. We worked all day long and I think if they had 200 more laps, we probably could have gotten something fixed. We ended up on the lead lap and finished 14th in the race, and I couldn’t believe it, but we moved up a spot in the points. It wasn’t that bad of a day after all, but we just didn’t perform at the Built Ford Tough 225. We just didn’t perform the way Rick Crawford would like to perform when he goes to Kentucky.
Then we went to ORP and had a good qualifying run. We started seventh in the Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International 200. We also carried the Ford Power Stroke Diesel brand on the side of our F-150. We weren’t running great. We held our own at the first part of the race, made a pit stop and came out sixth and had gained a spot on pit road. Then we went to the front and we were running third with 30 laps to go, and couldn’t do any more. With the green/white/checkered finish at the end, we had something break in the carburetor, so we were a little disappointed there, but we ended up on the lead lap and finished 12th. These are not the finishes I’m looking for and not the finishes this team deserves, but there are a lot of things out there that are beyond our control and we’re just doing our best.
I just had a birthday and enjoyed that [Ed. Note-Rick turned 50 this past weekend] and probably won’t experience that particular year again, so I’m glad I made it this far! I’ve been through a lot and if I could share in the next 25 years only half the fun I’ve had in the first 50, it would be awesome. It would be really, really neat to enjoy that.
I had some folks in from out of town for my birthday that used to help me early in my racing career, and we still remain friends today. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I had some friends come in from Mr. Mitchell’s family from southwest Texas, and Lisa and Michael Mitchell attended the birthday party. We had over 100 guests, I believe, and had a really nice time. Even the King performed in my backyard and that was cool. Not everybody can say that Elvis has performed in their backyard! We had a private band and we had a good time.
I caught my first North Carolina bass over the weekend, too. I finally went fishing with my engine tuner Tim Harris. We went and did a little bass fishing and that was pretty exciting. A lot of people don’t think of Rick Crawford as a fisherman. I always think of Hank Parker as a fisherman. When I got a rod and reel in my hand and a nice boat with a nice tour guide such as Tim Harris, I got my first bass and I really enjoyed that day.
We’ve got an off weekend this week and I’m thinking about going on a little motorcycle ride and maybe a steak dinner on Saturday. That’s about it for this weekend. Maybe I’ll spend some of those gift certificates I got for my birthday. Then we have Nashville coming up and I don’t have one of those Gibson guitars. That’s probably one of the most coveted trophies in NASCAR and I’d like to get that at Nashville.