NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Keepin’ It Short: Truck Series Racing at Mobile – Why NASCAR Should Make It Happen

Earlier this year, Rick Crawford and Mobile International Speedway owner Ida Fields announced the two had entered into a multi-year partnership that would put Crawford in charge of managing and promoting the half-mile track.

“I had a great partner in Lee and we were able to build the track into something special,” Fields said. “I see a lot of Lee in Rick and Lee would be so proud that Rick has come back to Mobile International Speedway.”

Crawford’s career began in Mobile many years ago when he raced for owners Lee and Ida Fields.

“I am truly humbled that Ida Fields has chosen me to take over her and Lee’s baby. Growing up, I thought winning at Daytona was just a dream and that dream came true,” Crawford said. “Today another dream has become a reality. We’ve got a lot to do and I hope our fans and our racers will be patient with us as we get started.”

So I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Crawford expressed an interest in bringing the Camping World Truck Series to “Alabama’s Fastest Half-Mile” while he was a guest on the “Inside Alabama Racing”: radio program. After all, he did score the track championship in three out of four seasons (1981, 1982, 1984).

“Absolutely, there’s nothing I would like more than to have the trucks at my home track,” Crawford said.

In fact, even CWTS Team Owner Kevin Harvick would like to see more short tracking racing on the schedule.

“I think the Truck schedule needs more short tracks,” Harvick said. “I think it needs to go to some of those bullrings that it used to go to back in the day.”

Founded in 1965, Mobile International Speedway has been the home of short track races for 46 years. Throughout the years, the half-mile paved oval has hosted open wheel racing, the World 200 Supermodified race, All Pro Stock, ASA, NASCAR Grand American, NASCAR All-American Challenge Series and NASCAR All Pro Stock Car Racing. In fact, along with Crawford, Kevin Swindell, Bubba Pollard and Cale Gale are just a few of the names that got their start in southern Alabama.

While the track is seeded in its own history, there are several improvements the track would need before being NASCAR approved. With a capacity of just 9,000, the seating would need to be increased, along with other adjustments to make the track acceptable to NASCAR, not the least of which would be to ensure SAFER barriers are installed all the way around.

But with that being said, Crawford’s idea to bring the Truck Series to Mobile is ideal. In fact, it’s rather important. The Truck Series began on mostly short tracks, and that’s what helped make the series what it is today. While it’ll be difficult for that to happen for the 2012 season since next year’s schedule should be solidified within the next month, here’s hoping NASCAR will work with Crawford and Alabama’s Fastest Half-Mile ends up on the 2013 schedule.

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