Race Weekend Central

Rick Crawford Driver Diary: Home Sweet Homestead

We’ve been to Texas and Phoenix since our last diary. Starting with Texas, our Circle Bar Racing Team went there with the Power Stroke Diesel by International Ford F-150 with our guns loaded and had a top-five finish, but it wasn’t that easy. It sort of left a mark with that last green/white/checkered finish that we had. Thank goodness NASCAR only has one of those.

Our truck did get beat up pretty bad on that GWC run but it did score a top-five finish. I’m proud of the team and proud of another top-five finish for Tom Mitchell and Circle Bar Racing. We just came out of there with a truck to fix. We moved on to Phoenix and expected a little better run that what we had. We ran in the top 10 most of the night but faded back to 12th at the end. Not a stellar run, but at both Texas and Phoenix we were best in class for Ford Motor Company.

Now we go to Homestead and we’re former winners there. We’re 60 points out of third in the points, sitting in sixth right now, but just being able to move forward and not lose anything means I can go into this race with a wide-open atmosphere and try to bring home the win for Ford championship weekend and Circle Bar Racing and Power Stroke Diesel and everybody who has been a part of this race team all year and give them something to be proud about over the winter. That’s what I came down here to do.

I’ve been in Florida all week doing some interesting things. Tuesday we kicked it off with the Ford Ride ‘n’ Drive where we give rides around Homestead Miami Speedway in the Ford Cup two-seaters to over 30 south Florida Ford dealers. One of the sales managers got in the car with me and wanted to videotape the deal with a handheld video camera. He caught me laughing in my helmet when he started up the video camera and I just kept laughing and by the time we got to the end of pit road the video camera was in his lap so that didn’t work out too good.

It was funny. I guess he thought he’d have home video so he could show it at Christmas time or something but it didn’t work out. Maybe he got he sound on the inside of the car anyway.

We played some golf at the Doral for Ford Championship weekend and Nextel with some retired NFL players in a charity event. It was to benefit Speediatrics of Homestead as well as some other charities. Speediatrics is one of Betty Jane France’s charities that she set up at Daytona. We raised quite a bit of money there with the NFL and Cup guys and myself as celebrity golfers. We had a good time playing the Blue Monster at the Doral.

Thursday we have inspection and an autograph session in Fort Lauderdale for a Ford event and then we’re going to the Sports Illustrated Club Thursday night for entertainment. There will be a lot of stars there and Entertainment Tonight will be there and we’ll walk the red carpet for Ford Motor Company so that’s going to be a neat deal. On Friday, everything happens. We practice Friday morning, qualify Friday afternoon and race Friday night to end up our season.

Monday will be the annual NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series award banquet at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. We’ll definitely get to participate in the banquet this year because we will have a top-10 points finish. We’d like to be third and that’s not out of reach if we race hard Friday night.

We also went to Mobile International Speedway’s annual awards banquet on Saturday night after the Phoenix race. Adam and I attended that along with his crew chief Bob Moore and his aunt and uncle and some other family members and crew members. We went down there to collect Adam’s third-place award for the season-ending Miller Lite points fund. It was quite an accomplishment for a second-year super late model driver, so I’m quite proud of Adam. Now maybe I have to finish third in points or he will get the bragging rights in the family, but that’s fine if he does.

He has one more race left this year. We’re going to the 40th annual Snowball Derby coming up here on Dec. 2. We have a test date next week and the Monday after that to get ready for the Snowball and get Adam ready with his new car. We want to be prepared for that race because it’s going to be a hard show to make but we’re going after it. Adam attempted to run this race last year but he missed it by one car. This year we’re taking a brand new car down there and hoping for big things. Adam’s got to make it happen and I know he will.

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