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Press Snoop: Crawford wins Indy Truck race.

Rick Crawford won the Power Stroke Diesel 200 Presented by Ford and International NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at O'Reilly Raceway Park.

This is his fifth win in 237 starts. He started third and led twice for 87 of the 200 laps. Crawford, 47, is the seventh different winner in the last eight Truck races, and he is third in the standings. He was driving the Truck in which he won at New Hampshire International Speedway last September, his last victory. Crawford is tied with Jack Sprague for the most Truck starts with 237.

Crawford was happy about the hard-fought victory. He said "I was out there racing with a lot of cagey veterans and I think we smelled each other's paint but I don't think we swapped any. The key here is to complete the pass when you can, and I was glad when my spotter said clear. Truck Racers aren't afraid to race hard. I want a clean race, no feuds. And that's what we had tonight. No feuds."

The Margin of Victory was 0.790 seconds over Runner-up Dennis Setzer. The crowd was estimated at 35,000.

Finishing third through fifth were Ron Hornaday, David Starr and Mike Bliss.

Age and Treachery beat out Youth and Good Looks Friday night on the popular short track. The top four drivers, all in their forties, were top heavy in experience: 773 races started among them for an average 193+; three Truck Championships, 60 wins and 37 poles. Although Crawford started racing in the Trucks in 1996, a year after all the others started, he has been at it non-stop ever since, while the others ventured out to other series before coming back to the Trucks where they admit they have more fun.

Points leader Todd Bodine started twenty-ninth and finished seventh-the largest gain of any driver, and he stretched his points lead to 182 ahead of Johnny Benson, who finished twelfth. Pole sitter David Ragan finished ninth, and the top Rookie was Erik Darnell in tenth place.

Five drivers swapped the lead six times. Thirty-two of the 36 starters finished the race, 22 of them on the lead lap.

The Pace Car led 51 laps, more than a quarter of the race with 11 Cautions-which was an ORP record (10), but it was still two short of the record - 53 laps. The cautions included five accidents, three spins, and three for debris. No one was hurt.

Crawford team owner/sponsor, Tom Mitchell of the Circle Bar Truck Corral, has yet to come to a Truck race, but he follows it closely. Recently Crawford got the honour of delivering Mitchell's long-awaited Ford GT-40, ordered two and a half years ago. Only 1600 are being made, and Crawford drove Chassis #1588 to Mitchell in Texas. How sweet it is.




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