Saturday, September 17, 2005
Updated: September 25, 12:40 AM ET
Crawford comes up big in frantic finish
LOUDON, N.H. -- Rick Crawford fought off series points
leaders Dennis Setzer and Ted Musgrave to win Saturday's NASCAR
Craftsman Truck Series event at New Hampshire International
The win in the Sylvania 200 was the fourth for Crawford and his
first since April 2004 in Martinsville, Va. To get it, the driver from
Mobile, Ala., had to outrun the two strongest drivers in the series
over the last 30 laps.
"What a great race among the veterans out there," Crawford
said. "I needed to run my line and make sure Musgrave and Setzer
battled it out. They did and I won."
The ninth caution flag of the day gave Setzer and Musgrave one
last shot at the leader, but Crawford was able to hold the two
challengers off after the green flag waved with five laps to go in
the 200-lap event.
Musgrave fell out of contention when he bobbled while trying to
get past Setzer for second place on lap 199, and Crawford was able
to pull away from Setzer to win by 0.221-seconds -- about four
truck-lengths -- in the race that featured 17 lead changes among
Setzer appeared on the way to his fifth victory of the season,
building a lead of more than 2 seconds before a caution flag on lap
169 bunched the leaders for a restart on lap 173.
Crawford took the top spot from Setzer on lap 176. Setzer
managed to retake the top spot on lap 185, but Crawford got back
into the lead on the next lap and stayed there the rest of the way.
The runner-up performance was a good turnaround for Setzer, who
had built a lead of 227 points after winning at Indianapolis
Raceway Park on Aug. 5. He saw his margin shrink to 49 points over
Musgrave heading into Saturday's event on the 1.058-mile New
Hampshire oval. But Saturday's result put Setzer back up by 59
points with six races remaining.
"We were all evenly matched and it was just who got a little
edge was going to win it," Setzer said. "We'd been having some
bad lucky lately and Ted and I both know we need to work had to
stay ahead of the cats behind us. They're just waiting for us to
make a mistake."
"Dennis and I and Crawford had a heck of a race," Musgrave
said. "One minute, I thought Dennis was going to win. Then I
thought Crawford was going to win. Then I thought maybe I could win
it. It was fun.
"With six races to go, things can happen. If we stay right
there and gain a little here and there, we'll be OK."
Third-place Ron Hornaday Jr. wound up fifth in the race, but
slipped to 203 points behind, 30 ahead of fourth-place Jimmy
Spencer, who finished sixth on Saturday.
Spencer spun out twice early in the race and wound up spinning
out Todd Bodine in a battle for fourth-place on the final lap.
There was some pushing, shoving and shouting around Spencer after
he got out of his car, but NASCAR officials quickly defused the