NASCAR DRIVER PROFILE - RICKY CRAVEN

After 173 Winston Cup starts without a win, Ricky Craven proved that perseverance pays as he rejuvenated his driving career in 2001 with new owner Cal Wells. Can he do it again? Craven thinks so. After all, he’s one of the fiercest competitors on the track.

  • 2001 victory: Old Dominion 500
  • Born: Newburgh, Maine
  • Resides: Concord, N.C.
  • Family: Craven and his wife, Cathleen, have two children, Riley and Richard.
  • Team: PPI Motorsports
  • Car: Ford
  • Sponsor: Tide
  • Car owner: Cal Wells
  • Crew chief: Mike Beam
2001 review: Craven was finally able to showcase the talent many knew he possessed when he picked up his first Winston Cup victory in October at Martinsville.

2002 outlook: Entering just his second year with his Cal Wells-owned team, Craven should continue the success he started in 2001 and fight for a spot in the top 10 in points.

Until winning at Martinsville, Craven?s best Winston Cup finish was third on four different occasions.

Craven was rookie of the year in 1995 in a Larry Hedrick car and had two hard wrecks, at Charlotte and Talladega, the next season. He moved to Hendrick Motorsports and rebounded in 1997, but wrecked hard again at Texas. Ricky Craven resigned from the Hendrick team while suffering from post-concussion syndrome and ran sporadically over the next two seasons before joining Cal Wells' team for the 2001 campaign.

Craven scored an extremely popular first victory at Martinsville Speedway in October 2001, swapping paint with 1999 Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett on the last lap. It marked a season in which Craven scored his first Bud Pole since 1998 and added four top-five and seven top-10 finishes to attain a career high in money won with $1,996,981.

Ricky Craven, whose career was interrupted in 1997-98 by accidents and head injuries, came back in 2001 with a solid sponsor, Tide, on the technically proficient PPI Motorsports Fords.

Some call Craven a modern-day version of former driver Pete Hamilton -- the comparison obviously made because both came from the New England states and established themselves as fierce competitors. And both won NASCAR's Rookie of the Year title in their inaugural seasons.

Craven spent much of 1998 recovering from post-concussion syndrome, resulting from injuries he actually suffered in 1997. He won the Bud Pole in his first race back, the Jiffy Lube 300 at New Hampshire.

Hendrick Motorsports had recognized Ricky Craven's potential and lured the young driver away from a shared ownership deal with team boss Larry Hedrick for the 1997 season. He opened with a stunning third place finish in the Daytona 500 and ended up with a career high 19th place in the point standings.

His path to Winston Cup came through the Busch North Series, where he ran the full season for the first time in 1990. He won two races that season, grabbed the Busch Pole Award for winning seven poles and claimed both the rookie of the year title and the series' most popular driver award. In 1991, he swept it all, including the championship, with 10 victories, six poles, the pole award and the most popular driver trophy.

Ricky Craven moved to the Busch Series in 1992, won the rookie title and finished second in the 1993 and 1994 Busch Series season standings. His first two wins in Busch Series competition came in 1994, when he scored at Hickory and Nazareth.

SITE MAP  
HOME   l  NASCAR HISTORY    l  NASCAR GLOSSARY   l  NASCAR BETTING TIPS  l  NASCAR DRIVERS  l  NASCAR RACE TRACKS  l 
LIVE RACING NEWS  l   LIVE ODDS l  NASCAR SCHEDULES  l  BETTING LINKS  l  WEBMASTER  l CONTACT US

US CITIZENS: The information contained herein is for entertainment and news matter only. Any use of this information in violation of federal, state and local law is strictly prohibited. Offers by offshore sportsbooks advertising on this site are void in states where prohibited by law. Please check with your local or state enforcement agency.
NASCAR GLOSSARY
NASCAR HISTORY
NASCAR BETTING TIPS
NASCAR DRIVERS
NASCAR BETTING RULES
NASCAR RACE TRACKS
LIVE RACING NEWS
NASCAR SCHEDULES
BETTING LINKS
LIVE ODDS
WEBMASTER
CONTACT US