Get the latest Rick Crawford news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
Six-time champion falls short of advancement despite leading 84 laps RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Jimmie Johnson knew he was a long shot coming into Talladega Superspeedway , but after leading for a race-high 84 laps, it looked like the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion could be able to pull off something extraordinary to stay on the path to his seventh title. He found himself behind Brad Keselowski late in the race, and had to make a quick decision on how to propel himself to the front. "I had such a strong car, I had a chance," Johnson said. "I was sitting in the second row outside, and I was just left with the decision to help the (No.) 2 and see if I could find a way by or try to make quick work of the 2 and go on, and I chose to try to make quick work of the 2, and as I got to his outside and pulled up alongside of him I looked up in the mirror and there was nobody back there helping. So I knew at that moment I was in trouble." That decision led to a 24th-place finish for Johnson, leaving him 11th in the standings and eliminating him from the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. And with six titles to his name, Johnson knows what it takes to earn one -- and he didn't think his team had it. "I showed up this weekend thinking I was playing with house money and kind of a very unique opportunity to advance," Johnson said. "In any Chase, after two bad races like we had in the last two weeks you wouldn't have a shot at the championship." After qualifying on the front row in a new format that left many drivers baffled, Johnson's No. 48 looked to be the car to beat. The often-unpredictable Talladega, however, is among Johnson's worst tracks. He only has worse average finishes at Richmond and Daytona. He showed he planned to be aggressive early, knowing that he needed a win to move on. He found himself battling against Hendrick teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who led a second-best 31 laps. Along with Johnson, Earnhardt and Kasey Kahne would all leave Alabama out of title contention. "It's just Talladega," team owner Rick Hendrick said. "We have been up front all day and I don't know where we are going to end up. You just can't avoid it down here when you are running that close together. It's just what you have to get used to and accept it and move on. It's not easy." Johnson, on the other hand, found Sunday's race easier than what his team has faced in the past two weeks. After being involved in a wreck in the opening race of the Contender Round at Kansas Speedway , the No. 48 team headed to Charlotte in 12th, 44 points back from points leader Joey Logano . Battling an ill-handling car that could only get Johnson to a 17th-place finish at Charlotte, Johnson fell 57 points out of the lead. "Today I went down swinging, and I'll take pride in that," Johnson said. "Am I disappointed in our Chase? Absolutely. In the last two weeks, people tuned in on the radio and there's been plenty of articles written this week. Frustration was high. Frustration's been high between Chad and I and the fact that we haven't been able to produce like we wanted to. Today we went down swinging, we had a chance. We came up short, and we have to make the best of 2015." The No. 48 team still has a chance to end the season in the top five in points, a finish Johnson is determined to get. His worst finish so far during his full-time Sprint Cup Series career is sixth. "We still have a chance to finish fifth in points, which would mean the world to me, " he said. "The worst I've ever finished is sixth in points, so it's not time to put our feet up, we need to finish strong and try to be in the top five." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Two-time champion to run his 890th career race and 61st at Talladega RELATED: Follow your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize TALLADEGA, Ala. -- In 1979, Terry Labonte climbed into a car to compete at Talladega Superspeedway in NASCAR's premier series for the first time. Sixty starts later, he'll be doing it for the last time Sunday, tying the record for most career starts at the 2.66-mile track at the same time as he ends a storied career. After 37 seasons of racing, Labonte is retiring -- and this time, he says, it's for good. Labonte first announced his retirement during his last full-time season as a driver in 2004, but it didn't take much for the veteran driver to heed the call to return to the track. "The first time, I guess, it was about halfway through the next year and Rick Hendrick called me, and Michael and Darrell (Waltrip) had asked him if he'd give me a call and see if I'd go run Michael's car," Labonte said. "So I ran a few races in that car and then I thought, 'You know, that was kind of fun, just running a few races here and there.' " The two-time premier series champion, who topped the circuit in both the 1984 and 1996 seasons, has been a constant in the sport across changes in safety, race car technology and rules, as well as a generational change of competitors. Among the 12 remaining drivers in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, six had not yet been born when Labonte began his premier series career: Joey Logano , Kyle Busch , Carl Edwards , Denny Hamlin , Kasey Kahne and Brad Keselowski . Despite his age difference compared to many of today's top contenders, Labonte said he still would want to compete in this year's new elimination-format Chase, but he also enjoys watching the added pressure and excitement of the playoffs. There is, however, one thing that makes Labonte happy he missed the current format: Winning the title hangs on a track he's not so strong at. Of all the tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, his worst average finish is at Homestead-Miami Speedway at 26.1. "The only thing I don't secretly care about is, I think they should take the last race and move it around to different tracks, kind of like the Super Bowl does," Labonte said. "So I think it would be really cool, because when you've got three or four guys that are really good at that track, and I'm never very good at that track, I would not look forward to that last event going up there against some of the guys that are very good up there." Labonte also addressed rumors that circulated concerning a life in public office, something his brother and nephew took advantage of, making yard signs and posters for Labonte's "campaign." "I'm like 90 percent of the people in here -- I'm way too overqualified for that," Labonte joked in the media center. "I had no idea how that started or where it came from." The Corpus Christi, Texas, native plans to be around the garage every so often, but as a member of his marketing company, SSG/Brandintense. The North Carolina-based firm works to bring marketing to live events for a face-to-face interaction between a company and its customers. In February, Labonte was added to the list of names under consideration on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2015 ballot. With 22 wins and 361 top-10s in now 890 starts -- not to mention two championships -- his career features a long list of accomplishments. His favorite memory of that career, however, has less to do with himself than his supporters. "It was actually the first time, I think, I ever noticed the crowd. I was passing Dale Jarrett," he said, recalling a 1999 race at Texas Motor Speedway . "We had been running really good all day and they had just beat us on the pit stop, and I ran him down and passed him with less than 10 laps to go, and I saw the whole place stand up. And I had never seen the crowd, actually noticed the crowd stand up at the track, and I thought to myself, 'Oh, man, I better not screw this up, 'cause I think there's 200,000 people there pulling for me, and they're gonna be mad if I don't win this thing.' " MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Drivers reminisce on chaotic 1994 Brickyard 400 qualifying
Breaking down driver statistics, history
See which drivers will be at Talladega for the 32nd race of the season RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 1 Jamie McMurray Felix Sabates Keith Rodden 14 Chevrolet Cessna 2 2 Brad Keselowski Roger Penske Paul Wolfe 14 Ford Wicked Apple Ale 3 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Gil Martin 14 Chevrolet Dow 4 4 Kevin Harvick Tony Stewart Rodney Childers 14 Chevrolet Budweiser 5 5 Kasey Kahne Linda Hendrick Kenny Francis 14 Chevrolet Farmer's Insurance 6 7 Michael Annett Tommy Baldwin Kevin Manion 14 Chevrolet Golden Corral 7 9 Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Drew Blickensderfer 14 Ford Black & Decker 8 10 Danica Patrick Tony Stewart Tony Gibson 14 Chevrolet GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness 9 11 Denny Hamlin J D Gibbs Darian Grubb 14 Toyota #11 FedEx One Rate/Deliverminator Toyota 10 12 Ryan Blaney(i) Roger Penske Jeremy Bullins 14 Ford SKF 11 13 Casey Mears Bob Germain Bootie Barker III 14 Chevrolet No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS 12 14 Tony Stewart Margaret Haas Chad Johnston 14 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 13 15 Clint Bowyer Rob Kauffman Brian Pattie 14 Toyota Pink Lemonade 5-hour Energy Benefiting LBBC 14 16 Greg Biffle Jack Roush Matt Puccia 14 Ford 3M 15 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr John Henry Michael Kelley 14 Ford Cargill/Sam's Club 16 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Dave Rogers 14 Toyota M&M's Halloween 17 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Jason Ratcliff 14 Toyota Home Depot Husky 18 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Glen Wood Donnie Wingo 14 Ford Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 19 22 Joey Logano Walter Czarnecki Todd Gordon 14 Ford Shell Pennzoil 20 23 Alex Bowman Ron Devine Dave Winston 14 Toyota Dustless Blasting Toyota Camry 21 24 Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick Alan Gustafson 14 Chevrolet Axalta 22 26 Cole Whitt Anthony Marlowe Randy Cox 14 Toyota Burger King/Borla Toyota Camry 23 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Justin Alexander 14 Chevrolet Moen / Menards 24 129 Joe Nemechek(i) Robby Benton Matthew Lucas 14 Toyota Toyota Care 25 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Luke Lambert 14 Chevrolet Caterpillar 26 32 Terry Labonte Frank Stoddard Jr Clinton Cram 14 Ford C&J Energy Services 27 33 David Stremme Joe Falk Nick Harrison 14 Chevrolet TBA 28 34 David Ragan Bob Jenkins Derrick Finley 14 Ford DOCKSIDE LOGISTICS 29 36 Reed Sorenson Allan Heinke Todd Parrott 14 Chevrolet Zing Zang Chevrolet 30 38 David Gilliland Brad Jenkins Jay Guy 14 Ford LONG JOHN SILVER'S 31 40 Landon Cassill(i) Michael Hillman Mark Hillman 14 Chevrolet Carsforsale.com 32 41 Kurt Busch Gene Haas Daniel Knost 14 Chevrolet Haas Automation 33 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Chris Heroy 14 Chevrolet ENERGIZER 34 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Trent Owens 14 Ford Smithfield 35 47 A J Allmendinger Tad Geschickter Brian Burns 14 Chevrolet TBA 36 48 Jimmie Johnson Jeff Gordon Chad Knaus 14 Chevrolet Lowe's 37 51 Justin Allgaier Harry Scott Jr Steve Addington 14 Chevrolet BRANDT Professional Agriculture 38 55 Brian Vickers Michael Waltrip Billy Scott 14 Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 39 66 Michael Waltrip Jay Robinson Chad Walter 14 Toyota MyAFibStory.com 40 78 Martin Truex Jr Barney Visser Todd Berrier 14 Chevrolet Furniture Row 41 83 J J Yeley(i) Ron Devine Joe Williams 14 Toyota Burger King /DP Toyota Camry 42 87 Mike Wallace(i) Jay Robinson Scott Eggleston 14 Toyota Royal Teak Collection 43 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Rick Hendrick Steve Letarte 14 Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew 44 95 Michael McDowell Bob Leavine Wally Rogers 14 Ford LFR 45 98 Josh Wise Mike Curb Gene Nead 14 Ford Dogecoin/Reddit.com 46 99 Carl Edwards Jack Roush James Fennig 14 Ford Subway MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
See who'll be battling on the 2.66-mile track this weekend 101814-NCWTS-Talladega-9thAnnualfreds250PoweredbyCoca-Cola Entry # Driver Owner Manufacturer Sponsor 1 1 Milka Duno(i) Tracy Lowe 14 Chevrolet TBA 2 02 Tyler Young Randy Young 14 Chevrolet AKL Insurance Group/Randco/Young's Building Systems 3 103 Michael Affarano Michael Affarano 14 Chevrolet Won-N-Done 4 005 Cody Ware(i) Rick Ware 14 Chevrolet RWR 5 05 John Wes Townley Tony Townley 14 Toyota Zaxby's 6 6 Norm Benning Norm Benning 14 Chevrolet TBA 7 07 B J McLeod Ken Smith 14 Chevrolet McNair,McLemore Midlebrooks & Co, LLC 8 08 Jimmy Weller Bobby Dotter 14 Chevrolet Liberty Steel 9 8 Joe Nemechek Sidney Mauldin 14 Toyota Bully Hill Vineyards 10 9 Ron Hornaday Jr Joe Denette 14 Chevrolet Armour Vienna Sausages/Bad Boy Buggies 11 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Jennifer Jo Cobb 14 Chevrolet VG Pride Group/Oohrah! Hydration Drink 12 13 Jeb Burton Duke Thorson 14 Toyota Estes-Carolina Nut Company 13 115 Mason Mingus Billy Boat 14 Chevrolet 811 Call Before You Dig 14 17 Timothy Peters Tom Deloach 14 Toyota Red Horse Racing 15 19 Tyler Reddick Brad Keselowski 14 Ford DrawTite 16 20 Brennan Newberry Bob Newberry 14 Chevrolet Qore-24 17 21 Joey Coulter Maurice Gallagher Jr 14 Chevrolet Allegiant Travel 18 23 Spencer Gallagher Maurice Gallagher Jr 14 Chevrolet Allegiant Travel 19 28 Ryan Ellis(i) Jim Rosenblum 14 Chevrolet TBA 20 29 Ryan Blaney Brad Keselowski 14 Ford Cooper Standard 21 31 Ben Kennedy Steve Turner 14 Chevrolet Heater.com 22 32 Tayler Malsam Harry Scott Jr 14 Chevrolet Outerwall 23 35 Daniel Suarez Garza(i) Kevin Cywinski 14 Toyota Arris 24 136 Justin Jennings Beverly Mittler 14 Chevrolet Mitler Bros/LG Seeds/Ski Soda 25 50 Derek White(i) Mark Beaver 14 Chevrolet Grafoid-Braille Batteries 26 51 Erik Jones Kyle Busch 14 Toyota ToyotaCare 27 54 Darrell Wallace Jr Kyle Busch 14 Toyota ToyotaCare 28 156 T J Bell Raymond Terczak Jr 14 Chevrolet TBA 29 63 Scott Stenzel Michael Mittler 14 Chevrolet TBA 30 68 Clay Greenfield Clay Greenfield 14 RAM 1-800-PAVEMENT 31 74 Mike Harmon(i) Mike Harmon 14 Chevrolet MHR 32 77 German Quiroga Tom Deloach 14 Toyota NET10 Wireless 33 84 Chris Fontaine Chris Fontaine 14 Toyota Glenden Enterprises 34 88 Matt Crafton Rhonda Thorson 14 Toyota Menards/Fishers Nuts 35 98 Johnny Sauter Mike Curb 14 Toyota Nextant/Curb Records 36 99 Bryan Silas Chris Baluch 14 Chevrolet TBA (i) equals ineligible for driver championship points Text goes here MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView