Getting to know
Crowell, a junior at Goddard, has advanced through auto racing after starting out in kage carts at age 5. He has raced in the Hornet Youth Division at 81 Speedway, in the Hobby Stock Division and this past season in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA).
What kind of reaction do you get from people when you tell them you race cars?
“They sort of stare at me like I’m crazy or dumb or something. Like I’m a redneck.”
What appeals to you about racing?
“It’s a lot different than any other sports out there. It’s a lot more competitive. It’s not about how big you are. It’s about your brains and what you can make your car into. It has more aspects towards your mental ability than your physical ability. There is some physical ability, but I like that it has more to do with what you can do with your brain than your muscles.”
How is racing more about your intelligence?
“You have to have fast reaction times. If someone spins out in front of you, you have to be able to dodge him in a split second to continue in the race. You have to know how to set up your car – springs, shocks, different-size tires. You have to be able to know what to do to make your car run right when you go out on the track for the feature.”
What do you think others’ perceptions are of you racing?
“A lot of people don’t really think about racing as a sport, they think about it as stupid, really. But they watch NASCAR. We race dirt track. The biggest track we’ve raced is a half-mile track. (NASCAR) is cement, three-mile long track, in a big circle, side-by-side, drifting to the corners. The biggest I’ve raced is 30 laps.”
Are you a different person at the race track?
“I’m a totally different person. I’m thinking different, I’m acting different. I have more seriousness about me. Talk to my friends and they’ll tell you I’m a loose kind of guy, who just tries to have as much fun as he can.”