Maine Native Ricky Craven To Be Inducted Into New England Auto Racing Hall Of Fame
Ricky Craven, from the tiny Maine town of Newburgh in Washington County, is set to be inducted into the New England Auto Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame in a ceremony on November 13th in South Windsor, Connecticut.
Ricky began racing at the age of 15 frequently racing at Unity Raceway with two wins and the Rookie of the Year title in 1982, followed by 12 wins and the track championship the very next year.
In 1989 Ricky made his first appearance in a major NASCAR touring series with his first Busch Grand National North start. Numerous wins, the Rookie of the Year title in 1990, two most popular driver awards, and the 1991 Busch Grand National North Championship set the stage for Ricky to move south to drive in the NASCAR Busch Series. Ricky continued his success by earning yet another Rookie of the Year title followed by consecutive runner-up finishes in the Busch Grand National standings. After 2 wins, 16 top 10's, and 8 top 5's in 1994, Larry Hedrick called on Ricky to drive his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car for 1995. After an intense battle throughout the season, Ricky was named the 1995 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Rookie of the Year, making him the first driver to ever earn the title in three major NASCAR touring series.
In January of 2001 Ricky was named to drive the No. 32 Tide Ford for PPI Motorsports and team owner Cal Wells. The results were instant, with the team recording a top 5 finish in only the second event of the season. The pairing culminated on October 15, 2001 when Ricky pulled into victory lane at Martinsville after holding off a last lap charge by Dale Jarrett to win the Old Dominion 500.