2004 - All HammerDown! Team Member
East, Crocker sign major NASCAR development deals - By Bobby Gerould - HammerDownUSA.com Editor - December 10, 2004 - The latest young sprint car and midget drivers to be snatched by NASCAR are Bobby East and Erin Crocker. East signed a long-term deal with Ford MotorSports, and Crocker will go the route of Kasey Kahne in inking to a Ray Evernham contract. Crocker, 23, will compete in three ARCA races and three NASCAR Busch Series races. She also will drive for Kasey Kahne's USAC Silver Crown team. Crocker recently caught the attention of Evernham when she won a World of Outlaws preliminary feature at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, CA. Evernham told the Associated Press, "I'm a big fan of open wheel racing and the talented drivers who come out of those series I'm always watching the sprint car and Silver Crown series because it's exciting racing, but it's also a great place to find talented, young drivers." Crocker gained wide attention in the sprint car world in August 2003 when she qualified for the Knoxville Nationals A-Main as a rookie driver. The petite pilot from Wilbraham, Mass. has a bachelor's degree in industrial and management engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She earned All-HammerDown! Team honors this season. "This is like a dream come true," said Crocker. "When Ray Evernham called, I was considering several options. But once that phone rang, my mind was made up. "This is a chance for me to learn as much as I can, in several different types of cars, from the best in the business." East, from Brownsburg, Ind., became the youngest USAC National champion in the series' 49-year history when he earned the National Midget title this year. Ford is calling for East to run at least one more season in the USAC while testing stock cars. East and Crocker join the likes of J.J. Yeley, Tony Stewart, Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Mike Bliss, Ryan Newman, Tyler Walker, Tracy Hines, Dave Blaney, and others that have moved on to make more money in the world of NASCAR.
...Erin Crocker of Wilbraham, Mass. has been wowing them in the Midwest. The lady racer finished sixth in the All-Star race at Oskaloosa. To make it more impressive, it was only her second start in a 410 sprint car!
Erin Crocker, a 22 year-old lady racer from Massachusetts, was the Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year.