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Racing community in shock over the arrest of former NASCAR driver Rick Crawford

Rick Crawford (Seminole County Sheriff's Office) Rick Crawford (Seminole County Sheriff's Office)
MOBILE COUNTY, AL (WALA) -

The South Alabama and Florida community are in shock over charges filed against former NASCAR Truck Series driver Rick Crawford. The Mobile native was arrested in Florida and charged with attempted enticement of a child. Crawford is accused of setting up a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old girl.
NASCAR promoter, Tommy Praytor, who's worked with Crawford for more than 20 years said Crawford's arrest is devastating.

"We're like brothers," Praytor said.
It was at the Mobile International Speedway where Crawford began his racing career.

"I was Rick Crawford's PR guy when he was in NASCAR. I was his PR guy when he came back home to run the speedway," Praytor said.
After a 15-year career with the NASCAR Truck Series, Crawford returned to the Mobile International Speedway in 2011 as a promoter and manager for two years. Tommy Praytor was his go-to guy.

"Fifty-nine years of good work and doing the right thing and helping people all went up in smoke in a matter of minutes," Praytor said. 
Praytor said his phone started ringing off the hook once word broke that his 59-year old friend was arrested for allegedly trying to have sex with a 12-year-old.

"What came to light over the weekend is just horrible. There's just no other way to put it."

According to federal court documents, under a post seeking a "taboo experience", an undercover FBI investigator posed as a father trying to sell sex with his 12-year-old daughter. Documents said Crawford and the undercover investigator discussed plans to meet with Crawford describing the sexual content he wanted to have with the girl before agreeing to pay about $75 for the sexual activity. Investigators say they intercepted the parking lot meet up in Sanford, Florida and placed Crawford under arrest.
"The good news is, there is no victim in this and so that would make it worse," Praytor said. 

Praytor said he's having a hard time with the news.

"In one hand, i just want to beat the crap out of him and go 'what were you thinking?' and on the other hand I want to give him a hug," Praytor said.

Others in the Irvington community near the speedway said they knew Crawford and simply thought he was a good guy and a good racer. Crawford is being held in the Seminole County, Florida jail with no bond.

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