Former NASCAR driver Rick Crawford tried to meet what he believed was a 12-year-old girl and offered the girl’s father $50 for the tryst, police in Florida are claiming.
The 59-year-old former driver was arrested this weekend on federal charges, MotorSport.com reported. A federal complaint showed that Crawford was being held on a charge of “attempted enticement of a minor,” the report noted, the result of an internet correspondence that turned out to be a sting.
Crawford believed he was in contact with a father who was setting up sex with his 12-year-old daughter. As the New York Daily News noted, the former NASCAR driver was actually corresponding with a federal agent who is part of a child sex task force. Crawford allegedly made an arrangement to pay between $50 and $75 for sex with the 12-year-old girl, and told the person that he had done this before and paid for it.
“$$$. Is no problem,” Crawford allegedly wrote in an email. “I’m OK with rules. Say when.”
The report claimed that after he was arrested, Crawford claimed that he planned to meet the man but would not have gone through with it if the child was underage. Investigators said Rick Crawford had requested a picture of the girl and was sent a picture of a federal investigator who was 12-years-old at the time the photo was taken.
Rick Crawford was at one time seen as a rising star in the NASCAR Truck Series, with five victories in 336 career starts. His last race came in 2012, and his last win was in 2006. After his racing career ended he went to work behind the scenes in the racing world, serving as a promoter and manager of Mobile International Speedway in Irvington, Alabama, MotorSport.com reported.
Though Crawford may not have been a household name among the racing world, his arrest is still causing ripples across the scene. Some outlets reached out to NASCAR for comment, and the racing governing body noted that Crawford was not an active driver and no longer held a place on the National Motorsports Appeal Panel.