Race Car Driver Turns Down Golden Opportunity

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Dave Crowell's dream since he took up playing senior softball a decade ago has been to become an Arizona Diamondbacks "Golden Glover." Those are the seniors who, donned in full Diamondback uniforms and with a glove, patrol the sidelines and out-of-bounds areas at Bank One Ballpark retrieving foul balls.

After waiting years for his Golden Glove application to be accepted, Crowell received a Feb. 16 phone call saying he had been chosen and should report to the ballpark for training.

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Dave Crowell receives the support of his wife, Donna, when competing on the dwarf car racing track, speeding around a quarter-mile at more than 100 mph.

A few years ago, that call would have sent Crowell jumping for joy.

Not now.

He stoically told the team representatives he would have to turn it down.

"They said, ‘What? You're talking to the Arizona Diamondbacks,'" Crowell said. "I think it caught them off guard."

Crowell decided not to become a Golden Glover in order to continue racing dwarf cars -- a hobby he began more than a year ago. The schedule of being a Golden Glover would have conflicted with his racing calender.

"I refused the offer for the thrill of driving 100-plus mph with 24 cars on a quarter-mile track," Crowell said. "Some day, I'm sure I will regret not doing it, but the feeling you have in a race car is a stronger pull than wanting to be on the field of a major league baseball team."

Crowell also wants to continue promoting the sport that is growing in popularity around the state.

"I feel my sponsors want me in my car and on the race track," he said. "And I enjoy having the kids coming up and asking if they can sit in my car. The looks and expressions from kids, sitting in my race car, is priceless."

2004 turned out to be a banner year for Crowell in his first year in racing. He won the Northern Arizona Dwarf Car Rookie of the Year championship.

Crowell and other dwarf car racers from around the state will return to action when the spring and summer seasons rev up April 29 and 30 at Prescott Valley Raceway. Throughout the seven-month campaign, Crowell will enter events in Show Low and the Valley until the season culminates in November at Phoenix Manzanita Speedway.

Other Rim country dwarf racers entered include Justin Randall, Wade Harmon and Chet Grandy.

As Crowell prepares for racing , he does so at the cost of giving up his lifelong dream.

"It would have been a dream come true, being on a professional major league field during a regulation game," Crowell said. "It was hard to refuse, but racing is what I do now."

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