PETERSEN MEDIA- Willie Croft looked to be in prime position to battle up front during both night’s of the Peter Murphy Classic, but two frustrating feature events have him looking forward to Petaluma Speedway on Saturday night.
“Both nights we were good leading up to the feature event, but on Friday night I think we sealed up a tire under an early yellow, and Saturday night they re worked the track just before we pushed out, and we ended up being too tight and popping wheelies all night.”
Croft’s weekend got underway in Tulare, CA on Friday night as he timed the Holey Smokes BBQ/Brown and Miller/FK Rod Ends backed No. 29 machine in third fastest in his qualifying group.
Lining up on the front row of his heat race, Croft would get the jump over Steven Tiner, and proceed to pick up the win and advance into the night’s Pole Shuffle.
During the match race, Croft would take on Rico Abreu in the first round and would come up short and be relegated to the 12th starting position for the 35-lap feature event.
Getting into the 10th spot in the race’s first 11 laps, Croft looked to be one to watch from the middle of the pack as he looked to be one of the only ones who could move around.
With the race’s second yellow coming at the halfway point, Croft wouldn’t be quite the same when the race resumed. Struggling to make traction, Croft would slip back and end up finishing in the 16th spot.
Saturday night Croft and team would bolt in their 410ci engine to take on the KWS Fujitsu Racing Series in the Peter Murphy Classic finale.
Timing in second fastest in flight a, Croft would just narrowly miss out on bonus money that was up for grabs during time trials. Lining up in the second row of the night’s second heat, the Roseville, CA driver would make a couple of big moves to pick up the win and make himself eligible for the Pole Shuffle.
Defeating Michael Kofoid in his first match, Croft would then come up just short to Bud Kaeding as he tried to get on the front row but would settle for the third starting spot in the night’s 30-lap Peter Murphy Classic feature event.
With rubber going down on the track during the wingless feature, track crews would rework the surface during driver introductions, and it gave teams something to think about in a short amount of time.
Croft and company thought the work would hold up for a few laps before starting to go slick again, but unfortunately that would not be the case.
With the track staying fast, Croft would simply be too tight in the feature and would pull his front wheels up off the ground regularly through the night.
When the race came to a close, Croft would slide back and finish 10th.
“We were just terrible for the feature event,” Croft said. “He had to rework the track because of the rubber, and I just missed the set up. We were tight, couldn’t rotate, and did wheel stands everywhere. Thanks to Peter Murphy for working so hard to put this weekend on, and thanks to my guys for their help.”
Willie Croft Racing would like to thank Holey Smokes BBQ, ButlerBuilt , Brown and Miller, FK Rod Ends, Hinchman Indy, Factory Kahne, Schoenfeld, Smith Precision Products, Kaeding Performance, AL Drivelines, QTM, XYZ, Dan Olson Products, Vortex Wings, Amerikote, and GUTS for their support in 2017.
2017 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-13, Wins-0, Top 5’s-2, Top 10’s-4.
ON TAP: Willie Croft will follow the Sprint Car Challenge Tour to Petaluma Speedway on Saturday night.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Willie Croft Racing by visiting www.williecroftracing.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @WillieCroft29.
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