PETERSEN MEDIA- Willie Croft and his team opened September by competing seven times in nine nights in three different states and were able to score a win last Sunday night in Elma, WA with the Summer Thunder Sprint Car Series.
“It was a grueling week, and it definitely tested us,” Willie Croft said. “My guys worked their tails off, and it was great to get a win in WA. We raced hard, and things felt right, some late restarts kind of shook our results up”
Following a couple of hard fought nights at Skagit Speedway with the World of Outlaws that saw Croft finish 14th and 17th aboard the Holey Smokes BBQ/ButlerBuilt/Brown and Miller entry, the team checked in at Gray’s Harbor Raceway on Sunday night.
Timing in eighth quickest in qualifying time trials, the Roseville, CA driver would race his way to a third place finish in his heat race which ultimately saw him grid the field from the third row. On racy surface, Croft would work his way up into second where he would start to challenge race leader, Jared Peterson.
A couple of Croft’s bids for the lead would be countered, but on the 21st lap ‘Double Down’ made the move of the night and he would go on to claim his fifth win of the 2018 season.
Running the next night with the World of Outlaws at Gray’s Harbor Raceway, Croft would like to build off of the momentum from the win as he timed in 8th quickest in time trials and ran fourth in his heat race. Working his way forward in the early stages of the race, Croft would run inside the Top-10 until a restart dropped him back to 13th. Continuing to fight Croft would get back up to 10th with just four laps to go but would end up 15th at the stripe.
A tough night in Oregon on Wednesday night saw Croft finish 20th as he made his way back into his native California for the Gold Cup Race of Champions on Friday and Saturday night in Chico, CA.
Getting off the racing surface while maneuvering on a thick cushion in heat race action on Friday night, Croft would vie for a transfer position in the Last Chance Showdown only to come up short and not make the feature.
Saturday night’s finale saw Croft time in 17th quickest in time trials before a late move on a restart in his heat race saw him jump into the fifth and final transfer position where he would earn a berth into the 40-lap Gold Cup Race of Champions feature event.
Rolling off the starting grid from the 17th starting position, Croft would look very good in the opening stages of the race as he would work up as high as 13th and look for a spot in the Top-10. With a car losing the handle in front of him on the seventh lap, Croft would be forced off the racing surface as he would slip back to 25th and have his work cut out for him.
Though he would have a very fast racecar underneath him, being back deep in the field on the ¼ mile would see him go a lap down early. Still putting it all out there, Croft would close his Gold Cup with a 23rd place finish.
“Wayne and my guys worked hard all week long, and we just had things not go our way, and in these Outlaw shows you have to have perfect nights to run well,” Croft added. “Looking forward to trying again this week.”
Willie Croft Racing would like to thank Holey Smokes BBQ, ButlerBuilt , Brown and Miller, FK Rod Ends, Factory Kahne, Schoenfeld, Simpson Race Products, Smith Precision Products, Kaeding Performance, AL Drivelines, XYZ, Vortex Wings, Amerikote, DoTerra and GUTS for their support in 2018.
2018 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-48, Wins-5, Top 5’s-15, Top 10’s-19.
ON TAP: Willie Croft is set for Placerville Speedway on Wednesday night and Calistoga Speedway this Friday and Saturday.
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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