PETERSEN MEDIA- Taking part in two nights of action in Tulare, CA for the Peter Murphy Classic, Willie Croft would finish 13th after enduring a late flat on Friday night with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour, but would bounce back and finish fourth on Saturday night with the King of the West Series.
“I have to thank my guys for their hard work during a busy two-nights of action,” Willie Croft said. “We had a pretty good car both nights but unfortunately we had a flat hinder our finish on Friday.”
Saturday night’s Peter Murphy Classic finale saw Croft open the night up by timing the Holey Smokes BBQ/ButlerBuilt/Brown and Miller backed No. 29 machine in third quickest in time trials.
Lining up in the second row of his heat race, the Roseville, CA driver would make a couple of swift moves that saw him get into second, where he would finish. By way of his qualifying effort and his heat finish, Croft would have enough points to earn a spot in the pole shuffle.
Moving into the shuffle, Croft would face Kyle Hirst in his first match up which he would win and guarantee himself no worse than the third starting position. Croft’s next match up would be against Matt Dumesny. In a hair-raising battle, Dumesny would get the best of Croft and he would find himself third on the starting grid.
When the race came to life, rubber would soon start going down on the raceway and most drivers would fall in line and hit their marks trying to conserve their tires. After losing a tire one night ago, Croft was extra mindful on this night as he ran safely inside the Top-Five.
A couple of late restarts would make things interesting, but with little to no tread left on his tires, Croft would fend off Tim Kaeding as he finished fourth on this night.
Friday night saw Croft bring the Sprint Car Challenge Tour point lead into the Peter Murphy Classic where he would time in fastest in his time trial group and line up in the second row of the fifth heat.
Working the bottom in his heat race, Croft would lose the handle in turns three and four and it would relinquish him to the back of the pack. Laying down some impressive laps as he chased after a transfer position, Croft’s sixth place finish would put him in the semi.
Finishing second in the 12-lap ‘B’, Croft’s night would continue on as he would advance to the feature event where he would roll off of the starting grid from the 22nd starting position.
Similar to Saturday’s track, Friday nights’ surface was also extremely slick and would take rubber in the early goings of the 30-lap feature event. Though rubber would go down, Croft would put on a show as he looked to dig out of hole the heat race mishap put himself in.
Laying down some impressive laps, Croft would find himself inside the Top-10 just before the race’s halfway point. Continuing to fight his way forward, Croft would get himself into fifth in the closing laps and looked to be well on his way to a Top-Five finish.
However, with just two laps to go, Croft’s right rear would go flat and he would be forced to make a trip to the work area where he would get a fresh tire, and restart the race before finishing 13th.
“It is a little bit of a bummer Friday night ended how it did, but it doesn’t take away from how good we were,” Croft added. “My guys really have a good car underneath me right now and we will try again this weekend in Stockton, CA.”
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, and GUTS for their support in 2018.
2018 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-16, Wins-2, Top 5’s-6, Top 10’s-9.
ON TAP: Willie Croft will be back in action on Saturday night in Stockton, CA.
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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