PETERSEN MEDIA- Willie Croft has been the car to beat the last few times he showed up to the Petaluma Speedway, and on Saturday night Croft continued to run well on the black clay as he finished second in what was a photo finish at the stripe.
“I really wanted to get our third win in a row at Petaluma, but that was a pretty good race, congrats to Colby Copeland and his team,” Croft said.
With 22 cars on hand for the relocated Civil War Presented By Flowmaster event, Croft got off to a great start as he timed his Holey Smokes BBQ/Christian Stover Foundation/ButlerBuilt entry in fourth fastest before finishing fourth in his heat race.
Qualifying for the evening’s dash, Croft would pick up a couple of positions as he advanced to the fourth spot at the stripe, putting him in the second row for the 30-lap main event.
With outside front row starter, Kurt Nelson, coming to a stop on the initial green, Croft found himself on the front row, alongside Colby Copeland.
On the lightening fast surface, Croft chased after Copeland when the green dropped, though he quickly had his hands full with Matt Peterson, as he slipped back to the third spot in the early goings of the feature event.
Battling with Peterson, and Shane Golobic, Croft sat in the fourth spot as the race reached the half way point, but as the laps continued to click off, Croft’s entry began to come to him, and he was able to get moving back forward.
Getting into the second spot on the 17th lap out of turn two, Croft put his full attention on the race leader, Copeland, as they began entering lapped traffic. Closing up on Copeland’s back bumper, Croft looked for an opening to challenge for the lead, but the veteran driver remained patient.
With the white flag waiving, Copeland got help up slightly by a slower car, and Croft was able to pull even with him. As they raced side by side, the duo had a drag race to the checkered flag, but it was Copeland with a little more momentum, able to hold of Croft at the stripe.
“That was an awesome race,” he said. “We were really tight during the first half of the race, but as the track kind of slicked off, I got better and better, and gave Colby everything I had.”
Willie Croft Racing would like to thank Holey Smokes BBQ, The Christian Stover
Foundation, ButlerBuilt , Brown and Miller, FK Rod Ends, Hinchman Indy, Schoenfeld, K&N, Smith Precision Products, All Pro Cylinder Heads, Shark Racing Engines, A.R.T., M.R.O. Industrial Supply, Redline Oil, Kaeding Performance, PaPa’s Beef Jerky, Dan Olson Products, Vortex Wings, AIC Powdercoating, and GUTS for their support in 2014.
2014 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-23, Wins-1, Top 5’s-8 Top 10’s-10.
ON TAP: Croft will return to action on Friday night at the Silver Dollar Speedway for the opening night of the Fall Nationals.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Willie Croft Racing by visiting www.williecroftracing.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @wcroft29.
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