PETERSEN MEDIA- Though the results wont show it, Willie Croft and his Rudeen Racing team were able to make gains during the week at the Knoxville Nationals, and in the end, Croft was able to better his results during his second attempt at the year’s biggest race as he would finish in the C Main.
“We didn’t have the results we had hoped for, but as a driver I made some huge adjustments as the week went on, and as a team we made some big gains on our car,” Croft said. “I really have to thank everyone involved with Rudeen Racing for all of their hard work during the Knoxville Nationals.”
Taking to the Knoxville Raceway during the opening night of the Nationals, Croft would time the Kaeding Performance/Brown and Miller/Rod End Supply backed No. 26 in 28th fastest.
Finishing sixth in his heat race, Croft would move to the night’s B Main event where he would grid the field from the 16th starting spot. A semi full of heavy hitter would see Croft finish his night with a 17th place finish and quickly turn his attention to Friday night.
Sitting 70th in points after Wednesday and Thursday night, Croft took full advantage of another shot on Friday night, as he would time in 11th quickest in time trials.
Lining up on the front row of his heat race alongside fellow Californian, Cory Eliason, Croft would get the jump and not look back. Looking good in clean air, Croft would pick up the win and move into the Friday night feature event.
Gridding the field from the seventh row for the 25-lap feature event, Croft we end up pulling into the pit area on the 20th lap, and would be credited with a 22nd place finish.
By making the Friday night feature event, Croft drastically improved on his Saturday night position, as he would line up in the fourth row of the 15-lap Knoxville Nationals C-Main event.
A stout field of cars even in the C, would see Croft battle with Jason Solwold, Paul McMahan, and Brandon Wimmer as he tried to get into a transfer spot. Finishing 12th, Croft’s Knoxville Nationals would come to a close.
“We had a goal of making the A, but we came up short,” Croft said. “Like I said, tough our results weren’t there we really got better each night, and I am thankful I was back there with this team. I have to thank everyone involved for making this Summer possible, and I was happy we could get to a bunch of tracks and pick up a win.”
Willie Croft and the Rudeen Racing team would like to thank Kaeding Performance, Brown and Miller, Rod End Supply, XYZ, Firedown Graphics, and Speedmart for their support in 2016.
2016 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-21, Wins-1, Top 5’s-2, Top 10’s-5.
ON TAP: Croft will now head back to California where he will head to the Ocean Speedway on Saturday night to take on the Civil War Series during the Johnny Key Classic.
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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