PETERSEN MEDIA- Climbing aboard the Williams Motorsports No. 0 machine on Saturday night to fill in for Bud Kaeding, Willie Croft would have a nice showing only to get collected in a wreck on the 30th lap of the feature event and battle back to a 13th place finish.
“I really want to thank everyone involved at Williams Motorsports for the opportunity to driver for such an iconic team on the west coast,” Willie Croft said. “We had really good speed all night long, and I think we would have been right there at the end of the night, but we got collected in a wreck and had to make a trip to the work area.”
Making his first start aboard the famed Williams No. 0, Croft would show great speed early in the night as he timed in eighth fastest of the 34 drivers taking a time on this night.
The unique Johnny Key Classic format would line heat race up with no inversion, and the Roseville, CA driver would take full advantage as he got the jump and picked up the all important heat race win.
With the win, Croft would join the four lock in drivers in the night’s Dash, where a fifth place finish would place him in the third row of the grueling 50-lap Johnny Key Classic feature event.
As Ed Entz displayed the green flag to the field, Croft would hold strong in the Top-10 as he battled with the likes of Cory Eliason, Shane Golobic and Kyle Hirst on a very racy Ocean Speedway surface.
Holding strong during the first half of the race, Croft would find himself in the 10th spot at the halfway point. At that time, Croft’s team would go to work during the scheduled stop, and get the famed No. 0 machine a little better when action resumed.
Getting up into the seventh spot when the race came back to life, the 30th lap would prove trouble for Croft and company as a flip in front of him would see him catch a piece of the melee and get his machine over on his side.
With his crew working feverishly to make repairs, Croft would in fact rejoin the field, though would have his work cut out for him as he tagged the rear of the field. A nice restart showed Croft still had speed as he would run in the 11th spot when the caution flew on the 37th lap.
A lap 40-restart would see Croft lose a couple of positions and he would go on to finish the Johnny Key Classic in the 13th spot.
“It wasn’t the finish I hoped for, but really have to thank the guys for doing all they could to get me comfortable, and working hard to get us back out there late in the race,” Croft said. “I want to thank Morrie and Katie Williams, and Ashely Smith for this opportunity.”
Willie Croft Racing would like to thank Holey Smokes BBQ, ButlerBuilt , Brown and Miller, FK Rod Ends, Hinchman Indy, Schoenfeld, Smith Precision Products, Kaeding Performance, Dan Olson Products, Vortex Wings, Amerikote, and GUTS for their support in 2016.
2016 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-16, Wins-4, Top 5’s-7, Top 10’s-9.
ON TAP: Croft will be back in action on Saturday night in Petaluma, 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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