PETERSEN MEDIA- Willie Croft had one of those weekends that leaves a bittersweet taste in your mouth. Leading laps and battling for the win both Friday and Saturday night, a little bad luck would keep him enjoying good finishes.
“Racing has highs and lows and we experienced both emotions Friday and Saturday night,” Willie Croft said. “We were extremely fast Friday with our 410 at Ocean Speedway and Saturday with our 360 at Stockton Dirt Track, it’s just a bummer we came away with nothing.”
Battling with the King of the West Series on Friday night at Ocean Speedway, Croft opened his busy weekend up by timing the Holey Smokes BBQ/ButlerBuilt/Brown and Miller backed No. 29 machine in 10th quickest in time trials.
Lining up on the front row of his heat race, the Roseville, CA driver would take care of business and pick up the win which would give him enough points to move into the Dash.
Making some big moves in the Dash, Croft would work his way up to a second place finish, which put him on the front row for the 30-lap feature event.
From his front row starting position, Croft would be shot out of a cannon as he quickly opened up a sizeable lead on the field. Putting his potent No. 29 entry anywhere he needed to, Croft would quickly find lapped traffic and would a great job of cutting through it as he kept Kyle Hirst and Tanner Thorson at arms reach.
Enduring a couple of restarts, Croft would continue to flex his muscle and lead the way until a late caution shook things up. A lap 25 restart would see Croft have company in the name of Kyle Hirst. With Hirst battling for the top spot, Croft would feel his right rear begin to go down as it changed the handling of his car.
A yellow on lap 27 would see Croft do what he could to keep pressure up, but when the race came back to life it was apparent he would be unable to hang on and he would do a great job of getting out of harms way and getting back to the pits.
Disappointed with the result, Croft and the Willie Croft Racing team would flush the night, and travel to Stockton, CA on Saturday night to take part in the Asparagus Cup.
Getting off to a great start during the inaugural event, Croft would show serious speed early as he earned quick time honors on this night.
From the second row of his heat race, Croft would pick up a second place finish and move into the Dash where a second place finish would put him on the front row of the $10,000-to-win, 30-lap feature event.
When the race came to life Croft would settle into second as he chased after Gio Scelzi for the first eight laps of the race.
Taking advantage of a lap nine restart, Croft would get the better of the youngster and charge ahead to the race lead. On a slick racing surface, Croft would look extremely strong out front as he would soon find the back of the pack in front of him.
Getting into traffic, and hard charging James McFadden would close in on croft and the two would begin to duel for the top-spot.
Battling neck and neck with the Australian stand out just past the race’s halfway point, McFadden would nose Croft at the line on the 21st lap.
Fighting in traffic, Croft would be forced to take evasive action to avoid contact with another car and it would result in him getting to hard into the cushion and stalling his machine with just nine laps to go.
Restarting from 17th , Croft would make a couple of moves in the final laps to take the checkered flag with a 14th place finish.
“You try and take some positives out of a weekend like that, but it leaves you a little frustrated at the same time,” Croft added. “Wayne, Eric, and Tony did a great job and it is good to have a really fast racecar underneath us right now. We are at Petaluma this week, a track that has been good to me as of late and we will look to pick one of these off.”
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-11, Wins-0, Top 5’s-3, Top 10’s-5.
ON TAP: Willie Croft is set to take on the Sprint Car Challenge Tour 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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