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Willie Croft Dismantles Field During Trophy Cup Finale


PETERSEN MEDIA- Having some bad luck during both preliminary night night’s of the 23rd Annual Trophy Cup, Willie Croft and the Rudeen Racing team would take advantage of a front row starting position on Saturday night and simply dismantle the field during the 50-lap feature event.

“We went into Thursday’s feature as the top point guy but a late race issue gave us a flat with six-laps left in the race, and Friday night we had an awesome car but we got collected in the B and we weren’t able to better our point total,” Willie Croft said. “Saturday night all we were on the front row of the feature event, so the priority was to win the race and see how everything else fell.”

Taking the best of two preliminary nights into the Saturday night finale, Croft and company hit the Thunderbowl Raceway on Thursday night with some good speed as the Roseville, CA driver timed in fastest during his qualifying flight.

An outstanding run in his heat race saw him work up to finish in the second spot and transfer directly into the feature event. Sitting atop the point standings, Croft would grid the field from the 12th starting spot.

Hoping to have an event free night and put himself in a good spot for Saturday’s feature, Croft would get off to a good start on an extremely slick Thunderbowl Raceway.

Following stoppages on laps seven and eleven, Croft would work his way up to the fifth spot as the laps continued to click off. On the 26th lap, Croft would get squeezed up into the

wall, which would flatten his right rear tire and bring him to a stop with 26 laps completed.

Making repairs, Croft would collect all the points he could as he finished in the 18th spot.

Sitting 14th in points, Croft would look to have a better night on Friday and erase Thursday as he timed in eighth fastest. Finishing fourth in his heat, Croft would be forced into the night’s B Main.

Staring fourth in the semi, Croft would get the Rudeen Racing machine moving around Thunderbowl Raceway as he would climb into the second spot. As he reeled in Mason Moore, a lapped car would spin in front of him and he would be collected. Restarting, Croft would work back up to finish eighth.

Sitting 18th once everyone’s best night was accounted for, Croft would head into the Saturday night program looking for a good heat race to lock himself into the feature. Running fifth in his heat, Croft would end up 19th in overall points and would find himself on the front row of the 50-lap feature event.

When the race came to life, Croft was hard on the throttle as he quickly jumped out to the lead as he flew around the Thurnderbowl Raceway cushion. Building up a sizeable lead, a red on lap seven was the only thing that could slow Croft down.

Back underway; Croft would continue to dominate as he simply left the rest of the field in his wake. Opening up a half a lap lead on second place, the scheduled caution would fly with 35 laps in the books.

With a handful of cars between himself and second running, DJ Netto, Croft would again driver away from his competition as he would race his way to the victory and end the weekend fourth in overall points.

“To end the year with Rudeen Racing with another win is really special,” Willie Croft added. “We would have liked to also win the Trophy Cup, but to lead all 50-laps and end up fourth in the points is a really good weekend. I have to thank everyone who has made this all possible.”

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-24, Wins-2, Top 5’s-3, Top 10’s-6.

ON TAP: Croft will return to action with the King of the West Series at Stockton Dirt Track on November 5th.

STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Willie Croft Racing by visiting You can also follow him on Twitter @WillieCroft29.

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