PETERSEN MEDIA- Making his maiden voyage to the Midwest as a driver, Willie Croft was in action on three occasions over the last week, as he made his first ever visits to the I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, NE and the famed Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, IA.
“It has always been a dream of mine to race at some of these places, and to finally be out here doing it is surreal,” Croft said.
Finishing fifth during his first night at the I-80 Speedway with the National Sprint League on Thursday night, Croft would come back to finish in the 12th spot of Friday night before finishing 15th during his first appearance at the Knoxville Raceway.
“The people have been great, the tracks have been awesome, and I was pleased with how we ran during our first few nights, but we still have some work to do.”
With 23 NSL cars signed in on Thursday night, Croft would get his trip started off by timing the Holey Smokes BBQ/ButlerBuilt/Brown and Miller No. 29 machine in fifth fastest.
Working his way from fourth to second in his heat race, the Roseville, CA driver would find himself on the front row for the Road To Knoxville opening night feature event.
Falling back to the third spot when the race went green, Croft would chase after Jamie Veal and Terry McCarl, until Danny Lasoski dropped him into the fourth spot on the fifth lap.
With Billy Balog getting by him on a restart, Croft would settle down, and settle into the race as he ran solidly in the Top-5 as he would take the checkered flag in the fifth spot in what was his first career NSL start.
Heading back to I-80 on Friday night, Croft would time in 11th fastest during qualifications before running second in his heat race. Safely transferring into the A Main, Croft would line up in the sixth row. Battling for a spot in the Top-10 for much of the race, Croft would Mark Dobmeier and Logan Forler during the race’s closing stages as he closed his Road To Knoxville out with a 12th place effort.
Heading to the Knoxville Raceway on Saturday night, Croft’s first ever qualifying attempt on the famed ½ mile would result in a 14th quick effort. Slipping back to finish fifth in his heat race, Croft would line up 14th in the main event and battle with fellow Californian, Tim Kaeding, as he finished in the 15th spot.
“Knoxville offers a lot of challenges, but I had fun during my first outing there,” Croft said. “I really have to thank everyone who has made this trip possible for me and my team, and hopefully I can make all of my fans back home proud during the Nationals.”
Willie Croft Racing would like to thank Holey Smokes BBQ, ButlerBuilt , Brown and Miller, FK Rod Ends, Hinchman Indy, Schoenfeld, K&N, Smith Precision Products, Kaeding Performance, Dan Olson Products, Vortex Wings, Amerikote, and GUTS for their support in 2015.
2015 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-33, Wins-0, Top 5’s-7, Top 10’s-14.
ON TAP: Croft will be in action this week during the 360 Nationals at the Knoxville Raceway, that kick off on Thursday night before taking part in Sunday night’s Capitani 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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