PETERSEN MEDIA- Teaming back up with Rudeen Racing for the 24th Annual Trophy Cup that took place in Tulare, CA, Willie Croft and the team would work all weekend long and end the grueling race second overall in points after a third place finish in the race.
“I can’t thank Kevin Rudeen, and this entire team enough for giving me another opportunity to compete with them at Trophy Cup,” Willie Croft said. “We went into Saturday night kind of far back in points, but we were able to have a great night and come close to winning our second Trophy Cup.”
90 cars kicked the weekend off on Thursday night, and Croft would time the famed Rudeen Racing No. 26 machine in 11th quickest during his time trial flight. Lining up in the second row of his heat race, the Roseville, CA driver would finish in the third spot and find himself in one of the twin ‘B’ Main events.
Lining up in the fourth starting point of the semi, Croft would waste no time getting to the lead and would then go on to leave the field in his wake. Turning in a dominant performance, Croft would pick up the win and move into the feature event where he lined up 13th, after just narrowly missing out on the front row by way of event points.
On a track that gave drivers fits and was demanding, Croft would work his way forward into the Top-10. Working at picking up as many spots as he could to accumulate valuable event points, Croft would close Thursday night out with a ninth place finish, which placed him ninth in points after night one.
Looking to better his point total on Friday night, Croft would get off to a very nice start on a track that had a lot more moisture in it as he ended up third quickest in time trials.
With the track tough to pass on in heat races, Croft would start and finish sixth which placed him on the pole of a ‘B’ Main. Again picking up the win, Croft would move into the feature event where he would grid the field in the 16th starting spot.
On an extremely rough and tumble surface, Croft was able to work through it and work his way forward. Putting his car where he needed to, Croft would advance 10 positions and finish sixth with the 30-lap affair came to a close.
Heading into the Saturday night finale, Croft sat 13th in points, though the gap was close through the field.
Racing to a fourth place finish in his heat race, Croft would turn into a spectator for the five remaining heats as he waited to see where he ended up heading into the feature event. Moving up to 11th in points, Croft would line up in the 10th starting position for the 50-lap feature event.
With the track still fast in the feature, Croft would slowly starting moving forward as the laps clicked off.
Battling with the likes of Joey Saldana, Shane Golobic, and Tim Kaeding late in the race, Croft would work his way up to finish third in the race, which put him second on the overall Trophy Cup standings.
“To come forward like we did both Friday and Saturday night is really a testament to how hard this team worked,” Willie Croft said. “The way it worked out we were in a really good position in the finale, and we just went forward and came close to winning it again. I have to thank Kevin Rudeen, Shane Anderson, Brent Anderson, and Derrick Roberts for everything they did for me this week.”
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 2017.
2016 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-48, Wins-1, Top 5’s-11, Top 10’s-21.
ON TAP: Croft will return to action on November 4th at Stockton Dirt Track.
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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