PETERSEN MEDIA- Running a very patient race on Saturday night with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series during the 64th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions, Willie Croft would come on strong in the race’s final laps as he finished in the fifth spot.
“The track was really fast all night long, and it finally started to get where you could move around late in the race,” Croft added. “We had a good car, and really got going in those final laps and ended up finishing fifth.”
Timing the Holey Smokes BBQ/ButlerBuilt/Brown and Miller No. 29 entry in fourth quickest in his time trial flight, the Roseville, CA driver would run third in his heat race which locked him into the 40-lap finale.
From the 11th starting position, Croft would be on the of the few who was able to get some spots early in the night as he would get up to ninth by the race’s seventh lap. Racing in a tight pack of cars on the tricky quarter mile, Croft would actually drift back as far as 13th just before the race’s halfway point.
Using a restart, Croft would work his way back up to 11th at the halfway point, before taking over 10th on the 22nd circuit.
Continuing to run in 10th, Croft would use a lap 28 restart to grab two more positions as he worked into the eighth spot, and a lap 30 restart would see him continue to move forward as he worked up to sixth.
Croft seemed to get better as the race came to an end as he moved into fifth with just five laps to go, where he would go on to finish.
“It was really good to get a good finish after struggling during Friday night’s feature,” Croft said. “I was really happy with my car, and it was really good to move forward like we did.”
Croft was also in action on Wednesday night with the Civil War Series, and had a really good night going.
Timing in third quickest in time trials amongst the 44 cars that were checked into the pit area, Croft would go from fourth to second in his heat race and move into the Dash.
Finishing fifth in the Dash, Croft would grid the field from the third row for the 30-lap Civil War Series season finale.
Getting a good start, Croft would work into the third spot, where he ran when the first caution of the night flew on lap 18. With second having issues on the restart, Croft would take over the spot and promptly make a bid for the race lead when the action resumed.
Amidst a four-car battle for the lead, Croft would have a mechanical failure send him through the infield and bring his night to an early end.
“It was a disappointing end to our Wednesday night,” Croft said. “We had a car that was good enough to contend for the win, but unfortunately we broke. Good to have speed in both the 360 and 410 at Gold Cup, and hopefully we can run well with the Outlaws again at Calistoga Speedway.
Willie Croft Racing would like to thank Holey Smokes BBQ, ButlerBuilt , Brown and Miller, FK Rod Ends, Hinchman Indy, Factory Kahne, Schoenfeld, Smith Precision Products, Kaeding Performance, AL Drivelines, QTM, XYZ, Dan Olson Products, Vortex Wings, Amerikote, and GUTS for their support in 2017.
2017 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-36, Wins-1, Top 5’s-9, Top 10’s-16.
ON TAP: Croft will be back in action on Friday and Saturday night as he travels to Calistoga Speedway to battle the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
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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