PETERSEN MEDIA- Sunday night in Bakersfield, CA, Willie Croft got the 2018 King of the West-NARC season kicked off in fine form as he picked up a second place finish in the series’ opening event.
“We had a good car and were really fast all night, you hate to lose races when starting up front like we did,” Willie Croft said. “We are definitely making strides and getting better with each race.”
A total of 22 cars checked in for the weather-delayed opener as the race was moved back a day to pesky rain on Saturday. Croft opened his night off by timing the Holey Smokes BBQ/ButlerBuilt/Brown and Miller backed No. 29 entry in seventh quickest in qualifying time trials.
Lining up on the front row of his heat race, Croft would find himself in a spirited battle with Brother-In-Law, Kyle Hirst. Exchanging the top spot numerous times in the closing laps of the race, Croft would get the better of the deal and grab the win and earn valuable points to propel himself into the Dash.
Grabbing the win in the Dash, Croft would put the Hinchman/Factory Kahne Shocks/Schoenfeld backed entry on the pole for the 30-lap feature event.
The early start on the rare Sunday event saw the track blow off and go slick early in the program. Track crews would go to work before the feature event and it would present a bit of unknown to the field.
When the green flag was displayed to the field, Croft would get the jump initially as he took a liking to the high side of the speedway. Leading the first lap, Shane Golobic would use some grip on the bottom to zip into the lead off of turn two on lap two, and Croft would quickly drop down and shadow the race leader.
Following an early stoppage in the race, it was evident the low groove was the place to be on this night and Croft would chase after Golobic as the leaders found traffic. In his pursuit of Golobic, Croft would feel pressure from Dominic Scelzi as the duo hooked up in their own battle for the second spot.
Navigating through traffic, the duo would exchange the second position on occasion, with Croft getting the upper hand. Giving chase to Golobic all the way to the finish line, Croft would close his night out with a second place finish.
“It was a bit of unknown going into the feature and the top wasn’t where we needed to be,” Croft added. “We tip our cap to Shane Golobic and the Tarlton team, and hope to be one spot better our next time out. I have to thank my guys and all of our backers for all they do, and working so hard for me.”
Willie Croft Racing would like to thank Holey Smokes BBQ, ButlerBuilt , Brown and Miller, FK Rod Ends, Hinchman Indy, 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-8, Wins-0, Top 5’s-2, Top 10’s-4.
ON TAP: Willie Croft will be back in action Saturday night in Stockton, CA as he takes on the SCCT during their second event of the season.
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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