– It’s been no secret to anyone that Willie Croft has had horrendous luck the last month, but over the weekend the Sacramento, CA driver scored a pair of third place finishes with the Cancen Oil King of the West Series at the famed Calistoga Speedway.
“Normally you aren’t happy with third place finishes, but after the string of luck I’ve had, I’m happy to just get to finish a couple of features and roll it into the box in one piece,” Croft explained.
The action got kicked off Saturday night with 19 cars in the pit area, and Croft’s night started with a third quick effort in time trials, putting him in the third heat race.
Wrestling the lead away from Jason Statler late in the heat, Croft picked up the heat win and earned a spot in the dash draw, where he would end up holding the one pill.
Racing to an early lead, Croft would cruise on to score the win, and put his Holey Smokes BBQ/Christian Stover Foundation/Brown and Miller backed machine on the pole for the 25-lapper.
Sharing the front row with a red hot Jonathan Allard, Croft fell into the second spot as he wrestled his FK Rod Ends/K&N Filters/Hinchman machine around the sticky ½ mile.
A late caution bunched the field back up, and Croft fell back to the third spot as a charging Tim Kaeding got around him.
At the stripe Croft settled for the third spot.
Saturday night saw the filed assemble for the conclusion of the double header at the vaunted ½ mile facility.
Timing in fifth quickest, Croft went on to win the second heat, and again put himself in the Dash to set the first four rows of the feature.
Starting in the sixth spot, Croft battled an ultra tight racecar, and fell back to the eighth spot at the stripe, putting himself in the fourth row of the feature.
Making a few simple adjustments before the 25-lap finale, Croft put on several exciting slide jobs as he clawed his way forward and was in the fourth spot by the tenth circuit.
Getting by Andy Gregg for third Croft tracked down and passed Jason Statler for the second spot on the 23rd lap, and as he looked to come to the checkered in second, the yellow flew instead, on what was a very controversial call.
On the restart, Croft lost the second spot, and again settled for third for the second consecutive night as he chased Rico Abreu, and Andy Gregg across the stripe.
“We were really good in the feature on Sunday,” said Croft. “Rico was pretty strong, and that last yellow hurt us. My tires were pretty hot, and my left rear was pretty much cleaned off, but we will take third.”
Willie Croft would like to thank Holey Smokes BBQ, The Christian Stover
Foundation, ButlerBuilt , Brown and Miller, Sander Engineering, FK Rod Ends, Hinchman Indy, Schoenfeld, K&N, Smith Precision Products, All Pro Cylinder Heads, Shark Racing Engines, A.R.T., M.R.O. Industrial Supply, Redline Oil, Kaeding Performance, PaPa’s Beef Jerky, Dan Olson Products, Vortex Wings, AIC Powdercoating, Les Schwab, and GUTS for their support in 2012.
ON TAP: Up next is a trip to the Kings Speedway in Hanford, CA on Saturday June 2, 2012.
STAY CONNECTED: Stay connected with Willie by visiting www.williecroftracing.com or following @WCroft29 on Twitter.