There's an old adage in racing, and it goes 'that driver just needs to get over the hump, once he/she gets one win, they will start piling up.' That's certainly been the case with Carmichael, California driver Willie Croft.
Willie Croft guided the Tri-C Machine No. 3c into victory lane at Placerville Speedway
A driver whose finishes have rarely matched his speed in the past has suddenly caught fire, going on a tear that started in April and may never stop.
Willie Croft's Tri-C Machine No. 3c Sprint Car
"There's been nights that have gone my way, but I've never had a stretch like this before," Croft said. "To be able to run up front consistently feels like an accomplishment. It starts building and the whole team is lifted up and the moral goes up as well. Everyone starts to believe in each other."
It all started with a pair of third place finishes in early April. Then the big moment arrived, as Croft guided the Tri-C Machine No. 3c Sprint Car into victory lane at Placerville Speedway, the first win for the Tri-C Machine team and car owner Clyde Lamar in 17 years.
Croft followed up that win with another victory in the Willie Croft Racing No. 29 at Silver Dollar Speedway before jumping back in the Tri-C Machine No. 3c Sprint Car in the first King of the West race of the season.
Croft would go on to win again at Petaluma Speedway in a showdown with fellow K&N driver Jonathon Allard before heading to Reno-Tahoe Fernley Speedway and snagging a pair of podium's in a double header.
"This has been the best season if my career so far," Croft said. "I'm really happy that someone gave me a chance in their car and I've been delivering results. I have great car owners and a great team, so things couldn't be better."
One reason Croft has been so successful this season is a new approach to the season.
"I really have been taking things week-to-week, staying focused on each upcoming event. I want to win at as many tracks as possible, and winning the King of the West championship would top it off. We've just got to try and avoid DNFs (Did Not Finish)."
Croft currently sits third in points in King of the West. But that's not the thing he is most proud of so far.
"Getting my car owners back to victory lane," Croft said when asked about the best part of this season. "They are very dedicated to the sport and are used to winning, so I'm glad I have not let them down."
Croft also thanked K&N for its support this season.
"K&N is such a dedicated name to the sport. Their filters are second to none and provide the filtration needed in the dirty and dusty air. Without K&N Filters, I believe our engines would not last as long as they do. I am really proud to have support from K&N and recommend them to everybody we race with."