STORY BY: Souza Media
OXFORD, Maine – Bryan Kruczek, driving for Bobby Webber Racing, piloted the No. 19 Vynorius Piledriving Late Model to a third-place finish in Sunday’s American Canadian Tour (ACT) race at Oxford Plains Speedway. It was the third time in the last four races at Oxford that the veteran competitor earned a podium run -- two of them wins last year, and the other this third-place finish.
The only additional race at Oxford driving for Webber ended with a mechanical failure.
Kruczek started at the bottom of the top-10 on Sunday, and slowly worked his way to the front. He reached the top-five on lap 54, in the middle of a long green flag run, and battle up to third with just under 50 laps to go. He would take the second spot on lap 116, but a few late cautions, and a loose race car, forced him to settle for third. He finished the race battling with the likes of Ben Rowe, Dylan Payea and Dillon Moltz.
"I’m happy with the finish, I thought with about 20 laps to go that we were going to be sliding backwards quickly,” Kruczek said. “I rolled the dice on a restart and took the car to the top and I got lucky and got by Dillon Moltz, then I steered it back to the bottom, made it straight and pointed it to the finish.”
Kruzcek, who knows Oxford well, feels like the race day schedule might have played in a role in how the car drove in the feature. Normally, the ACT Tour doesn’t start practicing at 8 a.m. -- but Sunday was no normal day -- fitting for the COVID era of 2020. A rain-filled day on Saturday forced officials to postpone the race to Sunday, which left the ACT Tour feature set to take the green at 11:30 p.m., hours before the prestigious Oxford 250. The green flag dropped for heat races at 10 a.m.
“We don’t usually practice that early in the morning and I know Oxford is a moody track, it changes throughout the day,” Kruzcek said. “Generally, I start the car off a bit too tight, but I decided to free the car up because I thought we would be way too tight by the end of the feature. But it went the wrong way. I was just too free at the end. I couldn’t do anything on the bottom.”
Even though he didn’t earn the checkered flag, Kruczek and team are happy with the finish against 27 of the best Late Model competitors in the region. A long list of supporters made attending Oxford’s race possible, including Vynorius Pildriving, Capital Renegade, 949 Productions, Hedges Excavation, KDW, Body’s By Kevin, Dale Shaw Race Cars, Velocita USA, Magnus Transmissions, New England Racing Fuels, Performance Parts Supply, LCM Racing, Eleveight Designs and Bill Callen Racing Communications.
The next race for Kruzcek and Bobby Webber Racing is at Thunder Road Speedway in Vermont, this Sunday, September 6, as a celebration of Labor Day Weekend with the 42nd annual Labor Day Classic 200 lapper. Post-time for the event is 1 p.m. After Thunder Road’s ACT event, the team will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway as part of Full Throttle Fall Weekend on September 11/12 for the Full Throttle 75.
For more information on Bobby Webber Racing, follow the team on Facebook.
TEAM IS FRESH OFF FIRST ACT WIN OF SEASON AT RIVERSIDE SPEEDWAY
STORY BY Souza Media
EPPING, N.H. -- Bryan Kruczek seems to be finding a second home at Oxford Plains Speedway with Bobby Webber Racing. The veteran Late Model competitor picked up two victories at the Maine oval last year with the American Canadian Tour (ACT) and might have been on his way to another earlier this year before his axle fell out of the car mid-race.
This weekend, Kruczek and Bobby Webber Racing are heading back to Oxford looking to make the best of another opportunity and end up with another checkered flag. Kruczek teamed up with Bobby Webber Jr., the owner and operator of Star Speedway, prior to the start of the 2019 season and the two have sparked success since.
“Good equipment, the Shaw’s give me good stuff, they give us good information,” Kruczek said of why the team is having so much success at Oxford. “We just unloaded there last year for a test, being a new team, and we took it out of the trailer and made two adjustments on the car and we were running some good lap times. We just took good notes and unloaded the first race there last year and ran well.”
After winning the first ACT race there last year, Kruczek decided to try and make the car better, with some setup adjustments under the hood. But moments before the green flag in the heat race as part of Oxford 250 weekend last year with the ACT Tour, he reversed course and went back to something he trusted.
“Right before the heat race we changed the whole car and went all the way back to what we ran in the spring,” Kruczek said. “It seemed to work out well.” He would win that race as well.
Kruczek and Webber Racing have two cars, but they are heading back to Oxford with the same car they dominated both races with there last year.
It’s a different car he’s been having success with lately in 2020. After a slow start to the ACT season, Kruczek seems to have turned things around – with a strong fifth-place finish in the Midsummer Classic 250 at White Mountain Motorsports Park and a victory last time on the track at Riverside Speedway.
“We were getting a little bit down on ourselves and put some serious time in during the week inside the shop and we went back to what we know, what we ran last year, and we went to White Mountain,” Kruczek said. “But we made the right call to take tires early and get track position at White Mountain and it worked out. After that, we put some more time in at the shop and unloaded at Riverside and right off the bat we put new tires on, and we went to the top of the practice board. We pretty much dominated the race.”
His relationship with Webber and the team has been strong from day one, and their chemistry working together is showing, with plenty of success. The two started working together in the winter before the 2019 season.
“It’s been great,” Kruczek said. “We raced back in the day and we didn’t always see eye-to-eye when we drove against each other on the track, but I went and got a car for him with my business and I happened to go back to his shop, we were just talking and Bobby asked me what I was doing the next year, I said nothing, and we took off from there. We never talked a whole bunch before we started working together, but we mesh well. He has his ideas and I have mine and we are seeing eye-to-eye.. things have been good. Our families are close. We hang out a lot, we camp, I help him at Star.. It's just like racing with your friends. He’s easy-going and he wants to win.”
Team owner Bobby Webber is also happy to see the momentum they are building coming off their first win of the year.
“This season has been a struggle,” Webber said. “We started off tough with some finishes we weren’t proud of, and we have momentum now. Oxford has been good to us before. I’ll be happy with a top three finish for the year after the way we started it off, but don’t count us out. We are rolling now.”
The next race for the team in the American Canadian Tour feature at Oxford, which is scheduled for Saturday night, August 29, but weather forecasts that call for rain could force officials to change the schedule. If the race is washed out, it will be run early on Sunday morning ahead of the prestigious Oxford 250.
Race fans who can’t make it to Oxford can purchase a pay-per-view broadcast on to watch Bobby Webber Racing’s No. 19. For more information, follow the team on Facebook at Bobby Webber Racing.