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.