Ryan Crane Comes From Back to the Front Twice in One Weekend Circumstances Leave Crane Rebounding to Top-Six Finishes at Both Five Flags and Pensacola PANAMA CITY, FL (April 19, 2005) -- When Ryan Crane drove his ...
Ryan Crane Comes From Back to the Front Twice in One Weekend
Circumstances Leave Crane Rebounding to Top-Six Finishes at Both Five Flags and Pensacola
PANAMA CITY, FL (April 19, 2005) -- When Ryan Crane drove his #10 J&J Enterprises / Red Line Oil Super Late Model this weekend to consecutive top-six finishes in the 100-lap features at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and Mobile International Speedway (AL), the results alone were fairly impressive. But when you look at both races and see the ground that Crane had to make up near the end of either event, that is where you will really be impressed.
On Friday night at Five Flags, Crane bounced back from a late-race wreck to finish sixth in the Blizzard Series opening race for 2005. The next night, he passed eight cars in the final 10 laps at Mobile to finish fifth.
"It went really well," said Crane about the weekend. "I probably passed more cars than anybody out there all weekend."
First up was Friday night's race at Five Flags. Crane was near the lead as the laps clicked down.
"I was running second there and I thought that we had a chance to win," said Crane. "But with about 30 laps to go, we got torn up and had to come from the back to walk away with a decent finish."
The wreck came nearly three-quarters of the way through the main event.
"It happened on a restart when I got together with Stanley Smith," said Crane. "We got into the turn and my spotter said that he was looking, but I didn't know that he was quite so far up there. We got together and I hit both of the retaining walls."
The damage to the car wasn't debilitating, so Crane had no choice but to push on. He knew this and was also reminded of the fact by his coach on the radio, Super Late Model legend Freddie Query.
"Freddy got on the radio and he said that it was time to drive this thing," said Crane. "It was up to me and I had to make it happen."
But Crane had a few obstacles to overcome first.
The front end was knocked off and the rear end was torn up," said Crane. "We were on old tires [Blizzard rules allow one set of tires for the race} and with so few laps left, it was going to be hard to get back to the front, especially with the front-end knocked sideways."
Crane did what he needed to do and made it back to sixth place by the finish. But to make it to Mobile for Saturday night, there was still some work that needed to be done before the team retired to their hotel for the night.
"We only brought one car with us, so we needed to fix that one," said Crane.
And without a shop to work out of, the team had to make best of what they had. They decided to fix up the #10 car before loading it onto the trailer for their trip to Alabama.
"After we were done with the race, we needed to take everything apart and get ready for Saturday night," said Crane. "We worked on it at the track in Pensacola and stayed there until 1:30 in the morning fixing the racecar. We had to put a new nose on it and fix the tail section. We brought out the welder to patch the car up. It wasn't pretty."
The car might not have won a Best Appearing award, but it was still fast when it got to Mobile. The only problem was that Crane's found himself in a similar late race situation.
"We ran fourth for most of the race," said Crane. "Then we came in for tires on lap 80 and came back out in 13th after the pit stop because a lot of the guys didn't come in. We would have had a solid fourth-place finish, but we decided to pit for the tires to give us a chance at the win. The green flag didn't come out again until lap 90, so I went from thirteenth to fifth in less than 10 laps (it was 100-lap race)."
The #10 team won't race again until May 15th, when they tow to South Alabama Speedway. That will give Crane and his crew time to work on their cars in a proper raceshop.
"I've got a new body going on my other car," said Crane. "So that will be back soon. We have nearly a month off to get ready for the next one, so we'll just keep working away."