Phoenix: Erin Crocker preview

Woodring Racing's Erin Crocker to debut Silver Crown Car on asphalt at Phoenix. (Eden, NY) Mike Woodring, seven time Empire Super Sprint champion and car owner, announces that Woodring Racing will make its Silver Crown debut on the weekend of...

Woodring Racing's Erin Crocker to debut Silver Crown Car on asphalt at Phoenix.

(Eden, NY) Mike Woodring, seven time Empire Super Sprint champion and car owner, announces that Woodring Racing will make its Silver Crown debut on the weekend of March 21-23 at Phoenix International Speedway, with outstanding dirt sprint car driver, Erin Crocker behind the wheel. It's part of the Copper World Classic, with the IRL, Infiniti Pro series, and the USAC Midgets. Erin is just the second woman ever to drive a Silver Crown car and the first on asphalt. She will be campaigning a Rich Tobias car that was driven by Tim Connolly last year. "We've changed it a lot. We've taken some tubes out, and it has the same dimensions as a Beast Chassis. It will have a Don Ott motor and will be a black No. 16. Tim Engler did a lot of work on it and it should be good," she asserts.

Though somewhat apprehensive, she has met Aaron Fike, JJ Yeley and other Silver Crown drivers who have given her support and encouragement. She is also working out to give her the strength to go 100 laps in hot temperatures, something that she hasn't experienced in the relatively short dirt sprint car events that she has been running.

Previous to that, Crocker will participate in a winged sprint car event on the pavement in a United Sprint Car Series event at the 3/8 mile Lanier Speedway in Gainesville, GA, on March 15th, followed by a test session at the 5/8 mile Birmingham International Raceway in Alabama on March 16th. It will be her first race on asphalt since she ran three Pro Tour truck races in 2000.

Crocker had an outstanding sophomore season, posting four wins in the highly competitive Empire Super Sprints Series among her many good finishes. Her efforts were rewarded by her being named a 360 Sprint Car "Wild Card" Driver of the Year by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, with the team of Woodring and her picking up the 360 Sprint Car Team of the Year Award as well.

The 21 year old engineering student at RPI in Troy, NY, participated in the Chili Bowl in Tulsa in January and gave a good accounting of herself before running the winter sprint car shows at East Bay in Florida in February, where she thrilled the crowd with her aggressive driving style and had a high finish of 14th, earning the praise and respect of her fellow competitors. Ideally the team would like to run Silver Crown dirt events as well, but there are no deals yet.

She is being assisted in her efforts by former racer Lyn St. James, who has become an advocate for women in racing. Crocker notes, "She is being a guide for me. I went to her driver development program back in December. Before that she had written to me and we spoke a few times. She saw me in National Speed Sport News. She met me down in Homestead, Florida, and she introduced me to a lot of people she knows in the Indy car world. She's kind of my mentor. We chat often. She's definitely behind me and speaks well of me and has been very helpful.

In addition to the asphalt Silver Crown Series, Crocker plans to run several more USCS races and is currently planning on increasing her asphalt seat time by running with the ASCS in a ten day run during Texas Speed Week. It's all part of her ultimate goal of running in the Indianapolis 500.

Erin notes, "I would like to thank Penske Racing Shocks, Bicknell Racing Products, Trevis Craft, Wilwood Brakes, Pilat Design, Engler Machine and Tool, Butler Built, Crocker Building Company, Rick Vernon, and of course, Mike, his family, and the crew for giving me this opportunity.

As for the future Erin states, "I am finishing my last semester at Rensselaer. After graduation, I am planning on completely focusing on pursuing this career."

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About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Lyn St. James , Aaron Fike , Erin Crocker
Teams Team Penske