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South Boston Speedway News
Crute Accomplished The Improbable With South Boston Speedway Hornets Division Championship
Oct 29, 2017 - updated Oct 29th, 2017 9:33am
Web posted by Mike Smith
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (Oct. 26, 2017) – Tyler Crute knew exactly what he had to do in the final Budweiser Hornets race of the season at South Boston Speedway. And he did it.
Not that it was a simple task. He entered the 10th and final Hornets race of the season trailing Kevin Currin by 14 points in the championship chase. Impossible? No. Improbable? Yes. But none of that meant anything to the 26-year-old driver from Alton.
He dropped to the rear of the field at the start of the race to pick up as many passing points as possible and proceeded to march through the field for the victory and a two-point championship margin over Currin, who finished fifth.
“Win the race. That’s all I wanted to do … to do the best I could do,” said Crute. “I was down by 14 going into the race, so that was all I could do.”
Crute wound up with five victories on the season but could never shake Currin. Crute said he had a “dry spell” in the middle of the season. It wasn’t very dry, though. He finished out of the top five only twice all season, a seventh in the third race of the year and an 11th in mid-July.
“We had a dry spell where I worried too much about points and not enough about winning,” said Crute. “The last race, I said if I’m gonna win this thing, I have to get in the right mind set and that’s what I did.”
It was Crute’s first full season in a stock car. He ran a partial schedule in 2016 after making the move from go-karts. He struggled in his debut season with three blown engines.
“I was really surprised with the season we had after last year,” said Crute. “We were a lot better this year. We had better equipment and good sponsors, really good sponsors.”
Those sponsors included Blue Wing Creek Land and Timber, JMS Volvo, Dan and Mae Trucking and Tollerson Service Center. He also credits his crew, Chris Wilkinson and Justin Bailey, for much of his success.
And of course, his wife Jessica, who Crute says offers unlimited support and patience.
Crute isn’t sure if he’ll be back to defend his championship in 2018 or not. He knows the family will be moving back to go-karts next year, not with him behind the wheel but his young son.
“I’m still undecided for next year,” Crute explained. “I know my son is going to race go-karts. That’s my number-one priority and daddy will run if he has time for it.”
South Boston’s 61st season will open on Saturday, March 24 with twin 100-lap races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Division, a 50-lap Limited Sportsman event, a 30-lap Pure Stock race and a 15-lap Hornets race.
For the full 2018 South Boston Speedway schedule, visit www.southbostonspeedway.com.
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