INNISFIL, Ontario — Battling against an ill-handling car, Sean Cronan and the entire Cronan Motorsports team would work hard throughout the day to battle to a fifth place finish in the Canadian Limited Late Model Championship 125 on Thursday night at Sunset Speedway.
Cronan started off the day on a positive note, posting the fourth quickest time (14.850 seconds) in time trials, just 18 hundreths off of Jason Witty’s quick time. The dice roll invert would hand Cronan a fifth place starting spot for the feature.
Saving his equipment early in the race, Cronan would drop back to the ninth spot by lap seven, before moving back up to eighth with a pass on Tom Walters on lap 15. Cronan would begin to steadily make progress, moving into sixth by lap 29 with a pair of passes. Though with the car not to his liking, he would drop back to eighth by lap 48, before moving back into seventh at lap 63. Cronan would then run the next 18 laps solid to the competition caution.
Under the break, crew chief Jeff Walt and Cronan discussed changes to make in hopes of getting the car better the second half of the race. Walt along with Shawn Murray, Rick Dobson, Ryan Corrigan, Johnny and Mike would make the adjustments necessary before sending Cronan out for the second half of the event.
On the restart, business really picked up with drivers going two, three-wide down the backstretch. Cronan would survive the chaos, missing the incident between Witty and Nick Goetz, to move into the sixth spot. The second restart was another good one for Cronan as he moved up to fifth, battling Jason Parker for fourth. Cronan would complete the pass for the spot on lap 78. He would lose fourth a couple laps later as Tom Walters was able to get before the caution waved once again, this time for a spin by Larry Jackson.
The restart brought forth a battle between Cronan and Baker for the sixth spot. There’d be contact along the way between the pair on the backstretch, which resulted in a caution as Baker would have a cut tire. There’d be a little contact under caution, courtesy of Baker, but Cronan was able to keep going with minimum damage in the sixth spot.
There’d be another quick caution with 29 laps to go and the restart went to Cronan’s advantage as he was able to get by Gord Shepherd to move into the fifth spot. From there on, Cronan was able to hold off all charges en route to the checkered flag, posting a solid top-five finish.
Special thanks to The Lockeroom Sports Bar and Grill, McLaren Equipment, Craighurst Auto Pro, Spira Fire Protection, GreenSteelRoof.ca, Simcoe Heating and Air, and Fox’s Bakery and Deli for their continued support.
Be sure to stay up to date on Sean Cronan by checking out his website at http://www.cronanmotorsports.com, following him on twitter @cronanmotor, and joining the team’s facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/194634000549656/.
Race Report by Ashley McCubbin