(LONG POND, Pa. - June 12, 2012) - The answer on whether or not Josh Williams' decision to skip the most recent ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event at Elko Speedway would pay off was answered with a huge exclamation point on Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway in the Pocono ARCA 200.
Not only did the team decide to switch racecars but the team purchased a brand new Ford Fusion acquired from a long-time existing ARCA team with its capabilities well suitable for Pocono’s daunting tasks.
With only a few days to examine the car for themselves before the Josh Williams Motorsports (JWM) team had to make the trip North to Pocono, the team was confident in their decision but would be leaning on lady lucky to get them through the seventh race of the season.
William’s first impressions of “The Tricky Triangle” were breathtaking and speechless as the Port Charlotte, Florida native had never been acquainted with the track’s 2.5-mile figure before. In practice on Friday morning, the JWM posted the 18th quickest lap with each adjustment and each lap showed the No. 02 Southwest Florida Cable Construction / Shinestar Consulting Services Ford Fusion becoming more accustomed to the track’s new surface.
A grand approach towards qualifying had the team hoping to deliver a solid starting position for their Pocono Raceway debut but when the Floridian delivered the 11th quickest lap overall, the team was incredibly overjoyed considering the obstacles which included lack of horsepower under their hood – but still the family-owned team was pleased with their Pocono debut thus far.
At the start of the race, Williams hovered safely in the top-15 while keeping his sights of entering the top-10. With the yellow flag waived on lap 16, the lead cars came to pit road which included Williams but the JWM took a gamble and made their stop – fuel and a chassis adjustment only with the No. 02 rushing off pit lane inside the top-five.
Restarting fourth, Williams had a tall task ahead of him to keep a pack of hungry hounds behind him but he assured his crew that he would do all he could. Through the race’s first 30 circuits, Williams kept his No. 02 Southwest Florida Cable Construction / Shinestar Consulting Services Ford Fusion inside the top-five before he began to slip into the clutches of the cars on fresher rubber.
Idling in eighth at the halfway point and biding his time for a caution period for his opportunity for tires and fuel, Williams would have to wait until lap 59 where he found himself inside the top-dozen racecars.
After his final pit stop of the day which included tires and fuel, Williams would restart the race 11th and find himself over the final 18 laps racing hard where the final two laps it became a four man battle for positions ninth through 12th where Williams was able to make the pass on the No. 82 of Sean Corr to take the checkered flag 10th, earning the team their second top-10 performance of the 2012 season and first ever on a speedway.
“I can’t begin to tell you how big this is for us,” said Williams. “We bought this car on Tuesday, brought it back to the shop later that afternoon worked on during the day and night and did the same thing on Wednesday and then had to leave for Pocono Thursday. This is a step in the right direction for us. We can take this finish and build on it and maybe we learned something for Michigan and for Pocono in a couple months. I just can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of this JWM team. I also want to thank my mom, dad, Southwest Florida Cable Construction and especially Shinestar Consulting Services who all helped make Pocono possible.”
Despite missing one race, Williams’ effort on Saturday was good enough to propel his Concord, North Carolina-based team back into the top-10 in the championship standings sitting just 55 markers behind ninth place competitor Jared Marks.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is the RainEater Wiper Blades 200 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) set for Friday, July 15. This will be the second consecutive race that the teams will embrace brand-new asphalt on a racetrack. The two-mile oval was also completely repaved during the off-season. Williams will make his ARCA debut in the Irish Hills.
For more information on Josh Williams, his Josh Williams Motorsports team and sponsorship opportunities for the 2012 season please connect to the team’s official website at Joshwracing.com.