(WINCHESTER, Ind. - June 25, 2012) - Josh Williams posted a nice recovery for his Josh Williams Motorsports team Sunday afternoon at Winchester Speedway in the Herr’s Chase The Taste 200.
The family-owned team entered the ninth race of the season looking for redemption from the week prior at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) where trouble plagued the Concord, North Carolina-based team, propelling them back to a short track, one of their strengths on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour.
Two practice sessions on Saturday afternoon allowed the team to dial in their No. 02 Southwest Florida Cable Construction Chevrolet with the teenager maneuvering the 15th and 12th quickest laps respectively leading into Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell later Saturday afternoon. Qualifying was tight for a majority of the field with Williams landing his bowtie in the 13th position for his inaugural Winchester debut.
Under warm conditions, Williams and the 32-car field took the green flag shortly after 2:00 p.m. with the Port Charlotte, Florida native trying to maneuver himself forward in the stout field. Patience would be of the essence in the early stages of the 200-lap race as through lap 20, Williams maintained himself competitively inside the top-15.
By lap 30, Williams held his own in 13th before taking 12th by lap 45. As the race wore on, William’s automobile began to adapt better to the track’s conditions and that was evident in the Floridian’s lap times and position on the half-mile oval as he had climbed to 11th by lap 60. Nine laps later the No. 02 Southwest Florida Cable Construction Chevrolet cracked the top-10 after passing pole sitter Chris Buescher.
Nine laps later, Williams began pedaling forward and moved his JWM team to eighth overall and held that spot until the second caution of the day waived on lap 93 sending the leaders to pit road for their first routine pit stop. Tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment were the orders for Williams and with an exceptional pit stop; the team restarted the race in the seventh position.
The 18-year old continued to hold his own in the top-10 flirting between seventh and ninth but when two cars collided on lap 147, the opportunity to open pit road was presented but the team opted to keep their driver on the track along with Jared Marks putting the drivers 1-2 for the impending restart.
When the green flag waived, Williams attempted to make a pass on leader Marks but instead had to battle a gaggle of race cars behind him who were attacking him from behind on fresh Hoosier rubber.
The team’s hope of a caution during the course of the event’s final 50 circuits to enter pit road for tires never materialized forcing the former INEX Legend Car Series pilot to conserve his automobile but still maintain a respectable pace.
Despite battling the odds of older tires and a handling condition, the Floridian was able to persevere in the end and claimed 10th place when the checkered flag was thrown landing the team their third top-10 run of the season.
“Obviously, the caution that we needed at the end didn’t develop and that hurt our strategy a little bit – but we still ended up with a top-10 finish, so I’m not going to complain,” said Williams. “I’m really proud of the team. We didn’t have the best car – but we learned an awful lot and the adjustments we made took us in the right direction, so overall we’re satisfied. Next weekend it’s New Jersey, a place that I’ve been waiting to get to all season long. I’m hoping that we can take this finish and look for an even better one there.”
In addition to Winchester, the team also posted a ninth place finish at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in April and a 10th place run at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway earlier this month.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour is a trip to New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) for the lone road-course race of the season. The running of the All-American Race Weekend presented by Global Barter Corporation set for Sunday, July 1. Last May, Williams started 14th and finished a strong seventh at the 2.3-mile paved Thunderbolt Raceway.
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.
Williams has joined the Twitter crave. Follow and connect with him @Josh02Williams.