(JOLIET, Ill. - July 23, 2012) - After bad luck plagued Josh Williams and his Josh Williams Motorsports team at Iowa Speedway one week earlier, the family-owned team was determined to head to Chicagoland Speedway and rebound in Saturday's Ansell ActivArmr® 150.
Bringing the same Iowa race car nicknamed “Bertha” for the 12th race of the season, the Port Charlotte, Florida native was optimistic about their team’s chances for a solid run in his inaugural run in the “Windy City.” With just one practice to fine-tune their No. 02 Southwest Florida Cable Construction Ford Fusion, the team knew it was imperative to get the most out of the session.
Posting the 21st quickest time overall by producing a lap of 32.812 seconds at 164.574 miles per hour – the Concord, North Carolina-based team went to work on wholesale changes on their automobile hoping for some improvement for qualifying which was set for Saturday morning.
Saturday morning brought a refreshed and focused driver to the track ready to compete in Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell. During his time trials run, Williams circled the 1.5-mile speedway in 32.278 seconds at 167.297 miles per hour, nearly a half of a second gain from the team’s quickest lap in practice the day before placing the JWM team a respectable 16th for the 12th race of the season.
Pleased with the team’s effort, their attention turned towards their 11th race of the season.
From the drop of the green flag, Williams was able to hold his own and race competitively and comfortably inside the top-20. By lap 10, Williams hovered in the 16th position, five laps later he had dropped to the 17th position. Little though did the Floridian know that his day was about to take a dramatic turn.
While racing in the top-20 approaching lap 25, Williams keyed his radio and informed his crew that his oil temperature had pegged to nearly 300 degrees which sparked his team to bring his driver to pit lane under green flag conditions to correct the situation. An obviously frustrated driver obliged and brought the No. 02 Southwest Florida Cable Construction Ford Fusion down to the attention of his crew, where they were able to correct the problem.
Unfortunately, the damage had been done on the track with Williams loosing several laps to the leaders and forcing Williams to ride out the remainder of the event and climb the leaderboard through any means necessary.
The untimely stop dropped Williams from 17th to 24th but over the course of the remaining 65 laps of the event, the teenager was able to move into 22nd by lap 60 and 20th by lap 75 where he took the checkered flag.
“You know, our day could have gone a lot worse, but we survived and brought home a 20th place finish,” offered Williams. “The oil temperature began to soar and we had to come in and take care of it. It stinks, there’s no doubt about that. We were able to get it corrected, but we now know it could have been avoided. It’s just one of things that we’ll live and learn from. The car was pretty good. We kept adjusting it on pretty hard throughout the weekend and the No. 02 Southwest Florida Cable Construction Ford Fusion kept responding to the right direction. We definitely had a top-15 car for sure, but we’ll chalk this finish up to a learning experience and head to Lucas Oil Raceway.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards in their 60th anniversary season is a trip to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis for the running of the Messina Animal Wildlife Stopper 200 which is set for Friday, July 27. The 18-year old will make his second start at the intense .686 short track in his 22nd career ARCA start. Last year, Williams logged one of his three top-10 finishes of the year finishing eighth after starting 16th in the No. 02 Southwest Florida Cable Construction / Fields Auto Parts Ford Fusion.
For more information on Josh Williams, his Josh Williams Motorsports team and sponsorship opportunities for the 2012 and 2013 seasons please connect to the team’s official website at Joshwracing.com.
Williams has joined the Twitter crave. Follow and connect with him @Josh02Williams.