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Chicagoland: When Opportunity Knocks; Josh Williams Plans To Answer

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Josh Williams, Scott 150

Chicagoland: When Opportunity Knocks; Josh Williams Plans To Answer

Chris Knight
Knight Motorsports Management
Josh Williams Motorsports
June 18, 2015


Josh Williams
JOLIET, Illinois – For ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Josh Williams when opportunity knocks, he tends to answer.

This weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, the Port Charlotte, Florida native finds himself aligned with one of the stoutest ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards teams on the circuit, Cunningham Motorsports.

And while Williams has showcased his talent driving for his family-owned team, Josh Williams Motorsports (JWM), the opportunity to pilot the No. 22 Dodge Charger in Saturday night’s SCOTT 150 was one that was simply too good to pass up.

“I’m very thankful to Kerry (Scherer, car owner), Briggs (Cunningham, car owner), Paul (Andrews, crew chief) for the chance to drive their No. 22 Dodge Charger Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. It’s a dream come true.”

Like many, Scherer also believes Williams is the next driver to breakthrough in ARCA competition with a triumphant victory.

"My old friend Barry Owen told me about Josh (Williams),” he said. “Here was a young man willing to do what it took to succeed, racing against the funded teams, against long odds. Josh and his dad, Kevin, have become formidable opponents. The chance to have Josh in one of our cars was an opportunity we couldn't pass up. I'm thrilled to have Josh with us."

Through the first nine ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race, Williams has been able to climb his JWM team to third in the championship standings. Entering Saturday’s race, he sits just five points behind Cunningham Motorsports teammate Tom Hessert III for second.

“I’m not sure how it all happened to be honest,” Williams said. “Cunningham (Motorsports) had some races they needed to fill and we were lucky enough to be the team they called. I didn’t have to think about it. This (opportunity) is every driver’s dream come true. The team already has three wins this season, I would love to deliver a fourth Saturday night.”

Drivers Blake Jones, Kyle Weatherman and Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne have all captured the checkered flag for the veteran team in 2015. For Williams, he would like to join that elite company of winning their first career ARCA victory for one of the most respected organizations on the circuit.

Luckily, the site to potentially earn the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team their fourth win of the season comes at one of Williams’ favorite tracks too.

The 1.5-mile speedway is home to the Floridian’s best-career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards finish scored in 2013 in a joint entry with GMS Racing. After qualifying ninth, Williams finished second.

“I love Chicagoland,” Williams added. “It’s a fast track. But, it’s a track all about momentum too. You have to carry your momentum off the corners and need that speed to make headway on the straightaways. I know with Cunningham, they’ll have a car that not only handles, but can roar that ARCA Ilmor 396.”

And while all eyes will be on Williams in the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge Charger, he’s hoping his performance this weekend will help him when he plans to return to his JWM No. 6 Chevrolet next weekend at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway.

“We weren’t planning to run the whole season when the year started, but we’ve never been this ahead, so somehow we’ve kept going,” explained Williams. “But that flame may go out soon if we don’t’ get some help. Sponsorship is hard, in any form of racing – but without a great partner, I’m not sure how much longer we’ll be able to hang on. That’s another reason that this chance with Cunningham Motorsports means so much. It could be the path that leads to bigger and better things. We’ll wait and see.”

He added, “We’ve got three full-time guys in the shop now, so that’s a bonus and something we’ve not always had, actually four counting me. We’ve also got a couple guys that come on the weekends. We’re doing all we can with what we’ve got. We run the same intermediate car pretty much everywhere…all the bigger tracks anyway. We’d like to run the whole deal this year, but we only have so much, and if we have to stop, we have to stop. We never planned to run the first nine races, but here we are.”

No matter the outcome of the 10th race of the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season or whatever the future may bring, Williams is thankful.

“A lot of people, including my friends, family have put a lot on the line for my dream to continue, that means everyone at Cunningham Motorsports too. We can’t predict what’s going to happen at Chicagoland or next weekend – but we won’t go down without a fight.”

Like he’s done for the entire ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season, Williams will continue the Team Anya Cale (#BeatLeukemia) campaign. Williams and JWM hosted 5-year old Anya Cale Harvey in the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Last November, she was diagnosed with Leukemia and has undergone treatment since. Their friendship has quickly blossomed with Williams determined to bring awareness to her story and other children battling Leukemia.

“I appreciate everyone at Cunningham allowing us to share Anya’s story,” offered Williams. We’re thinking about her every day and she’s a reason I don’t give up behind the wheel.”

Tyler Audie, a promising driver from the Kyle Beattie driver development program has partnered with Josh Williams Motorsports (JWM) for the first intermediate track of the season and will hoist the No. 6 Dodge Charger under the Chicagoland lights.

“I’ve been keeping my eye on Tyler and he reminds me of me in a lot of ways,” added Williams. “We’re proud to work with him this weekend and I plan to spend as much time as possible with him. He’s making his Chicagoland Speedway debut, but I think he’ll impress a lot of people.”

Musselman’s Apple Sauce will make the move with Williams to Cunningham Motorsports and serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 22 Dodge Charger in his 71st career race.

Follow Josh Williams on Twitter @Josh6Williams or “like” his Facebook page at Facebook.com/JWMotorsports.

Visit Josh Williams online at JoshWMotorsports.com.

The SCOTT 150 (100 laps / 150 miles) is the 10th of 20 races on the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins for the two-day show on Friday, June 19 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:55 p.m. Menards pole group qualifying presented by Ansell is set for race day, Friday, June 20 at 2:30 p.m. The event will take the green flag just after 6:00 p.m. The event will be televised on FOX Sports 2 with additional coverage, including live timing and scoring at ARCARacing.com. All

times are local (Central).

About Josh Williams Motorsports (JWM):

Josh Williams Motorsports (JWM) is a Concord, North Carolina based ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards team. With a family tradition of racing and mentoring programs, JWM excels in driver development programs and brand marketing.

PHOTO CAPTION: Josh Williams, driver of the No. 22 Team Anya Cale #BeatLeukemia / Musselman’s Apple Sauce Dodge Charger for Cunningham Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.

JOSH WILLIAMS CONTACT:

Megan Henriques-Parker
704.787.2031
meghandemarketing@gmail.com

CUNNINGHAM MOTORSPORTS CONTACT:

Michele Thompson
937.307.5811
mst2134@sbcglobal.net

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