Cole Williams Looking Forward to Toledo Following Nashville Disappointmentby Kyle Pokrefky April 12, 2016 0 comments
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An early transmission issue spoiled the day for Sellersburg, Ind’s Cole Williams in Saturday’s Music City 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
The 2014 pro late model champion at the Fairgrounds had a lot of fanfare surrounding him entering his first-ever ARCA Racing Series event. Entered in a Venturini Motorsports Toyota, Williams was looked upon as one of the favorites entering the 200-lap event. Considering the fact that he practically knows the track like the back of his hand, that should have come as no surprise.
Pulling into the garage early into the race to make a full transmission change, the 20-year-old driver of the No. 55 machine returned to the track around the halfway point with plenty of speed on his side. Although he was many laps down from the lead, he was turning in laps that were competitive with the frontrunners. As the lead lap cars fought for position, they also had to worry about the No. 55 car working its way around them.
“I could put it to the top whenever I needed and I could put it on the bottom,” Williams said. “They put me in a really good car this weekend, so I can’t thank them enough. I just wish we could have a better finish out of it.
“Billy [Venturini, owner and crew chief] said we were a second faster than Josh Williams at the end of the race, and I know he ended up winning. We were running him down.”
Despite the unfortunate result, Williams will take the knowledge he gained from Nashville to his next start with the team at Toledo Speedway in one month.
“It was fun,” Williams stated. “Huge learning experience, I learned a ton about these things, how much they move around and fall off on the long run. It’s a lot to take in and I definitely look forward to Toledo.”
Williams wasn’t content to simply ride around once he returned to the race track. As he puts it, he wanted to prove a point with his Cardinal Services-baked race car.
“We definitely conserved there,” he noted. “I know it was still late in a run and we were a few laps down, but we definitely saved tires still so we could try to make as many positions as we could and try to prove a point – bragging rights basically.”
Williams’s pace after returning to the track was well-received as he zipped around the field using both the first and second grooves on the race track. While other drivers picked one lane and stuck with it throughout the night, the No. 55 car proved to be fully capable of running multiple lanes and making it work.
The 2014 track champion said shortly after the race that he hopes he at least put on an entertaining show for his ‘hometown’ crowd that was roughly 200 miles away from his actual hometown.
“I hope I gave them a good show from Lap 100 to 200,” Williams said. “I’ve got to thank them for all the support. I wish we could have had a better run from them, I said when we were in the garage, my dad came over to me and I said ‘Of course, it would happen to me.’
“We stayed calm and we got back out there and we acted like we were on the lead lap and would focus on what the car was doing. Billy talked me through some adjustments on the fans to make it better on the longer runs. That was my goal, to keep the fenders on it.”
Williams’s second start with the team at Toledo will take place on Sunday, May 22nd.
Photo Credit: Kyle Pokrefky/The Fourth Turn