Pearson Lee Williams started his rookie Dirt Super Late Model season in spectacular fashion with a win at Modoc Raceway (SC). Now, the Georgia racer is looking to recapture the early-season momentum with a strong showing at 311 Motor Speedway (NC) this weekend in the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series.
Williams made the jump to Super Late Models late in the 2019 season, driving for Joey Coulter’s Rum Runner Racing operation. He scored his first win with the Xtreme DIRTcar Series in February at Modoc Raceway and enjoyed several other strong runs.
However, Wiliams has struggled to find that form since the return to racing following the COVID-19 shutdown. His lone top-10 finish of the recent stretch came with the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series at Lancaster Motor Speedway (SC) on May 1, as he finished 10th despite falling out of the running nine laps shy of the finish in an attrition-filled event.
The misfortune continued this week, as Williams came up just short of making the A-Main on Wednesday and Thursday night with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Golden Isles Speedway (GA).
“It’s definitely not gone as well as it could,” Williams told Speed51. “We got into a wreck on the first lap of a heat race on Tuesday night. We ended up pulling out the backup car and made some laps Wednesday night, had decent speed. We didn’t quite make the show, but it gave us something to build off of.”
Like so often in his first full year of racing Super Late Models, Sunday’s trip to 311 Motor Speedway will be Williams’ first to the Pine Hall, North Carolina track. It’s a familiar feeling for him, part and parcel of the move up to Super Late Models.
“I’ve never been there before, which is the whole story of this year. We’ve raced close to 40 races this year, and I’ve been to two of them [before this year]. At first, it’s, ‘Wow, this is going to be difficult.’ Now, I’m so used to going to a track for the first time and making hot laps count so you go into qualifying knowing what you’ve got to do.
“It’s really difficult, it is, but this is what I’ve wanted to do my entire life. I knew if I wanted to step up to the next level, this was going to happen eventually. At first, it looked like a huge mountain to climb. Now, you’ve got to go in with the right mindset, be confident in yourself.”
More than anything else, Williams is hoping to recapture the momentum he enjoyed in the winter. Along with the Modoc win, Williams enjoyed several strong showings, including an eighth-place finish in the ULTIMATE season opener at North Georgia Speedway.
“I’m not going to lie; it killed some momentum for sure. We won that race at Modoc, and the next weekend we had a strong run at Smoky Mountain. At the ULTIMATE race, we had a decent night going at North Georgia. It really sucks, because all racing is momentum, both in the race car and out of the race car. You’re always setting yourself for the next race.
“There’s nothing you can do about it, but once you’re riding a wave, you don’t want to get off that wave and it’s really hard to get back on the wave.”
A strong run Sunday at 311 could be just what Williams needs to get back on that wave.
“It’s so hard to get momentum going, but once you do, you keep it going and get your mindset going. You’ll keep it going, and that’s what our plan is. We’ll keep going to the next race, keep building that momentum until we’re rolling again.”
Race fans can watch Sunday’s race at 311 Motor Speedway live on Speed51. Click here to order your pay-per-view ticket today.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo