The most recent local show at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway saw Cole Williams inherit the Pro Late Model points lead with his second win of the season. The Indiana driver now enters Saturday’s event with a one-point advantage over Dylan Fetcho in the standings with the battle going down to the wire.
Williams has been in his share of points battles at the historic 5/8-mile track over the years, with two track championships to show for it. In his time competing weekly at Nashville, he and his team have developed how they approach the points battle, and that will remain the same in 2020.
“I think with the strategy, we want to make sure we perform at our best. We don’t look at points early on, we just try to win races and hope points come to us as we go,” Williams told Speed51’s “The Bullring.” “That’s the kind of mentality we’ve stuck with and it seems to be working. Two weeks ago, we actually lost the points lead and that kind of sucked, just run-ins while running up front. We just stick to the goal of trying to win races and winning races will win you the championship.”
Though he lives three hours away from the Music City, Williams and his team have deep ties to Nashville that have been built over the years. It has become his home track away from home, with much of his sponsorship coming from the area.
He made his return to points racing in 2019 after picking and choosing his schedule in previous years. Now in his second straight year competing full-time at Nashville, Williams hopes to deliver a third track title, which would put him in a tie with former Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin and Andy Kirby, Jr. for third all-time.
“We want to win a championship, that’s the goal going into this year. A lot of our sponsors are out of Nashville, TN and they want to see a championship as much as we do. It would be good for them and good for us, we really haven’t gone championship racing for a year or two. We were kind of hitting races here and there, so to hunker down with one goal and try to accomplish it would be huge for us. It’s something we have to take one race at a time and see what happens.”
Williams has made an effort in the Super Late Model ranks since making his debut at Five Flags Speedway in 2017, though said starts have been few and far in-between. He made his Super Late Model All American 400 debut for Carswell Motorsports last year, finishing 20th after a mechanical problem sidelined him early.
With the All American 400 just over a month out however, Williams will just focus on the Pro Late Model event that weekend.
“I wish we can do both. This year we’re just running the Pro because we thought it was going to be points championship night for us. It sounds like we’re actually going to have the points championship the race before, which I think is October 17.
“I don’t know what it is about the All American 400 but it’s like the last five or six years, we’ve not had the best of luck during the All American 400, whether it be a parts failure or the car wasn’t handling right, something goofy has always happened to us. Hopefully our luck will change, and we can close on All American 400 weekend. I want to win something there that weekend and hopefully we can do it this year.”
Even without competing in the main event, the Pro Late Model race during All American 400 weekend still has that big race feel for Williams. Last year’s Pro Late Model race drew in 37 cars, one of the biggest Pro Late Model fields the country saw in 2019.
“You definitely know it’s a little bit bigger weekend, the All American 400 and the history behind it, it’s always big. I feel like you’re in a little bigger spotlight that weekend, but I treat it like it’s a normal race. It’s your normal 100 laps for the Pro Late Models, you stick with the same strategy and hopefully it pans out to be the right strategy.”
Even though he won’t be at the All American 400 with the Super, fans may still see Williams in a Super before the year is out.
“I’ve ran a few races in Super Late Models for different teams. The option’s always there and that’s definitely the goal. The difference in trying to fnd a Super Late Model team is different and a little higher than a Pro. I think with my family-owned team, Pro Late Model’s probably the highest we can go with it.
“I do have opportunities with CMS and Gary Collins, I ran out in Irwindale with in February and we ran the first secret SRL race at Kern County with,” he added. “I think we’re going to run with them a few times this year, we don’t know exactly how many races. We have them on the schedule this year and we’ll see where it goes for next year.”
Stay tuned to Speed51 for broadcast information for Saturday’s event at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
Click here to watch a replay of Monday’s episode of “The Bullring.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo