While the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (TN) season kicks off this Saturday, a two-time track champion has already enjoyed some strong runs in 2020. Cole Williams hopes to carry that momentum into Saturday’s season opener in pursuit of a third track title.
Williams is already a race winner in 2020, taking the checkered flag in the Pro Late Model feature during the SRL All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway (CA) on February 1. The Indiana native also finished second to Bubba Pollard in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour feature at Lebanon I-44 Speedway (MO) in the Show Me State Showdown.
That seat time gives Williams a unique advantage entering Saturday’s race, as many in the field have not had the opportunity to race in the first six months of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s an unusual thing. For a lot of people at Nashville, we’re used to starting the season in March with the media day, and then the first race in April,” Williams told Speed51. “I’ve raced three times this season, two times out west at Kern County and Irwindale in the Super Late Model, and then the Pro Late Model at I-44 in Missouri.
“There are still a lot of guys, this will be their first race of the season. We know what our package is, and some new things we’ve tried over the winter. We’ve been able to experiment with some of that stuff and implement it into the car to make it better. We’ve shown we have some speed.”
Williams is excited for his chances in the season opener, but also expects the event to be a big one for the speedway and Nashville. With racing events at the track now being promoted by Track Enterprises, Williams expects great things in the next chapter of the historic speedway.
“I’m pumped. I think it’s going to be a good weekend. It seems like everyone is excited, especially with Bob Sargent and everyone on the new staff that has put everything together. It’s going to be a huge first event, and it sounds like it’s going to be a test center for sports in general for Nashville. I think it will be a big deal for everyone.”
Williams is also excited that the existing relationships between Track Enterprises and touring groups such as Champion Racing Association (CRA) will make it easier for local drivers to compete in touring events, and vice versa.
“It works out really good, because a lot of the guys coming over and helping at Nashville this year are also part of CRA. It seems like we’re all on the same page with rules packages, tires, stuff like that. It makes it a little easier to go from Nashville to a touring event. Hopefully, it will allow bigger car counts and allow your local guys to go out and run big events outside of the state, too.”
While Williams will undoubtedly try his hand at some of those touring events – and has already circled the U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) on his calendar – his primary focus will be pursuing another Nashville title.
“We are planning to run all six races at Nashville, depending on the schedule. I’m pretty sure Nashville is our priority. We want to run Bristol as well, and then we’ll see what the West Coast schedule is.
“That’s the first set thing we know we’re going to do is run Nashville. A lot of our sponsors are from the Nashville area, so we love to run there and support them when we can.”
Race fans unable to attend Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for its season opener this weekend can watch live on Speed51 for just $10. Click here to order your video ticket now for the July 4 event.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 photo