Cole Williams is a Pro Late Model champion, but nothing compared to the feeling he felt Sunday night at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN).
Williams of Sellersburg, Indiana put himself in the right place at the right time all night long to win the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Model feature during the Short Track U.S. Nationals.
“It’s an unreal experience to be able to come here to Bristol, and to have an opportunity like this is just a blessing,” Williams said. “It was really intense at some points, but calm at others. We knew we needed to keep our nose clean, and we knew that would be the goal all along. We ended up finishing on top, so I can’t really complain.”
Dillon Oliver and Nate Walton led the JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour Pro Late Models to the green flag for the first 51-lap segment of their 100-lap feature, but neither would finish near the top.
Oliver appeared to have the fastest car during the first segment, but contact with Eddie Fatscher sent him hard into the turn two wall on lap 47. After exiting his car, Oliver made his way to pit road where a confrontation occurred between him and Fatscher’s Fat Head Racing team.
“The little piece of s--- just wrecked me,” Oliver said angrily after the incident. “The dumb--- hit me at the flag stand, I gathered it up and the son of a b---- hit me again and stuffed me in the fence. It is what it is; it’s what these little punk a-- kids don’t understand. People backing them with a ton of money, I just finished this car, I had somebody from the (Nashville) Fairgrounds that believed in me, built that race car and it had two races on it and now it’s wrecked.
“It’s just a punk a-- kid who has a ton of money. His daddy can volunteer to write us a check if he wants to help pay for this car and put us another one back together if he wants. We would really appreciate it.”
Fatscher took fault for the incident after parking his car behind the wall due to damage suffered during the incident.
“We made a good move there to get the lead in the middle of the run. All my fault there for wrecking Oliver there. We had a good car and he just got loose a little bit; my bad there for getting into him, so sorry about that.”
Williams inherited the lead after Fatscher was penalized by race officials for his involvement in the accident. He then held the lead until Walton got around him at the start of the second 49 lap segment.
Williams rebounded up to second, eventually regaining the lead on lap 74 and running away with it.
Jon Beach finished second after transferring into the race through Saturday’s B-Main feature, while Jack Smith rebounded from a pre-race technical infraction to finish third.
“We really struggled in qualifying with some fuel issues and then had to come from the B-main,” Beach stated. “It was kind of just a survival deal really for us, but we are really tickled to be able to run up front with some of these guys.”
Smith was happy with his result, but thought he had more.
“I really thought I had a car to in, with like two to go in the first-half, I purposely let the 66 by so I could restart on the inside. This race is for my brother, who is going through some hard stuff right now, but I just want to thank everyone who has helped me,” Smith said.
An on-demand Trackside Now replay of Sunday's racing can be found by clicking here.
-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent – Twitter: @RNoblesSpeed51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos
Short Track U.S. Nationals Pro Late Model Unofficial Results
Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) – May 21, 2017
1 46 Cole Williams
2 1S Jon Beach
3 28S Jack Smith
4 29 Austin Kunert
5 49 Colin Nickolai
6 20 Jack Dossey
7 83 Andy Bozell
8 00 Brandon Curren
9 04 Phil Bozell
10 15 Trey Craig
11 17S Keith Sterkowitz
12 99 Harrison Hall
13 66 Nate Walton
14 5H Tyler Hufford
15 97J Jaxson Jacobs
16 33O Dillon Oliver
17 51F Eddie Fatscher
18 67 Ben Welch
19 8H Hope Hornish
20 23G Dalton Grindle
21 14D Corey Deuser
22 5C Michael Clancy Jr.
23 16T Scott Tomasik
24 14H Carson Hocevar
25 51O Brandon Oakley
26 47 Dakota Stroup
27 38 Hunter Byrd
28 17B Josh Brock
29 26X Travis Braden
30 40 Jordan Miller
31 4X Dalton Armstrong
32 11A Dustin Ash
33 54T Brandon Thomson
34 33S Carter Stokes
35 28H Terry Horak