TALLADEGA, Ala. – Josh Williams raced among the leaders when it counted and ultimately claimed a career-best finish of seventh at the end of Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Williams climbed as high as second during the closing stages of the Ag-Pro 300 at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, leading the inside line for several circuits inside of 30 laps to go before being shuffled back slightly within the lead draft.
But Williams continued to stay out of trouble, steering clear of both an incident with 22 to go and a multi-car crash on the backstretch during the final lap to cross the line behind six Xfinity Series playoff contenders – five teams fighting for the driver’s title and one team contending in the owner playoffs.
It’s the kind of result that Williams always hopes to have when coming to Talladega or its sister track, Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway, but to put a whole race together Saturday was “very rewarding,” according to the 27-year-old.
“It was really sweet for us to leave with the car in one piece and the best finish I’ve ever had in the Xfinity Series,” Williams said. “You go in knowing that it’s Talladega and you pretty much know what’s gonna happen, so you just have to avoid the mess if at all possible. It was cool leading a lane there for a bit, but the bottom wasn’t the preferred lane all day, so when it started fading off and everyone behind me started fading to the top … we were just hoping for either a space to fall into or some more cars to drop down there. I really needed some more help to make some headway on the outside guys.
“Luckily, it worked out in our favor to have another caution and reload to take another stab at it, but we were just really happy to come away with a great result for Alloy and everyone on this DGM team,” Williams added. “It’s what speedway racing is; when you strap in, you’re prepared to hit something. We just got a little lucky, didn’t hit anything and ended up with a great finish at the end of the day.”
Williams’ result on Saturday was special in another sense, as well, when considering the special paint scheme aboard his No. 92 Chevrolet Camaro.
Alloy Employer Services – one of Williams’ main partners through the second half of the season – honored Jen Estey, who is currently battling lung cancer, by putting a ribbon and arrow with her name on the rear quarter panel of the No. 92.
Estey is the wife of Alloy’s Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Estey. She was the recipient of a video call from Williams Saturday prior to the race, a moment that the Xfinity Series veteran said “was really touching.”
“We just wanted to get a good finish out of the deal and honor Jen, and it turned out to be even better than we thought by the end of the deal,” Williams noted. “To have her on the car and have a good run … man, the stars aligned and it couldn’t have worked out any better than it did for us.
“It was just a really special day all around.”
Seventh improved Williams’ high-water mark in Xfinity Series action by one. His previous best was an eighth-place finish back in April of 2019, also earned at Talladega.
The track is one that Williams noted, “just likes me, I guess,” and a place he’s always appreciated.
“Talladega, for some reason, has always been good to me … even going back to the ARCA days,” he grinned. “I’d like to flip flop it one of these days, and maybe get a good run at Daytona to start the year that we could use to carry some momentum early, but Talladega and I really get along well.
“We’re happy with this weekend and we’ll keep it going into these last few races, hopefully.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series season continues Oct. 10 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.