William’s Wins “Masters of the Pro’s” 144 Claims First Green JacketScott Menlen
Salem, IN (July 4, 2017) – Cole Williams has been a strong performer for several seasons in a Pro Late Model, winning track championships in that class at both Lebanon I-44 Speedway and Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, but Williams has now put himself in contention to be one of the top Pro Late Model drivers in the country with his win in the Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway on May 21st and a dominating win in last night’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance Masters of the Pro’s” 144 at Lebanon I-44 Speedway.
“This is awesome, I’ve wanted to get the green jacket and a win in this event since it started,” remarked Williams in victory lane. “To get this win means a lot for our team, getting the win at Bristol was awesome, and then to follow it up with winning this race, this is unbelievable. I have a lot of fans at this track, it’s great to have their support. I couldn’t do it without this awesome team and the support of my sponsors and my family!”
Williams took advantage of his outside pole starting position after Fury Race Cars Fast Qualifier Michael Clancy Jr. drew a seven for the events invert. Williams powered around the outside of pole sitter Austin Kunert to grab the early lead. The win did not come easy, even though Williams led all 144 laps of the event, the first time anyone has ever done that.
Williams had to fight off challengers on seven different restarts through the event, drivers who battled hard with Williams for the lead included Chandler Smith, who briefly passed Williams, the only car to do so all night, but a yellow flag came out right after the pass before a lap was scored, giving the lead back to Williams.
Other challengers for the lead included series points leader Jack Dossey III, Cole Rouse and Stephen Nasse, who battled with Williams from the green flag after the lap 100 break until a flat tire ended Nasse’s charge and brought out a late yellow with six laps remaining. Williams then held off the late charge of Dossey III to get the win and the $8000 payoff and the coveted green jacket. Williams was awarded the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race for holding off all challengers to get the win and the Earnest Performance Lap Leader Award.
“Those guys all raced me hard, but clean,” added Williams. “Nasse had a good car, but I kept him on the bottom so he couldn’t keep his momentum up. It was a tough 144 laps, the toughest I’ve ever ran!”
Dossey III would match his best series finish with his second straight second place finish to add to his series points lead and picked up his second straight FLUIDYNE Cool Under Pressure Award. Cole Rouse came from his 11th place starting position to finish in third place and earn a Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Performance Award and the Racing Electronics Hardcharger Award. Smith hung on to get a fourth place finish. Austin Kunert came back from having to go to the tail twice during the event to get a fifth place finish and earned the Sweet Manufacturing Sweet Move of the Race Award.
Local racer Mandy Chick would come back from an early spin to finish in sixth, her all-time series best finish. With that finish she earned a Great Lakes Tire/Hoosier Performance Award and the VanDoorn Racing Development Rookie of the Race Award. Nasse would battle back from his late flat tire to finish in seventh. Local racer Kaleb Allison finished in eighth place. ARCA Racing Series veteran racer Joe Cooksey finished in ninth place. Rookie Thomas Hufferd finished in 10th place in his series debut, his pit crew picked up the PitBoxes.com Pit Crew of the Race Award for their hard work all weekend on Hufferd’s car in their first ever race at I-44.
Williams and Salem Speedway winner Jack Smith are both now locked into the new Chase Championship format, if they compete in at least 75% of the races leading up to the final four Chase events, to crown the 2017 series Champion.
The series’ will have its second of four straight weeks of racing in its first ever event at Kil-Kare Raceway this Sunday, July 9th. More information on the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance is available at www.cra-racing.com.