73-year-old Williams eighth overall in USAC Salt Lake series

USAC Midget driver J.R. Williams of Carson City closed out the 2008 Salt Lake City Series that concluded on Saturday in eighth place in the overall standings

"Whenever you finish a season in the top 10, it's considered a winning season," said the 73-year-old Williams of his efforts.

"I've had a successful season out there at Rocky Mountain Raceway. The Salt Lake City USAC Midget series consisted of 10 races at RMR, and two at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the Bullring. Two of the Salt Lake City races were combined with the USAC California Series races, and both of the LVMS races were combined, giving the Salt Lake City series a 12-race schedule. One of the Salt Lake City shows was rained out just after Memorial Day.

"I had a good season out there. Out of the 11 races that we ran, we ended up with one top five and nine top 10 finishes."

He was holding down sixth spot in the standings at one point and had hoped to move up into fifth, but between him finishing too far back, and last year's champion getting a win in the final race, he ended up in eighth spot.

"I was hoping to do better that last race," Williams said. "I started on the pole and held the lead for three laps, but then began moving backwards as first one car and then another managed to get past me. The 25-lap main event ran from the green flag to the checker with no intervening yellow flags, and I didn't get lapped by the winner. In fact, I went on and lapped the slowest car myself.

"I'm looking forward to a better season next year."

There are still four races left in the California series, and Williams is tied for ninth place there.

"We'll head out for Lake Havasu this coming Friday, where we'll race on Saturday. The following week we'll be at Irwindale in Southern California. After that I'll run a dirt race up in Willamette, Ore. and then we're scheduled to be back on pavement down in Blythe, Calif.

"Our last race of the season will be on Thanksgiving Night (the annual Turkey Night Show) in Irwindale. That race will be the USAC Focus Midget National race and there will be cars and drivers from all across the United States on hand. It's an honor just to be able to qualify for one of the main event starting positions in that one, but we'll do our best."

After that it will be time to rest and recondition the cars for the 2009 season.

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