Williams starts season off with bang

Local USAC Midget driver's 2009 season started off with a bang " actually three of them. With five races in the books for 2009, three mishaps resulted in less than desireable results.

"It all started at the Lake Havasu 95-Speedway," JR Williams relates. "I started off in 17th-place and worked my way up to 12th when an accident occurred right in front of me. I missed the crash by a fraction of an inch. While on the last yellow-flag lap before the restart, a few cars in front of me began checking up. I saw it happening and braked hard to avoid the car in front of me. However, the car behind me was trying to close up a two-car gap and never noticed that we were all slowing almost to a stop. He drove right into me, spinning me to a stop, driving my rear bumper into the fuel tank and bending the tail of the tank over. I had to restart in the back and only managed to make it back to 17th by the end of the race."

His next event was at Bakersfield on dirt, and he was holding second-place for more than half the race until someone behind him spun him out. All but one of the cars behind him missed him, but the one that didn't managed to destroy the entire front end, resulting in a DNF.

He got the car back together again for the next race at Perris, CA. Although he was doing well, he turned the car over to the 2008 National Focus Champion who had damaged the rear axle on his own car during his heat race.

"Young Alex Bowman from Tuscon, Arizona is one of the best young race drivers I have ever seen," Williams explained. "The USAC officials said that it was all right with them for us to change drivers, although he'd have to start in the rear of the 16-car field. The kid did a great job. He had never driven my chassis before, didn't even have one hot lap it in, had no idea of the setup, yet he started in the rear and with one red flag and three yellow flags keeping the field somewhat close, he managed to finish third. Even though the car is into its seventh season, it still runs strong. Its the same one that we drove to two victories last season."

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