70-year-old to race in national event
Seventy-year-old Carson City midget racer J.R. Williams has received an invitation to compete in the first USAC Ford Focus midget national races in mid-September.
“There are six divisions in this fastest growing United States Auto Club series,” Williams said. “USAC has decided that the time is right to introduce the first annual national event and I have received the owner’s wild card invitation for the California Pavement division.”
Fifty-four cars will compete for the national championship. The top eight points leaders in each division qualify and then each division receives one car owner slot.
The nationals will be comprised of two races with the Saturday night event on dirt at Limaland, Ohio and the Sunday event on the famous Anderson, Ind., 1/4 mile high banked pavement track.
“It will be a hard push,” Williams said. “I’ll be racing in Stockton on Sunday, Sept. 11. “I’ll get home about 3 a.m. on Monday grab some rest, pack some clothes and leave Tuesday morning. If everything goes right on the road I’ll get to my friend Bob Harkey’s home by Friday night adn Bob has agreed to go the rest of the way with me and help me in the pits.
“it should be a blast. I’ll spend Sunday night at Bob’s home and then hustle back here as I have a race at the Orange Speedway in San Bernardino the next Saturday.”
Harkey is a 10-time Indianapolis 500 driver.
Williams, who races for J and J Associates in Carson City, credits his sponsors Carson Dodge/Chrysler for keeping his 2003 Dodge tow truck in good shape and Les Schwab tires for keeping tires under both the tow truck and the trailer. Williams has put 75,000 miles on the tow truck.
“Without their help I don’t think I’d be able to make such a difficult season,” said Williams as he’s preparing to leave on a two-week, 5,000-mil trip that will have him compete in Watsonville, Calif., Belleville, Kan., Ventura, Calif., Watsonville again and Santa Maria, Calif.
“I have to give a lot of credit to my wife, Jas, who doesn’t like racing and who becomes a racing widow for the entire season,” Williams also said.