Williams, almost 73, ends racing season
Carson City midget racecar driver J.R. Williams concluded his 2007 USAC season at the recent 67th annual Turkey Night race in Irwindale, Calif.
“We had a fairly good season,” Williams said. “We managed to salvage ninth place in the dirt series with a total of eight top ten finishes and two top fives. In spite of missing the first dirt race of the season due to some food poisoning, we held onto eighth place until an inner ear infection caused us to miss the last race of the season and we dropped into ninth spot, just one point out of eighth.
“Our pavement season didn’t go quite as well. After missing the first race due to being out of town, we ran into a series of bad breaks, including four crashes – none of which was my fault, but they cost us decent finishing positions just the same. We also had some fuel and injection system problems that slowed us down, but we think we got that all figured out so we’ll be ready for next season and should do better.”
Despite no top five finishes, Williams did have six top 10 finishes and ended up in 11th place in the pavement series.
“Turkey Night was a good example of our pavement season,” Williams said. “The track timing system went out during our qualification runs and our lineup was based on a practice session where we did poorly. Consequently we started 27th in the main event, but by then we had the injectors working right and ended up finishing 14th, so it was a good run all in all.
“We owe a lot to our sponsors this year. Les Schwab’s people changed a lot of tires for us, Capital Cleaners kept our uniform looking spiffy, and Carson Dodge serviced our 2003 Dodge 3500 so that we could keep pulling our six-ton trailer over the Sierras just about every weekend.”
Williams will turn 73 at the end of December and feels that he has a few more seasons to go on the grueling USAC traveling circuit that sees him covering 30,000 miles annually.