Williams finishes in the top 10
In spite of missing the first and last dirt races of the season, Carson City race driver J.R. Williams of Carson City still managed to finish in the top 10 in the USAC Focus Dirt Midget California Series.
“I missed the first race of the season due to food poisoning,” said the 72-year-old Williams, who finished ninth overall. “But I thought I would make the rest of the season. Unfortunately, I had a case of severe vertigo last Tuesday night and was still dizzy from an inner ear infection over the weekend.
“I was holding seventh-place in season points until about a month ago when I dropped back to eighth, but felt sure that I would finish there if I just made the last few races of the season. When I missed Saturday’s race down in Ventura, I dropped to ninth, losing the other spot by just one point.
“Still all and all, a top 10 finish is pretty good. The youngsters I’m competing against are extremely fast and have no fear. It’s a joy to be able to compete with them.”
Williams is also trying to finish in the top 10 in the pavement series. “We still have three more pavement races to go, and I’m in 11th spot, just one point out of 10th, so a few good finishes could put me into the top 10 in the pavement series as well,” Williams said.
Williams just barely missed being injured in a crash two weeks ago in Blythe, Calif., that saw the other driver, his friend Bob Brewer (a 42-year old retired F-16 fighter pilot) of Salt Lake City shatter a right knee cap.
“Bob and I were running side-by-side when his car cut to the left and ran over my right front tire, sending him into the concrete crash wall,” Willliams said. “Those things happen from time to time, but it still bothers you to see another driver get hurt. His knee will be operated on this Wednesday and he’ll be back again next season. Then we’ll be fighting each other again.”
The remainder of the season will see Williams racing at Havasu 95 Speedway on Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3 in a double-header race program. The final race will be at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on Thanksgiving Night in the annual “Turkey Night” extravaganza. The USAC awards banquet will be held two nights later, also in Irwindale.
“Then we have a few months off to rest, lick our wounds, and rebuild our cars before the next season begins in March. Hopefully next year will find us in the winner’s circle,” said Williams with a smile.