ARCA PRESS RELEASE
TOLEDO, Ohio (April 10, 2016) – Josh Williams added his name to an elite list of ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards winners at Fairgrounds Speedway, joining the likes of Nelson Stacy, Jack Bowsher, Andy Hampton, Red Farmer, Ramo Stott, Coo Coo Marlin, Marvin Smith, Bob Schacht, David Green and Grant Enfinger to name several. The event marked the 25th ARCA Racing Series sanctioned race at the Fairgrounds since its debut there in 1959.
It was Williams’ career-first ARCA win, but second at the legendary short track at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Williams won a Bandolero national championship on the inside quarter-mile track back in 2005, out-running Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney for the honors.
“That was an event I will never forget,” Williams said. “All I can say is I can’t thank my parents enough for giving me the opportunity to be there and to bring home that guitar. That guitar was for my parents who have done so much for me in this sport. Now, this one will be for me and my JW Motorsports team.”
Fortunately, Williams’ parents, Kevin and Theresa, were on hand last night to share in their son’s celebration, as they were back in ’05. Williams marched off last night with another really cool Music City 200 and ARCA Racing Series branded six-string acoustic guitar to add to his unique trophy collection.
Record Composite Cars
A record 20 Composite Body cars made up the 34-car starting grid at Nashville, with the Composite cars taking nine of the top-10 finishing positions. The only steel car in the top-10 was occupied by Merritt Island, Florida driver Brian Finney, who finished a career-best third in the Bob Steele Chevrolet. Finney was also the only top-10 finisher powered by a legacy engine, rather than the ARCA Ilmor 396. From the 34-car field, 23 were ARCA Ilmor 396s. Finney, who started 22nd after crashing in qualifying, also earned the CGS Imaging Hard Charger Award for advancing the most positions during the race.
New Track Record for Rookie Briscoe
Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell got very exciting Saturday, with SCOTT Rookie of the Year contender Chase Briscoe earning a new one-lap track record, circling the .596-mile high-banked oval in 19.178 seconds, an average speed of 111.878 mph. Briscoe set the mark on his first lap, then received radio instructions from his crew chief Chad Bryant to “shut it down”, without taking the second lap. Briscoe edged rookie Bret Holmes for the pole by a mere .038 seconds.
Newcomer Holmes solid in debut
Holmes, in his career-first ARCA start, was also under the track record but had to settle for the second starting position. Holmes answered with a very solid run afterwards with a fifth-place finish in his debut after leading six laps. He also earned the SCOTT Highest Finishing Rookie of the Race honors. Holmes’ No. 23 car was purchased from 2015 championship ARCA team GMS Racing. There were more goodies that came with the deal. Holmes had ARCA champion Grant Enfinger on the pit box calling the shots as crew chief. Holmes, a student at Auburn University, is planning to run six more ARCA races this season at Talladega, Lucas Oil, Berlin, the second Salem, Kentucky and Kansas. Holmes, from Munford, Alabama, just a few miles away from Talladega, will be a hometown favorite when the tour steers for Talladega at the end of April. Holmes won a late model track championship on the Talladega Short (dirt) Track in 2012.
Career-best for Several
From the five Lira Motorsports Ford Fusions in the field, SCOTT Rookie contender Brandon Lynn earned the highest finish among his teammates, coming home a career-best sixth in the No. 36 Cribs Creek Outfitters-NexGen Fuels Ford.
It was also a career-best finish for Sheldon Creed and 15-year-old Christian Eckes, finishing seventh and eighth in their series debuts – Creed in a Lira Motorsports Ford and Eckes in a Venturini Motorsports Toyota. Creed, the 2015 Stadium Super Truck champion, is planning to run the remaining ARCA Racing Series events in 2016. Eckes is planning to race in at least two more at Iowa and Madison.
Royal Palm Beach, Florida driver Scott Reeves finished a career-best 11th in a second Finney Racing Chevrolet.
Despite fuel issues, Boswell, Thomas impressive
SCOTT rookies Brady Boswell (Mason Mitchell Motorsports) and Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Cunningham Motorsports) were impressive throughout the race – Boswell leading 44 laps to Thomas’ 32 laps-led. However, both cars ran out of fuel over the final long green flag run, relegating each to a much lesser finish than they were bargaining for. Boswell, a freshman at the University of North Georgia, ended up 15th with Thomas trailing in 17th.
Townley Leads Points to Salem
John Wes Townley unofficially leads the points following his win at Daytona and fourth place finish at Nashville. However, Townley is not scheduled to race in all 20 ARCA events in 2016 as a result of a conflicting NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. If Townley were to miss an ARCA race, he would also miss out on a 250-point bonus for each five-race leg during the season. That said, current runner-up driver Chase Briscoe, 55 points away from Townley, is in the driver’s seat for the championship, albeit early on in the season.
Unofficial Top-10 ARCA Points After Nashville
1. John Wes Townley 460; 2. Chase Briscoe 405; 3. Bo LeMastus 380; 4. Josh Williams 370; 5. Brandon Lynn 350; 6. Kevin Thomas, Jr. 345; 7. Thomas Praytor 300; 8. Kyle Weatherman 280; 9. Tom Hessert 260; 10. Matt Kurzejewski 250.
The Music City 200 is scheduled to air on the American Sports Network (ASN) on June 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is headed to Salem Speedway next for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 April 23-24, the 99th ARCA race at Salem since 1953. From there, it’s a tight turn-around for the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway Friday, April 29. Salem will air, tape-delayed, on ASN; Talladega is live on FS1.