Austin Williams and the JR Racing Team recently rolled into Santa Maria, California, with anticipation of making a showing at a USAC/CRA event to be held at the Santa Maria Speedway. Experiencing his first year of racing in this particular division, the twenty year old driver was anxious to get his first win in the 410 class.
Austin Williams recently experienced his first USAC/CRA win.
Racing with the JR Racing Team, Aystin Williams is competing in his fiorst season of the 410 class USCA/CRA Division.
After qualifying tenth, Williams started second in his heat. When the green flag waved, Williams eventually dropped back to the fifth position, but eventually worked his way back to the third place spot with only two laps to go. Coincidentally, Austin finished right behind his brother Cody.
Referring to competing against his brother, Austin Williams said, "We're real competitive, and I just race him like anybody else. While we're racing, the family kind of goes out the window. I just race my race and we go from there."
Starting on the pole position of the main event, Austin shot out to the lead immediately when the race was deemed underway, and never gave up the lead throughout the entire thirty laps.
"I walked out on the track before the main event and saw it was tacky," recalled Williams. "Santa Maria is known for getting tackier and tackier throughout the night. It's not like any other track where it dries out as the night goes on. It actually gets more tacky. It was me and Danny Sheridan on the front row, and I knew that whoever got the jump was probably going to win the race, if they didn't make any mistakes".
I kind of left them at the beginning and had a pretty good lead," he continued. Then there was a caution on lap seven. I got a pretty good lead again, and my car started to get a little tight around lap twenty, and started kind of pushing coming off of the corners." Referring to his competitors, he said, "I saw them once and heard them a couple of times. I knew I needed not to make one more mistake, because if I did, they were there to pounce on me."
When asked the lap he became confident he was going to pull off the victory, Williams explained, "From the beginning, I knew there were all of those big guys behind me. It was during the last lap of the checkered, coming out of lap four; that's was when I knew I would win the main event."
"It felt amazing to get my first USAC/CRA win," shared the driver. "Going across the line it felt amazing. I don't even know how to put it into words. You know, going up to that race I had a couple of top five finishes, and I really didn't have too many of those throughout the previous two years I had raced. I got the win, and it boosted my confidence, knowing I could run with those top guys."
According to Austin Williams, the key to continued success throughout the remainder of the season and future seasons as well, is maintaining momentum and "keeping your head on straight". "It is also very important to have a good crew," Williams ensured. "You couldn't do it all by yourself."
The driver is also very aware of the importance of keeping the internal components of one's engine dust free and well lubed. Referring to the entire JR Racing team, including Austin, his brother and father, he said, "We use K&N products. We use K&N air cleaners, air cleaner socks, and their oil filters. This is our second year with K&N as a sponsor, but we used K&N products before the sponsorship as well. They're great products. K&N air filters, and the oil filters do a great job at keeping the engine clean. They do their job real well."
When asked what he enjoys most about racing, the driver said, "That one feeling you get when you win. I enjoy the team effort. You know, I played football for thirteen years, and then I stopped after high school, because it was either play football in Jr. College or go racing. I wanted to race."
In closing, he said, "The feeling of crossing the finish line is what keeps you coming back for more."
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