By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
One race after rain washed out qualifying session sent him home, Josh Williams rebounded to earn his first top-10 finish at Talladega Superspeedway.
In the typical chaotic run to the finish at the superspeedway, Williams’ No. 36 Star Tron / Star Brite / General Formulations Chevrolet Camaro SS was one of several that sliced and diced through the field. He missed several incidents, including one that set up the final green-white-checkered run to the finish.
Williams swerved onto the apron as Jeffrey Earnhardt, Jeremy Clements, Justin Allgaier and others clobbered the wall. When the dust settled, his DGM Racing machine was undamaged, and inside the top-10. As the field jockeyed for position, Williams slipped from sixth to eighth by the time the checkered waved.
“It looked like it was cool, but I was just trying to make something happen,” Williams admitted. “It’s just so tough. Everybody is on top of each other or everybody wants to play follow the leader and run the fence. You just have to try to make something happen there, especially late in the race.
“Mario (Gosselin) gave us a really good piece. I can’t thank Star Brite Star Tron for coming onboard, ECR Engines, and everybody else that helped put this together for us.”
The racing throughout the Money Lion 300 was chaotic. With the field two and three wide for the bulk of the day, Williams found himself in several sketchy situations after he started 16th. The off-center pushing that was prevalent sent many, including the 25-year-old sliding.
Somehow Williams, along with Christopher Bell and Ross Chastain among others, recovered before the car completely switched ends.
“It was definitely wild,” Williams explained about the racing. “At one point in time, I was dead sideways on the frontstretch. We’re all three-wide, it’s a blast. Anytime we come to these speedway races and get three-wide, dance around, it’s a good time.”
The eighth-place finish is the first career top-10 finish for Williams in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The top-10 came in his 37th career start in the series.
Talladega marks the third time this season alone that Williams has improved his best career finish. He was confident that he can improve that finish later this season.
“We’ve got some road courses and another speedway left so I’m going to beat it again.”
The eighth-place finish is also just the fourth in the history of DGM Racing and first this season. It is also the first on a superspeedway as the organization’s other top-10s came on road courses at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Road America with Andy Lally twice and Alex Labbe once.
Williams joked about how his runs this season have people paying attention.
“I handed people hero cards and they’re like ‘who are you?’ I said just pay attention and you’ll figure it out one day. We just have to keep pressing on, working hard. There’s not many drivers out there like me. I’m going to keep the mold and keep it going.”
Although the top-10 finish moved Williams from being tied with Earnhardt for 20thin the championship points standings to 18th, he is still 116-points behind the cutoff for the playoffs, held by Brandon Jones.