WILLIAMS READY FOR NEXT CAREER STEP - A BREAK OUT SEASON IN PASS by MikeTwist
Maine Teen Has Gone Wheel to Wheel With Some of the Biggest Names in Racing
This weekend, Corey Williams will get to race for the first time in 2005 as the PASS Pro Stocks (Super Late Models) make their season debut at White Mountain Motorsports Park. The tough part about that is that for Williams is that already this season, he’s been watching his peers get to race for a few months now.
years ago, Williams defined Legends racing in New England by sweeping 27 features in 2003 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) and on the New England Legends Tour. Last year, Williams made the step up to full-sized cars and dove in the deep end of the region’s racing pool by competing full-time in PASS.
“When we raced down in Florida, we ran against a lot of young kids,” said Williams. “I’ve raced against Joey Logano and Jimmy Lang. We ran with Kyle Busch was at one of the Nationals with us. There are a lot of people that I’ve been able to race against.”
And Williams can follow right along with the adventures of those drivers.
“I watch every race that I can,” said Williams. “At every level, I see someone that I’ve raced against whether they are now in Cup, Busch, Trucks or ARCA. It’s kind of cool to see them run.”
Williams recently shook down his PASS car at Wiscasset Raceway. (Norm Marx Photos)
While his contemporaries are already racing, the New England winter has kept Williams off the track so far this year. But that has allowed Williams a little bit of time to do the normal things that 19-year-olds do.
“I’m pretty much no different from anybody else,” said Williams. “I like to have fun with my friends on the weekends. We like going go-kart racing and having a good time.
But good times aren’t all that Williams is involved in. He works on the racecars with his father in their free time
Beating Williams in a Legends car was not an easy task.
How do you top that? Well, Williams did so by going undefeated all season long in his New England region, defending each championship from the season before and being nominated, along with PASS drivers Ben Rowe and Sam Sessions, as Maine Driver of the Year at the Northeast Motorsports Expo.
“In the second year we were really excited about the way that we were running,” said Williams. “We went down to the Winter Nationals at DeSoto Speedway (FL) early in the year and I think that we came out third in points for the whole week. That was an accomplishment it itself, because that’s five days of racing and we only had one car. Everybody else had two or three cars.”
and they work side-by-side during the day at the family business
When Speed51.com recently caught up with Williams, we noticed several busted knuckles on his hands from working around street and race vehicles. This isn’t just a kid that pretends to be working on his own equipment. It’s a case of where he needs to work on his cars or they simply won’t be prepared to get on the racetrack.
“I work at my father’s auto repair shop [Dan’s Auto Repair] during the day and when we aren’t working there, we are over at the race shop wrenching away and getting ready for the year,” said Williams.
Williams has been racing for awhile now.
That race shop, in coastal Boothbay, Maine, is where Williams and his family managed to put together one of the Winn ingest Legends campaign in the county, just a few seasons ago.
The year was 2003 and Williams had just come off an amazing rookie season where he won the track championship at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME), the Maine State INEX Legends title and the New England NELCAR championship.
Williams (L) helps out at his recent test.
competition in a Legends car, where the rules are designed to keep racing tight?
“We were trying to figure it out,” said Williams. “When we first went down there, we were intimidated by the locals. Charlie Pasteryak was out there in the Beebe car and there were a lot of good drivers who were intimidating. We had two cars at that time and when we brought out the newer one, it wasn’t really doing it for us. Then we brought out the one that we had run all year. We just put new tires on it, went out and ran a really good lap.”
The next step for Williams was to jump into full-sized cars with both feet. He skipped Saturday night racing and went straight into the PASS ranks, but did so with a car that might have been better suited to run a local track.
On any given weekend so far this year, Williams has been able to flip on the television and see drivers of his own age group that he has raced against do some pretty impressive things in front of a national audience. Kyle Busch won the pole for the Nextel Cup race at California Speedway and finished second in the race at Las Vegas. Reed Sorenson won the Busch Series event at Nashville Superspeedway (TN). Those are both guys that Williams has gone wheel-to-wheel with.
The above names are graduates of the Legends car wars and have met head-to-head in national events. A few
“We came back and we knew what we needed to do to beat these guys. That worked out pretty well for us because I think that we ended up winning 27 races and two of them were national qualifiers. We had a pole down at Waterford where we were 3/10th quicker than anybody.”
That performance at Waterford raised some eyebrows.
“Everyone started coming over and looking at everything,” said Williams. “They were really asking questions and stuff.”
How does someone go that much faster than their
“We started driving our own car in PASS and that was kind of an outdated, Saturday night racing deal,” said Williams. “As the season went on, we got our first top five finish a guy came down to check us out. It was Tom Mason and he had heard about us and we talked about driving one of his cars. We looked at his equipment and he showed a lot of interest in us too. So we brought one of his cars back to our shop, but we didn’t have the time to go through the car and do what we really needed to do it.”
Mason had previously owned winning racecars driven by Andy Shaw and his equipment was just what Williams needed.
“There was no doubt that I could feel a difference in his cars,” said Williams. “Just getting into the car and feeling that everything was nice and tight made a big difference. It was a good deal. The motors were a lot stronger.”
So this year with the new equipment, Williams is ready for the season to get started.
“We want to go out and qualify in the top ten as much as we can and finish in the top five,” said Williams. “We want to be in the top point of the points. I know that those are high expectations, but with the equipment that we have now and the experience that we’ve gotten, we feel that we can do it.”
A winter of work helps as well.
“This year, we had all winter to go through the car and learn from everything that we did last year,” said Williams. “We worked on the motor, the power steering, the rear ends, everything. So this year, we can go into the season and not worry about that. We can focus more on setting the cars up and feeling the tracks out.”
Williams had a few different looks in 2004. He started out with a white #47 and also ran a red car.
It’s not just the equipment that Williams hopes will make his 2005 season. He is also banking on some new knowledge from going to school this winter.
“My father and I when to New Smyrna to Finish Line Driving School this winter,” said Williams. “We learned a lot from Mike Loescher. There’s no doubt that he can be hard on people. He told us that if we went down there, he could let us know if I needed to change careers. We went down there and the first time that I came in, he was impressed. He told me that I have what it takes.”
“I found a lot of things wrong that I was doing wrong down there. Coming out here, we are prepared. I’m looking forward to putting what I learned to use on the track this year. I’m excited.”
The year might also be pivotal for Williams’ career as well if he plans on moving up the racing ladder. At age 19, he is in the position to move up in racing, just like many of guys who he has raced against.
Age used to not be so critical when it came to a Northerner going for a ride in one of NASCAR’s top divisions. Ricky Craven, Mike McLaughlin and Joe Bessey were all well into their 20’s and 30’s before making the jump to the big leagues of NASCAR. But times have changed in racing. Now, teenagers are the hot community when it comes to driver development deals and Williams has the goal of being noticed by one of those operations.
“We’re hoping to get our hook into somebody down south,” said Williams. “These big shops seem to be getting drivers about my age who came out of Legends car or Super Late Models and maybe can slowly move our way up and show what we’ve got. I know that I can run with those guys.”
There is no doubt that Williams is ambitious, but he’s no matter what happens in his future, he is just thrilled to be where he is now. After all, just driving a racecar is what he has always dreamed about. Winning and moving through the ranks are cherries on top of his sundae.
“My brother and I always wanted to be at the track from the time that we were introduced to racing,” said Williams. “We were always looking over things at my Dad’s shop and we just loved being around it. For us to be involved in racing now it’s just a dream.”