Williams Can’t Lose… Wins In ASA LM Debut by Jeremy Troiano
With Whole ASM Crew On Hand, Williams Gets Another At Orange County
Travel to the Concord-Mooresville-Charlotte region of North Carolina and you’ll find a lot of racers who have transplanted themselves there. A lot of them come to North Carolina to further their career. But the problem is few ever do.
Most of them don’t do it in the right way however.
Corey Williams is the hottest Super Late Model shoe in the country right now. (51 Photos)
Many take jobs with big NASCAR teams, hoping that they can get a driver development deal. But that wasn’t Corey Williams agenda.
And now, Williams might just be furthering his career better than anyone else out there.
Williams won Saturday night’s ASA Late Model South race at Orange County Speedway in North Carolina. He did so by leading all 125 laps driving a car owned by NASCAR Nextel Cup driver David Stremme.
“I can’t even believe this right now,” said Williams. “I expected to do well in David Stremme’s car, but honestly with my first time out in this car with these tires, I was just expecting to run good. I didn’t expect to win. I knew I had the crew behind me. We ran well here before (in PASS South) and to be here in Victory Lane now is awesome.”
Williams didn’t take the big-time NASCAR route. He moved to North Carolina from Maine. Instead of a Cup or Busch team, he went to work for Andy Santerre Motorsports and team owner Andy Santerre, whose team races in the NASCAR Busch East Series. In his spare time, Williams would continue to race his Super Late Model whenever he could.
It worked out, as Williams won his first-career PASS South Super Late Model Series race at Orange County Speedway. Then, he backed it up by winning another PASS South race at Peachstate Speedway. Just a couple of weeks ago, Williams won three-in-a-row, taking the checkers at Lanier National Speedway.
Williams then got the chance to continue his hot streak. But this time, it wasn’t with his own car in PASS South. Instead, it was with Stremme’s car in ASA.
Through the grapevine, Stremme had heard of Williams success. The two got in touch and Stremme offered up his car.
It turned out to be a good choice.
First, it was Taylor Satterfield. Then it was Jeff Choquette. And at the end, it was Sean Murphy.
Murphy appeared to have the faster car, but the track at Orange County lent itself to one-groove racing once tires got some laps on them. And that was all Williams needed.
“I don’t know how I got this opportunity honestly,” added Williams. “There are just a few people here and there that talked to David. I called him right up when I heard that he wanted to talk and I told him what I wanted to do. He was all for letting me try his car
out. To win for him the first time out is pretty cool. I hope I get the chance to drive it again. That car was awesome.”
When looking at the final results of Saturday night’s race, it would appear that Williams dominated the race. But that wasn’t really the case.
Williams led every one of the 125 laps, but it wasn’t until the final 20 laps until he was really able to pull away to any sort of sizable lead. Until then, he held off many different challengers.
ASALM South Point Leader Sean Bass was a victim of the wild night at Orange County.
Jeff Choquette got tagged and spun around by Wes Burton and Travis Cope was spun by Travis Wilson as the field came to the green.
From there, things only got worse. Greg Stewart and Sean Bass were involved in early, one-car accidents.
Then, a big one took out Cope, John Wes Townley, Chris Fontaine and Wilson. Later, more accidents by David Wilson and others paired down the field.
In fact, only 14 of the 26 cars were running at the end of the event.
Looking At The Schedule
Sean Murphy and his SS Racing team learned one valuable lesson at Orange County Speedway.
“We didn’t even know they were practicing on Friday,” said Murphy. “We were off testing in Virginia and people were practicing. That might have hurt us, but I don’t know if it did or not. I guess we’ll know better next time.”
Murphy finished second.
ASA Different And Not Too Different
The ASA Late Models are a little different then regular Super Late Models. And that is something that Florida Super Late Model standout Jeff Choquette is getting used to.
Actually, Burton is just trying to draw some attention to some much needed sponsorship. On the quarter panels of his car is the phrase “help us.”
Burton says he needs some help to become more of a threat.
“We had a lot of problems this year,” said Burton. “We are struggling to have enough time to put into this car. We want to do this full time. If we can get some help, we can do this full time and be more competitive like we should be.
We just want to run good, impress people and make some friends. We are just out here trying to have fun. I know it costs money and time to get money.”
For more information, check out wesburton.net.
Carb Problems? Not A Problem
There were a few guys thrashing to change carburetors right before qualifying on Saturday. One of those was Beau Slocumb.
Then, a 14th-place qualifying effort didn’t help things. But Slocumb, a two-time ASA LM winner, didn’t let it hamper him.
“We had to change a carburetor before qualifying,” said Slocumb, who finished fourth. “We had a little problem with it. We had way too much gear in the car. We qualified 14th and got to fourth by halfway. But coming up through there, I just killed the tires. I didn’t have anything left there.
“It was a hard track to pass on. I think coming through there on the bottom hurt us. It just killed the right side tires.”
Williams Needs To Get Out More
There were a lot of things Corey Williams had to be excited about on Saturday night. Not only did he win the race in his first career ASA LM start, but he did it while driving for David Stremme.
Williams' #40 David Stremme-owned machine
“Track position was key tonight,” said Williams, who qualified seventh but started on the pole after the inversion. “The bottom was very hard to pass on. I knew the guy behind me (Murphy) was looking a lot. I could tell it was hard for him to hook it up. I had the preferred groove.”
Murphy could do nothing but settle for second.
“We got beat by a slower car tonight, but good job to him,” said Murphy. “It was just really hard to pass out there. He did what he had to do by run his line and the best line out there and make me pass him. It was just really hard to pass out there. I ran my tires off trying to get by him and I had nothing left for him at the end.
“We had a good car. This was our backup after junking our other car last weekend at Bristol. We gave them all we could out here tonight. Just too bad we finished second.
"One of these days, we are going to get that first win. Its just around the corner for us.”
Sean Murphy (right) helps his crew get the #32 ready for action pre-race.
Choquette held one for third after setting fast time and moving from seventh to third in just a matter of laps at the start of the race. Beau Slocumb came back from pre-qualifying issues to finish fourth, with Tommy King rounding out the top-five.
Rough Start, Rough Finish
There were a few little hints that Saturday night’s race was going to be a rough one. The biggest hint might have been that the first accident of the night started before the field even got the green flag.
“They are a lot different,” said Choquette, who finished third. “I have a hard time getting used to the restarts. The motor is down on so much horsepower from what I’m used too. But anytime you take away power, it makes things easier to drive. I think that is part of the reason why, without the bad luck, we’ve had some good races this year. We’ll get a better handle and become even more of a constant threat.”
Winner Corey Williams also noticed a little difference.
“A little less power then what we run in the Super,” said Williams. “The car really ran the same as (my Super Late Model) other than that The tires were a little different too. But, its all just a racecar.”
His Sponsor? ME
Harkening back to the movie Talladega Nights, Wes Burton’s #5 ASA Late Model carries a special sponsor on the hood: ME.
Jeff Choquette in his office
Slocumb's team gets to work on under the hood of the #08.
And, he had Andy Santerre and Busch East Series driver Sean Caisse in his corner, there helping him.
But what was he really excited about?
“To bring the (ASM) 18-wheeler was cool,” said Williams with a chuckle. “I’m used to our little trailer.”