By: Ashley McCubbin
The 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series grid is beginning to take shape, and one of the drivers that will be apart of the action is Josh Williams, returning to DGM Racing to run the full schedule. The Florida native recently shared his thoughts entering 2023 and more with NEWS FROM THE PITS.
What are your thoughts going into the 2023 season?
I’m super excited. I think everyone at DGM (Racing) is excited as well. We’re looking forward to it. We have some good partners. We’re updating some of our equipment and trying to put our best foot forward to be the best that we can be out of the gate in 2023.
What are your goals for your season, based on your performance last year?
The biggest thing for us to improve. We always want to better, right? Just try to improve off the good runs that we had. The last race at Phoenix (Raceway), we finished 15th so try to better that and stay in the top-10, top-15, and try to keep ourselves in the top-five at these short tracks and just build notes, build our program and be more successful week-in-week-out.
What track are you most looking forward to getting to?
My favorite track right now is Darlington (Raceway) so I’m super excited about going to Darlington. The place still has characteristics to it that I enjoy. I’m a short track guy, I like those rough wild race tracks. So going back to Darlington each year is exciting.
Looking back on last season, like you mentioned, there were some strong runs – including the end of the year 15th at Phoenix, as well as the 17th mid-season at Road America. What was your most memorable moment of 2022?
I would probably say Phoenix. We kind of struggled a little bit throughout the year and having to swap teams and stuff like that. Phoenix was really fun for me. We had a really good racecar. I would probably say that was my number one and a good way to cap off the end of the year.
A lot of people don’t realize out there what it is like being with a smaller team, compared to the bigger team. What’s it like being in that role because you’ve personified that a lot of your career?
Everybody’s dream is to drive for a big team, right? To have the best of everything. These days, now a lot of people pay to play, right? Not kind of in that situation yet so running for the smaller teams is great. You have to hustle, you have to work a lot harder and try to put yourself in a good position to capitalize on good runs and try to better your equipment and knowledge and set-ups. It’s fun. I love driving for smaller teams. It’s super exciting when you do have a good run. In years past with Mario (Gosselin) we’ve run in the top-10 a bunch and it’s like, “Hey, this is cool. We’re not supposed to do this, right? In the NASCAR world, the smaller teams aren’t supposed to do that.” So to be able to accomplish those goals is really, really cool and hopefully we can have some more cool moments like that this year.
You’ve got your feet wet with a couple NASCAR Cup Series appearances. Is it possible we will see you there again this year for a couple races?
I’m not sure yet. I’d like to run the dirt race (at Bristol Motor Speedway) again because it’s kind of a cool event. But really, I want to focus on the Xfinity stuff and put a lot of energy and effort into that series to run the best that we can. If we do run a Cup race, hopefully it’s a special deal and a track I really enjoy.
How did you get your start in racing originally?
My dad raced a lot – raced in Indiana and then raced in Florida when he moved. I was always around it and started racing go-karts when I was four. I played regular sports too, but it wasn’t for me; it was kind of boring. That’s all I’ve done my whole life. I haven’t done anything else. I’ve raced or worked in racing from the time I was born, right? That’s all I know how to do.
Obviously a lot of that has been in stock cars but if you could get behind of wheel of something else out there, is there something that you dream of racing?
I ‘d like to run Sprint Cars or something like that on dirt. I’ve had a couple opportunities to do so, but my mother – even though I’m almost 30-years-old has frowned upon that, and my wife as well. They’re like, “You don’t need to drive a sprint car,” because they know I’ll be wide open and get all I can get. Maybe one day I’ll talk to them into it.
Who would you consider your racing hero?
I was a Mark Martin / Tony Stewart fan when I was growing up so those are my go-to guys. I still engage with Mark a lot, and watching Tony Stewart grow his team and be successful and branch out into different forms of racing is cool to watch.
What would be one piece of advice that you would offer to that next kid getting started that hopes to race NASCAR one day?
The biggest thing these days is to never give up. Stay focused and try to learn all aspects of racing. You don’t just need to know how to drive. You need to be able to do the marketing, interviews, and things. So just learn everything you can about motorsports. Put yourself in positions to learn things and be successful and meet the right people. Knowing the right people will sometimes get you further than anything else.
Categories: ashley asks...., Interview, NASCAR Xfinity Series
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