LONG POND, Pa. – Josh Williams will welcome back a very familiar backer to his DGM Racing team for the remainder of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season, starting this weekend at Pocono Raceway.
Knouse Foods Inc., a Pennsylvania-based, grower-owned fruit cooperative that has produced high quality, great-tasting products under the Musselman’s brand for more than 100 years, will return to his team as the primary sponsor of the No. 92 Chevrolet Camaro in a multi-race deal.
The new agreement kicks off with Sunday’s Pocono Green 225 Recycled By J.P. Mascaro & Sons.
In addition, Musselman’s will also be the primary sponsor on Williams’ annual handprint car later in the season, as well as an associate sponsor of the No. 92 Camaro for the balance of the year and a key partner of the Josh Williams Hospital Tour.
Musselman’s Big Cup Applesauce, which was aboard Williams’ car for a pair of ARCA Menards Series wins at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville and Madison (Wis.) Int’l Speedway in 2016, will again be the featured brand with Williams at Pocono.
Sunday’s sponsorship marks the first motorsports outing for Musselman’s in two years. The company previously spent four seasons in racing, including two years with Williams in ARCA competition.
“Josh’s character was what interested us back when he was in ARCA. His work ethic, determination and genuine nature are all things we value here at Knouse Foods,” said Kevin Blacker, director of marketing for Knouse Foods Inc. “When we partnered before, he visited several of our facilities and really engaged with our employees, so they will also be excited to bring Josh back into the Musselman’s family.
“We had great success collectively when we worked together before and have always continued to follow along on Josh’s journey through NASCAR,” Blacker added. “When the opportunity presented itself for us to rejoin him and possibly help him make the playoffs, as well as be an integral part of his digital hospital tour component, it felt like the right fit for us again.”
With Williams in the midst of a career season in the Xfinity Series, the timing of Musselman’s return to his team is key, considering the push for the playoffs is fast approaching.
Through the first 11 races, Williams ranks 14th in the playoff standings. Despite a crash that took him out of contention at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last weekend, he still sits just 40 points behind the cut line to make the postseason.
“There is always something special when you reunite with a sponsor after some time away. The business of the sport will always be there, but to have a sponsor like Musselman’s apple sauce come back just shows how well we worked together in the first place,” said Williams. “I have some of my best memories with Musselman’s in my corner, from my first ARCA win to visiting many of their plant locations and meeting their employees, to the excitement the fans had about this partnership, even back then. We used to get messages that would say ‘hey, you’re the applesauce car; you’re my favorite driver,’ and to have a brand that connects with the fans like that is something special.
“I am honored they came back at this point in my career, during a very challenging 2020 season,” Williams added. “Also, to have them come on board with the digital hospital tour makes perfect sense and created the right time to get the old band back together.”
Williams also has his annual hospital tour in mind as well, which Musselman’s will aid in putting together as Williams adjusts the plans for this year’s tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 Josh Williams Hospital Tour will overcome the adversity of the pandemic’s effects by shifting to a digital format, including a kit that will be sent to more than 35 participating hospitals with mailing instructions to send in handprints for Williams’ end-of-season car plus some Musselman’s apple sauce snacks.
Williams will participate in Zoom visits with hospital patients as an interactive adjustment due to current health restrictions.
“Over the years we’ve done this hospital tour, we’ve done everything from group crafts and outdoor setups to pizza parties, room-to-room visits and more, so I have no doubt we can make this digital version a success, while also being able to offer the opportunity up to more hospitals to be a part of the car,” Williams noted. “That’s something that I think is great. We get calls all the time requesting the tour to come to various locations, and we try to go to everyone, but logistically and with our race schedules it’s just not possible sometimes to be able to do that.
“With this option, we can have a positive impact on so many more lives, and I’m hoping we can add this component to the tour moving forward, in conjunction with our in-person visits when we’re safely able to visit again.”
The Pocono Green 225 Recycled By J.P. Mascaro & Sons takes the green flag Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET, live on FS1, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.