TALLADEGA, Ala. – Josh Williams is hoping to get his NASCAR Xfinity Series season back on track this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, and he’ll do so with the support of one of the original sponsors that helped him break into the national spotlight.
Starbrite Inc., a manufacturer of vehicle care and appearance products, has returned to Williams’ stable and will serve as the primary sponsor of his No. 36 DGM Racing Chevrolet for Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company, which specializes in applications for the marine industry, first came on board with Williams as a co-primary sponsor at Daytona Int’l Speedway in 2017 and was a major part of Williams’ 20-race Xfinity Series deal last year.
While Starbrite has been a supporter of Williams over the past two seasons, Saturday marks the company’s first time as the full primary partner for one of his Xfinity Series appearances.
“What an exciting time it is for Starbrite to be back with Josh Williams and his team,” said Gregor Dornau, Executive Vice President of Starbrite. “As one of Josh’s original sponsors when he broke into the Xfinity Series, we are accustomed to having a great brand ambassador who works his tail off both on and off the track. From the start we could see his poise and professionalism, and he had all the traits we felt represented the Starbrite brands, which revolve around performance and fun in the outdoors.
“This year presented us a new opportunity to give Josh the car that matched his driving ability, and he didn’t waste any time moving up the standings,” Dornau added. “It’s been a great ride watching our brand recognition and product sales continue to climb alongside Josh’s on-track achievements.”
For Williams, Saturday’s race at Talladega represents a strong opportunity to rebound after a qualifying washout at Richmond (Va.) Raceway on April 12 left him outside the starting field for the eighth race of the year.
“This weekend is pretty important for us, in a lot of ways,” noted Williams. “Obviously, we want to do our best this weekend to put the rough memories of Richmond behind us. We can’t control the weather, but it was a really heartbreaking situation to miss the race after the strong start we’ve put together. I feel like coming back at Talladega after the Easter break, where we know we can contend in the draft, gives us a great chance to make some positive memories this weekend and fight for a strong finish.
“We’re trying a different motor program this time around at Talladega, so hopefully we’ll have all the horsepower we need to mix it up with the leaders like we did at Daytona last July,” he added. “I can’t thank Starbrite enough for coming back on with us this weekend and for their continued support.”
Races at Talladega and Daytona Int’l Speedway, the Alabama behemoth’s sister track, are considered the great equalizers of the Xfinity Series season, something Williams is hoping to exploit this weekend.
“You’re kind of at the mercy of circumstance at these restrictor-plate races, honestly,” Williams said. “Whether it’s other people or the race track, it takes a lot of luck to be successful at Daytona or at Talladega. We were running inside the top 10 at Daytona (on Independence Day weekend) when we got wrecked from behind, and there’s nothing you can do about those things. It’s all about being lucky.
“I think we’ll have a great shot at being up there; we just have to stay out of the mess.”
Despite missing the Richmond Xfinity event, Williams still sits in a tie with Jeffrey Earnhardt for 20th in the driver standings, just three points back of David Starr in 19th.
It’s solid positioning, but Williams is hoping to push that needle even higher going forward.
“I want to make up for what we lost out on in Richmond and get myself back inside that top 20 in the point standings,” he explained. “I know we’re going to have a good package and if we can stay out of trouble, I’m confident that we can make a lot of that back up.
“You never know what can happen going to Talladega, but we want to stay on the shiny side of things.”