PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Josh Williams will return to his short-track roots next weekend when he competes in the 22nd Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100.
Williams, a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, is reuniting with Circle Track Warehouse owner Bryan Rogers for the crown jewel pro late model race at Five Flags Speedway.
The entry will carry the familiar No. 6 that Williams used during his days in the ARCA Menards Series, with sponsorship from Ohio-based human capital management company Alloy Employer Services.
It will also feature some extra holiday spirit, as Williams flies a scheme with nods to the holiday classic, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” during the Dec. 6 event.
This year will mark Williams’ third attempt at the Snowflake 100 and the 27-year-old will be seeking his second feature start, as well as a measure of redemption at the Pensacola, Fla., half mile.
Williams finished 20th in his Snowflake debut in 2015 and failed to qualify the following year.
“It’s really exciting to get back to my roots and run in a race weekend like the Snowflake with all its history and the excitement that’s around Snowball Derby week every year,” Williams said. “Bryan and I have teamed up together before and had a lot of fun and that’s exactly what we’re hoping to do this time around, too. It’s always good to get some extra laps in during the offseason when we’re away from the Xfinity Series, and to do it with people I really enjoy racing with makes it even better.
“A special thank you goes out to Alloy for all their support, both in the Xfinity Series and with my short-track racing this winter as well,” Williams added. “They’ve been such a great partner to us at DGM Racing and when they were willing to step up and support this deal as well, we couldn’t pass it up.”
Rogers is looking forward to getting Williams back in one of his race cars for one of the biggest pro late model events of the year, so much so that he’s built a brand-new Howe Chassis car for Williams to drive.
“When Josh put his funding together from the NASCAR side and had the idea to do this, I was pretty excited,” Rogers noted. “We’ve done it before together, and had some success down there (at Five Flags). He knew that we had a new car sitting on kill and he knew I was crazy enough to let him do it, so here we are and we’re going to make this happen.
“Josh has driven for me on and off over the last couple of years, just through different situations,” added Rogers. “He’s just a good-old-boy type of racer. We’re both from Florida. I’ve known him for a number of years. We actually share a birthday. He’s been a good friend for a long time and we’re excited to see him grow from ARCA into Xfinity and, hopefully, beyond.”
Alloy’s support of Williams grew from what was originally a one-race primary sponsorship with DGM Racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in July into backing for 14 of the final 21 races on the Xfinity Series calendar this year.
Adding the company’s support for Williams’ grassroots endeavor was a natural fit, according to Alloy CEO JR Pine.
“Alloy Employer Services has enjoyed a wonderful first year in partnering with Josh Williams, and when the opportunity arose for us to partner again during the offseason for an event that showcases talent at an all-star level, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” said Pine. “Keeping our traditional branding and adding a little holiday spirit to close out the year in a positive way while we prepare for our 2021 plans was a perfect way to end our first season in racing.
“Josh has been a fantastic ambassador for our brand and has become a part of the Alloy family. We are happy to partner with him both on and off the track and look forward to cheering him on during the Snowflake 100.”
A motorsports parts salesman through the week, Rogers knows that his team is a bit of an underdog in the Snowflake 100 field, considering that many of the drivers and teams he and Williams will be up against race on a weekly basis compared to his part-time operation.
However, he believes he has both the car and the driver to make a statement.
“Our main challenge is that all these guys race week in and week out, where Josh is running in NASCAR and I’m selling parts,” Rogers said. “Circle Track runs a handful of times a year, but we ran with Travis Braden a little bit last year for some CARS Tour races and had success. Our biggest uphill battle is mainly a lack of late-model experience, but we have a great driver and a strong partner behind us for the program.
“We’re going down there with all brand-new stuff, even if we’re shooting from the half-court line,” he added. “We’re confident that we’ll roll out a car capable of contending at the front of the field against the best and I know Josh will dig in deep to get the job done. We like our chances.”
It’s all part of a bigger vision for Rogers’ business, which will partner with Howe Chassis going forward in hopes of revitalizing the brand’s late model arm.
“We want to help them be able to supply a lightweight car for the budget racer,” Rogers noted. “This is just a start to that goal, but we hope to be able to continue that in the right situation.”
As for Williams, there’s only one goal in mind when the lights come on at Five Flags on Dec. 6.
“We’re out to steal a trophy and make some noise,” he smiled.