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Josh Williams to make 200th Xfinity career start at Sonoma

In his eighth season with at least one start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Josh Williams is scheduled to achieve a milestone start. By taking the green flag in this weekend’s Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250 at Sonoma Raceway, the driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro will make his 200th career start in the Xfinity circuit.

A native of Port Charlotte, Florida, Williams made his inaugural presence in the Xfinity Series at Michigan International Speedway in June 2016. By then, Williams, who grew up competing in go-karts before ascending to Legends cars and stock cars, had made 89 career starts in the ARCA Menards Series and a single start in the Craftsman Truck Series, which occurred at Martinsville Speedway in March 2014 as most of his start occurred with his family-owned team. Driving the No. 79 Jimmy Means Racing Chevrolet as a start-and-park driver, Williams started 40th and finished 38th in his Xfinity debut. He would make a second start of the season at Kentucky Speedway in September and in the No. 92 Chevrolet for King Autosport, where he ended up in 37th place.

The following season, Williams made a total of seven Xfinity starts between the Nos. 90 and 92 entries for team owner Mario Gosselin. During the season, he recorded a season-best 22nd-place at Bristol Motor Speedway in April. He then competed in 20 Xfinity events for Gosselin in 2018, where he achieved a season-best 20th-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September.

In January 2019, Williams transitioned to pilot DGM Racing’s No. 36 Chevrolet for all 33 Xfinity Series events. Despite not qualifying for the Xfinity event at Richmond Raceway in April, the Floridian achieved his first top-10 career result after finishing eighth at Talladega Superspeedway in mid-April. His next best result were a pair of 14th-place finishes that occurred during both Texas Motor Speedway scheduled events in April and October, respectively, as he also led four laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September before settling in 17th place. Ultimately, he would notch a total of seven top-15 results and 17 top-20 results before settling in 17th place in the final standings. By then, he boosted his average-finishing result from 26.7 during the previous season to 20.6 during the 2019 season.

Williams would compete in every event of the 33-race Xfinity schedule in DGM Racing’s No. 92 Chevrolet during the 2020 season. After notching his first top-10 result of the season at Auto Club Speedway with a 10th-place run in March, Williams would proceed to finish in the top 10 five additional times as he would finish ninth at Bristol Motor Speedway in June, ninth at Daytona in August, seventh at Talladega Superspeedway, a career-best sixth at Kansas and ninth at Texas, with the latter three occurring in October. To go along with a total of 13 top-15 results and 20 top-20 results, Williams settled in a career-best 15th in the final driver’s standings and with a career-best average-finishing result of 18.6.

The following season, Williams, who remained at DGM Racing, recorded only a single top-10 result, which was a 10th-place finish at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in June. His next best results were a pair of 11th-place runs at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course and at Martinsville Speedway in October. Aside from not competing in the series’ inaugural event at Circuit of the Americas in May, the Floridian recorded 18 top-20 results throughout the 2021 Xfinity season before settling in 18th place in the final standings and with an average-finishing result of 20.7. By then, he had surpassed 100 career starts in the Xfinity Series.

The 2022 season was an eventful year for Williams, who parted ways from DGM Racing and joined BJ McLeod Motorsports at the start of the season. After not qualifying in four of 21-scheduled events while only managing to finish in the top 20 three times, Williams returned to DMG Racing, beginning at Darlington Raceway in September as he split driving roles between the team’s Nos. 92 and 36 entries. For the final 10 events on the schedule, he earned a 19th-place result at Talladega Superspeedway in October before notching a season-best 15th-place run in the 2022 Xfinity Series finale at Phoenix Raceway in November. Despite missing five events, Williams’ average-finishing result was 25.8.

Retained by DGM Racing to pilot the No. 92 entry on a full-time basis in 2023, Williams commenced the season by finishing 15th at Daytona followed by finishing 16th at Auto Club Speedway in February. Three races later at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Williams gained national attention that started when he sustained right-front damage to his No. 92 entry after being involved in a Lap 26 incident involving Jeb Burton and Brett Moffitt. After drawing another caution five laps later due to debris that came off of his damaged car, Williams was parked by NASCAR for the rest of the event under a provision in the Damaged Vehicle Policy standard. In response, Williams parked his damaged car across the start/finish line in the frontstretch, climbed out and walked to pit road, where he saluted the fans before making the trip to the infield care center. Eventually, NASCAR suspended him from competing in the series’ following event at Circuit of the Americas in March due to his actions at Atlanta. Returning at Richmond Raceway in April, Williams would proceed to record a total of three top-10 results, including a season-best eighth-place run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July, and a total of 15 top-20 results before ending up in 21st place in the final standings and with an average-finishing result of 23.3.

Twelve days after the 2023 season concluded, Williams was announced as the driver of the No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro for Kaulig Racing for the 2024 Xfinity Series season, where he replaced Daniel Hemric as Hemric moved back up to the Cup Series with Kaulig. Currently, Williams has achieved three top-10 results through the first 13 events of the season and is coming off a seventh-place result at Portland International Raceway. He is ranked in 18th place in the driver’s standings and trails the top-12 cutline to make the 2024 Xfinity Series Playoffs by 109 points with 13 regular-season events remaining.

Through 199 previous starts in the Xfinity Series, Williams has achieved 14 top-10 results, 19 laps led and an average-finishing result of 22.6 as he continues his pursuit for both his first Xfinity victory and Playoff berth.

Josh Williams is scheduled to make his 200th Xfinity Series career start at Sonoma Raceway for the second annual running of the Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250 on Saturday, June 8. The event’s broadcast time is slated to occur at 8 p.m. ET on FS1.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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