Josh Williams parks car at start/finish line after being ordered out of race
HAMPTON, Ga. — Josh Williams parked his car at the start/finish line and walked away from the vehicle after he was ordered by series officials off the track during Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.
Series officials met with Williams for about 20 minutes after Saturday night’s Xfinity race.
Any penalties from NASCAR are expected to be announced Tuesday.
Williams’ car was damaged in a three-car crash that brought out the caution on Lap 28. Williams’ team taped the damage but debris from the car brought out the caution on Lap 32. NASCAR ordered Williams to the garage and out of the race.
Section 8.8.9.I of the Xfinity Series Rule Book states that with the Damaged Vehicle Policy, NASCAR can order a car off the track.
“At the discretion of the Series Managing Director, if a damaged vehicle elects not to enter pit road on the first opportunity or if a damaged vehicle exits pit road before sufficient repairs had been made and thereafter causes or extends a caution (e.g. leaking fluid, debris, etc.), then said vehicle may incur a lap(s) or time penalty or may not be permitted to return to the Race.”
Williams admitted he was frustrated and confused by NASCAR’s decision to go to the garage and decided to park the car on the frontstretch.
“We all work really hard and to only run ‘X’ amount of laps and then to have something like a piece of Bear Bond and put us out of the race, it’s really frustrating,” Williams said after his meeting with series officials. “Small team. We work really hard. We’ve got to make our sponsors happy, right? It doesn’t do any good sitting in the garage. It is what it is. We’ll learn from it and move on.”
As for his wave toward the crowd after exiting the car, Williams said: “Just (waving at) some of the officials in the flag stand. We’re all good friends with everybody. I waved at them. They waved back. The fans were kind of supportive about it and that was kind of cool. Hopefully, they got a little bit of enjoyment out of it.”
Williams had to stay in the NASCAR hauler after reporting there during the race and wait for officials to return from the control tower to meet.
“I told them I was a little bit frustrated,” Williams said of NASCAR’s call, “but it was in the rule book.”
Asked if he was frustrated NASCAR didn’t penalize in another way that would have allowed him to race, Williams said after the meeting: “It’s up to them. It’s their sandbox and we play in it and I enjoy the Xfinity Series. I’ve got respect for (Managing Series Director) Wayne (Auton) and everybody, so we’ll just move on and go on to the next one.”
Asked if he was worried about possibly being suspended for his actions, Williams said: “I’m not sure. It’s up to Wayne and everybody at NASCAR. If that’s what the rule is and they decide to do, every action has a reaction.”
Williams said that early in his racing career he had a similar episode at a short track, stopping his car on the frontstretch underneath the flag stand.
“There wasn’t one person sitting in their seats,” Williams said. “I didn’t do it (Saturday) to be spiteful or to make a huge scene ... I wanted to voice my opinion that I felt (the decision) wasn’t right, but it’s in the rule book.”