For the second time this year, I made the trip from Fair Oaks down to Stockton to watch my niece and nephew, Rachel and Jared Williams from Herald California, race at Delta Speedway. Jared races micro sprint cars in the Multi class, Rachel competes in the 3/4 Restrictor class at the 1/8th mile dirt track at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. Both cars are sponsored by Halm Metal Fab in Sacramento. Jared was last year’s Rookie of the Year Award winner and finished 3rd in the points standings in the Multi class.
The first race I attended was on May 7th and due to the strange spring we had in Northern California, we nearly froze to death. This time it cooled off nice, but not too cold. So far this year, Jared is in 2nd place in the championship standings and trails Amanda Evans by only 22 points.
It was kind of one of those nights where things just didn’t start off right for Rachel. During hot laps her car kept cutting out with some sort of intermittant electrical problem. She struggled with the car all night, never really getting to race hard like she wanted to.
Jared’s car looked real fast in Heat #1. He started in the back and worked his way to 3rd and battled for the 2nd spot, but couldn’t get around Matt DeMartini in the No. 6 car. The win went to Jared’s good friend, Matt Peterson, last year’s Champion.
In the second heat, Jared started on the outside of row 1 and took the lead on the first lap. After a quick caution, he again took the lead on the restart. After 3 laps, Jared was pulling away from DeMartini and Matt. I knew he had this race won. Then, on the final turn of the next lap Jared came coasting around and pulled into the infield. Apparently, his chain had come off and bent the shaft so he immediately shut it down. It looked like he would take a big hit in the points standings on this night.
After they got his car back to the pits, a lot of other teams came by to check on his car and offer advice on what to do to fix it. Jared even thought of racing home to Herald to get a spare engine but there just wasn’t time. Larry Williams, Jared’s Dad, tried to think of anything he could do to get Jared back out on the track, but it appeared hopeless.
Then Mike Martin, driver of the 2m car in the Multi class approached Jared and offered to let him drive his car. Mike explained that he wasn’t racing for points and he knew Jared was. He was willing to sit out the race so Jared could continue his pursuit of the season points championship. Jared appeared shocked at first, but Mike assured him that he was serious so Jared reluctantly agreed. They then headed over to talk to the race officials to explain their plan.
When they returned, they had a new plan. Mick Evans from Manteca, has a daughter Kayla that races in the non-wing class and Amanda in the Multi class. Mick volunteered Kayla’s non-wing car for Jared to run in the Main so Mike wouldn’t have to sit out the race. Since they both ran Pace Chassis, if they hurried, they could attach the wing from Jared’s car right after the non-wing race. The surprising thing to me was that Mick’s daughter, Amanda, is the points leader in the Multi class that Jared is chasing. Even so, he was still willing to loan his other car to Jared so he could race and not get too far behind in the points standings.
Let me just say here, I am continually amazed at the way the racing community sticks together. These are tough, competitive people, who at times can be fighting on the track but when someone needs help, it seems like there is always someone there with a tool or a tire or whatever is needed so they can just race. I can’t imagine that this sort of thing happens much in other sports but it seems to happen all the time in racing and at all different levels. I was so impressed first with Mike Martin who was willing to sit out the Main event and then later, with the Evans family, for loaning their car to Jared even though he is right behind Amanda in the points standings. I am also proud of Jared that these people think enough of him and his family to offer this kind of help.
Well, wouldn’t it be a great story if I said Jared, who had to start at the rear of the field, raced his way from 14th place and won the race? It didn’t quite work out that good. He did race his way up to 6th place but couldn’t quite catch Amanda Evans who finished 5th in the 30 lap race. Jared’s buddy, Matt Peterson was the winner. Matt is having a great year so far. He has 3 Main wins in the Multi class and 1 win in the non-wing class.
After the race, I stuck around with the family while they removed the wing from the Evans car and loaded up the trailer for the trip home. Racing is something the Williams family does together. Jared’s Grandpa, Steve Clapp, who is a pilot, has made emergency flights to pick up parts when needed. Jared’s cousin, Josh Paulsen comes every week and is a big help to Larry in the pits. Jared always has a big rooting section including his Mom, Judy and girlfriend Joy as well as brothers, Kyle, Nick and Levi and sisters Jamie, Rachel and Kaylee. It was a long night, we got out of there a little before 1 a.m., but it was worth it. What looked like a disastrous night for Jared had turned out not too bad. Let’s just hope that the motor can be repaired without too much expense and that we can do it again next week.
To follow Jared’s progress during the year please visit www.jaredwilliamsracing.com.
If anyone is interested in sponsorship opportunities or would just like to help Jared Williams Racing, please contact me here: firstname.lastname@example.org