The newest member to the JR Motorsports Late Model Stock Car stable in William Cox III is looking to continue the momentum from Josh Berry’s NASCAR Weekly Series championship when he takes the green flag in the CARS Tour opener on Saturday at Dillon Motor Speedway.
With William Byron, Sam Mayer and Anthony Alfredo being among the alumni to find victory lane in a JR Motorsports Late Model, Cox knows that high expectations have been placed upon him, and has gone above and beyond to ensure that he is both physically and mentally ready to pursue his first Solid Rock Carriers CARS LMSC Tour title.
“I have to make sure I get these final few workouts in,” Cox said. “Obviously getting caught up with my school work is important before the race weekend approaches. Overall, I just want to be prepared.”
Saturday will mark just the second appearance for Cox in CARS Tour competition, as he made his debut at Hickory in August. Cox was unable to move his way up through the field from 19th, but kept his car out of trouble and finished on the lead lap in 15th.
Cox will attempt to improve upon that finish at the site of his first career Carolina Pro Late Model Series start back on May 23, 2020. Although Cox had to settle for a 12th place finish behind the wall at Dillon, he would go on to record three consecutive Top 5 finishes in the series, with his best finish being a second at Orange County Speedway.
Now entering his first full-time CARS LMSC Tour season, Cox is confident he has a more thorough understanding on how to properly conserve equipment after competing in a handful of Carolina Pro Late Model Series races last year, and intends to utilize patience on Saturday so that he can put himself in a position to win.
“[Dillon] is a very gritty track,” Cox said. “Tire conservation is really going to come into play over the course of this race.”
Aside from Dillon, Cox believes that Hickory provides him one of the best opportunities to score an early win after previously competing in several races there, but he is also looking forward to both CARS LMSC Tour races at Orange County Speedway as well as the event at Wake County Speedway, which is located in Cox’s hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Cox considers himself fortunate that he was able to lean on a former champion and the current all-time CARS LMSC Tour wins leader in Berry for advice during the offseason, and believes that his tutelage is going to be beneficial as he tries to gain respect among his fellow competitors.
“Josh told me there’s a lot of competition [in the CARS LMSC Tour],” Cox said. “You have to keep your stuff clean and just find a way to be there at the end of the race.”
Even though Cox expects a somewhat level playing field for the Black’s Tire & Auto Service 125 with most of the 22-car field having limited to no race experience at Dillon, he knows that seasoned veterans like Bobby McCarty, Timothy Peters and Jared Fryar will still be difficult to best, and plans to do whatever he can to bring home a solid finish.
“The most important thing for me will be to finish the race, but that’s what every driver wants to do,” Cox said. “I want to go for the best finishing position that I can and I have to make sure that I’m at the front once the race starts to end.”
The Black’s Tire & Auto Service 125 will include a plethora of CARS LMSC Tour newcomers like Cox who are looking to put together a strong run to open the year, which include Kaden Honeycutt, Daniel Silvestri and Joe Valento. The green flag will fly shortly after the Mini-Stock feature that begins at 3 p.m.