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Josh Williams Is Having One of The WORST Seasons of His Career

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Josh Williams’ hype train has derailed early in the NASCAR Xfinity Series season. He sits 30th in points with 0 top-10s, 1 top-20, and an average finish of 28.0 in 4 races, while his Kaulig Racing teammates have amassed 4 top-10s and 1 top-5. What’s wrong with Josh Williams?

  • The only season Williams has been statistically worse through 4 races was in 2022. He was 37th in points, failed to qualify at Las Vegas, and had an average finish of 29.0. The difference is that he was racing in underfunded equipment that year, and in 2022, he is racing for a proven race-winning organization.
  • Williams’ bad start has not been limited to the Xfinity Series. His Cup Series endeavors have been fruitless as well. He failed to make the main event in the Clash at the LA Coliseum, and he finished last after an early crash at Atlanta.
  • Fans are growing concerned about Josh Williams. It’s been a tough start to the season for him, and fans want him to turn it around.

Williams Season So Far, What Went Wrong?

While Williams Cup Series starts have been just as bad if not worse than his Xfinity Series outings, we will focus on his Xfinity Series season so far. What went wrong?

Daytona: Finished 34th

Williams started 21st on this night, and he failed to score any stage points. He was taken out on lap 37 in a multi-car accident, relegating him to a 34th-place finish. Obviously, the wreck itself was not his fault, but he was not much of a factor beforehand. Still, it was the first race, and Williams had to regroup for Atlanta.

Atlanta: Finished 37th

At Atlanta, Williams had another ho-hum qualifying effort, starting in 16th. Mechanical failures plagued his race from lap one onwards, and he finished in 37th, 10 laps down. While the qualifying effort was not great, this wasn’t completely on the equipment. He also was out on lap 2 of the Cup Series race the next day, so it was a bad weekend for him.

Las Vegas: Finished 14th

At Las Vegas, Williams was just painfully slow throughout the day. He qualified in 32nd, and he was a nonfactor all day. Good pit strategy late in the race did bump him up to 14th, making him the first car one lap down. This felt like a step forward for Williams, but it’s still far from a great result.

Phoenix: Finished 27th

At Phoenix, Williams again underwhelmed in qualifying with a 27th-place run. He got into trouble early when Jeremy Clements spun him out, and that was it for Williams. He would finish in 27th, 5 laps down. While the wreck was not his fault, that’s the risk drivers sometimes run by starting near the back of the field.

Is it Equipment or is it the Driver?

If we look at this early season slump, it’s truly been a combination of bad luck and bad performance. Atlanta was purely bad luck, and Daytona and Phoenix were largely bad luck as well. The one time everything worked Williams’ way was at Las Vegas when he finished 14th, which is still not an amazing result.

He’s not the only one at Kaulig Racing that’s had a slump early in the season. While SVG impressed with top-10s at Atlanta and Phoenix, an engine failure ended his day early at Las Vegas. Allmendinger struggled at Phoenix, but he still sits 7th in the standings with 2 top-10s.

One obvious flaw is that Williams’ qualifying runs have been abysmal. He has 1 top-20 start all season, while Allmendinger and SVG have combined for 6 top-20 and 5 top-10 qualifying efforts in 8 tries. As we saw at Phoenix and Daytona to an extent, qualifying towards the back can lead to difficult situations on race day.

Has Kaulig’s equipment been perfect? No. Is Williams at fault for everything that’s gone wrong so far? No. That being said, he still often lags behind his teammates.

Thankfully for Williams, he has this weekend off to recuperate for the upcoming stretch. That rest could do him well, but improvement needs to happen soon if he wants to be a Playoff contender.

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Joshua Lipowski

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