Already a two-time Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Pro Late Model track champion, Cole Williams had won a race every month the track has been open over the past decade except the big one in October.
The 25-year-old from Borden, Indiana claimed an All American 400 weekend guitar on Sunday night after outdueling Cody Coughlin in a race through lapped traffic that could have ended at any moment.
Facing a hard deadline of 7 p.m. local time, the final restart within the final 25 laps took place at 6:45. The next flag could have ended the race and the contenders traded paint on several occasions before and after the restart.
Coughlin took exception to how Williams won the race and initiated contact during the cool-down lap.
Williams has driven for Rackley WAR this season.
“Glad it’s working for him,” Coughlin added. “He ripped our quarter panel off, too, so we’ll follow him for the next few races and junk him.”
Nevertheless, Williams claimed one of the biggest wins of his career, if not his biggest given its placement on the calendar.
“It’s my biggest win for sure,” Williams said. “I’ve won every race weekend here except one on All-American 400 weekend. We’ve always had bad luck that happens, or we come up short.
“To do it with this team and to take this momentum into the Snowflake (100 at Pensacola) means a lot.”
As for the comments from Coughlin, Williams chalked it up to a heat of the moment interview, and wasn’t interested in a public back and forth.
“He cut me off on a restart going into Turn 2 and I would tell him that was his last strike. I didn’t do anything to wreck him. I mean, he kept going and finished second.”
Coughlin, while chasing Williams through lapped traffic was trying his best to get to the back bumper to retaliate.
“I could have a couple of times after he got by me, but I didn’t do it then,” Coughlin said. “He got out too far in front of me and I couldn’t get to him, but if I was back in position, hell yeah, I would have returned the favor.”
And no, don’t expect a rematch in Pensacola.
“I hate that race,” Coughlin said.
Williams said he wasn’t sure when the race was going to end and he simply didn’t have time to wait.
“They told me to drive my ass off,” Williams said. “Curfew is coming, curfew is coming. That’s the rule in that situation. Do whatever I can, you have to go. I felt like I had the better car once I got out in clean air and we were able to get some distance once we did.”
Completing the podium was Sprint Car and Midget ace turned NASCAR prospect Buddy Kofoid. Driving the Donnie Wilson Motorsports No. 24, Kofoid started on pole in his first race at Nashville and even took Williams and Coughlin three-wide on the final restart.
He took a quick liking to the venerable Tennessee short track.
“I wish that last run had stayed green when (Coughlin and Williams made contact) because I felt I was in the ballpark with them in traffic. It’s fun though. I’m enjoying working with Donnie and (crew chief) Bond Suss. I appreciate them helping me get more comfortable in these cars.”
Michael House, the 34-year-old from Murfreesboro, TN, claimed his second track championship at Fairgrounds Speedway with a 12th place finish. His previous championship came in 2018.
-Story by: Matt Weaver, Racing America Editor-in-Chief – Twitter: @MattWeaverRA
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo
Unofficial Results – All American 400 Pro Late Model Feature
- Cole Williams
- Cody Coughlin
- Buddy Kofoid
- Dylan Fetcho
- Bryson Shaffer
- Jackson Boone
- Jake Bollman
- Hunter Wright
- Trey Craig
- Ryan Luza
- William Hale
- Michael House
- Nick Egan
- Daniel Bolden
- Jolynn Wilkinson
- Garrett Dies
- Austin Brawley
- Dylan Bates
- Bennie Hamlett
- Mike Pruitt
- Tandy Marlin
- Kevin Folan
- Kevin Cremonesi
- Ethan Myers
- Wes Griffith
- Tracy Green
- Dylan Jones
- Jordan Riddick
- Michael Bolden
- Chase Johnson
- Jon Beach
- Conner Jones
- Davey Coble
- Brian Brown
- Mark Day
- Stacey Crain
- Austin MacDonald
- Austin Wilson
- Jim Wall