DuQUOIN, Ill. (Sept. 2, 2016) – The role will be reversed for Josh Williams when the team unloads the No. 6 Musselman’s-MOMO Ford Fusion this Sunday for the 63rd running of the General Tire GRABBER 100 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Mile dirt.
The only steering Williams will be doing at DuQuoin will be in the ARCA garage, pushing the car to and from tech and ultimately to the grid where Michael Lira is climbing in for his first attempt on dirt.
It’s a role, however, that Williams is not only familiar with, but experienced in. In fact for most of Williams’ ARCA career, he served as his own crew chief while he drove. Lira, despite having never raced an ARCA car on dirt, gets the advantage of Williams vast experience, both in the driver’s seat and with a headset on.
“It will be interesting having Josh as the crew chief,” Lira said. “It’s nice to have people working with you that have also raced…that way they understand more of what you’re going through. He has so much knowledge and up-to-date experience in these cars, so I am excited to have him as my crew chief. I’m really honored that Josh and his team wanted me to drive the No. 6 this weekend at DuQuoin.”
Lira has never raced on either of the mile dirt tracks on ARCA’s annual schedule. In 2014, he tested an ARCA car for Kimmel Racing on a dirt track, but never got back to Springfield or DuQuoin for the race events. Regardless, Lira says he’s up to the challenge.
“What’s going to be tough is keeping up with how the track changes throughout the day and making the right adjustments to the car to correspond to that. One thing I remember from when I tested was there is a distinct racing line, and if you go outside of that line, there’s zero grip and a good chance you’ll wreck. Staying in the groove will be key to having a good night on Sunday.”
The No. 6 car has already had two wins this season at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and Madison International Speedway which encourages Lira as he heads into the race on Sunday.
“I want to bring the car home in one piece and have a good points day for Josh and his crew, but I also want to give them the best finish I can. I have a good feeling we will be in position for a good result at the end of the night Sunday. I can’t thank Josh, Musselman’s Apple Sauce, MOMO and the rest of the team enough for this opportunity, and I hope to make them proud this weekend with a good finish.”
Fans can follow the on-track action by viewing live timing and scoring and listening to the ARCA radio live-broadcast at ARCAracing.com. They can also access live-tweets by following @1MichaelLira on Twitter.The race will be tape delayed on American Sports Network. The event also marks the first time that the ARCA Racing Series has raced at night, under the lights at DuQuoin.
About Michael Lira: Michael Lira, the son of race car driver Carlos Lira, has been racing since the young age of 9. Starting in a quarter midget, Lira’s love for racing grew. Throughout the years, he has moved up the ranks as a respected talent. Currently, he competes in the pro-late model division at New Smyrna Speedway, and he also runs part-time in the ARCA Racing Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, IMSA, and SCCA.