Kelly
Williams

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Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women
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E-Mail | www.kellywilliamsracing.com www.kellywilliams.ca or www.kellysgarage.ca or E-Mail

Profile
Birth Date:: August 19.1971
Birth Place": Vald'or, Quebec
fResidence: Caldeon,Ontario

On April 29, 1994, Kelly Williams put her name in the record books as she became the first female driver to capture a win in the 14-year history of CASCAR racing. In her rookie season in Canada's top stock car series, Williams was victorious in a qualifying heat race at Delaware Speedway Park.

Williams' career has been full of milestones and it didn't take the Caledon, Ontario resident long to start making a name for herself. In both 1989 and 1990, she won Most Improved Driver honors in the Challenger division at Flamboro Speedway. She also earned recognition with her first career race victory, which came at the Canadian National Exhibition.

Williams switched from Flamboro to the faster Mosport International Speedway in 1992. She also made her debut in the Challenge Cup Series, a province-wide Challenger points championship.

The 1993 season saw Williams make her breakthrough as one of Ontario's top drivers. She was a winner no fewer than eight times, and finished fourth in the Goodyear Challenge Cup Series and seventh in the Mosport track championship. She was also voted Most Popular Driver in the Challenge Cup Series.

In 1994, Williams took another step up the racing ladder by competing in the CASCAR Late Model Series, the most prestigious arena for stock car racing in Canada.

The switch to the more competitive CASCAR series was not an easy one for Williams, who secured lucrative sponsorship from General Motors and Snap-On Tools. But she displayed her typical determination as she slowly came to grips with her new challenge. She won a heat race at Delaware Speedway park on April 29, leading from start to finish.

Williams built on her CASCAR experience in 1995. She scored a top feature finish of eighth at Cayuga Speedway. She also made great strides in her qualifying performances, and by the end of the year was a regular top 15 performer in the difficult single car time sessions.

In 1995 she also broadened her racing experience by taking part in two driving schools. One helped her improve her road racing skills while the other, based at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina, introduced her to the challenges of high speed stock car racing.

Williams developed into a much more consistent driver in 1996 and enjoyed the best year of her short CASCAR career. She scored six top 12 finishes over the course of the CASCAR season with a top result of seventh at Cayuga.

The 1997 season opened up superbly for Williams. She acquired sponsorship from natural resources company Canmine and Inside Track motorsport News. She started the year with an eighth-place finish at Delaware but bad luck intervened after that and she was able to manage only one other top 10 finish. Nevertheless, she placed 15th in the Cascar National standings.

Last year Williams continued her rise into the upper echelon of Cascar competition. She started the year with a career high fourth place finish at Delaware Speedway Park and in the final race of the season at New Brunswick International Speedway she set the race's fastest lap. In between those performances Williams could often be found near the front of the pack, and led a CASCAR feature race for the first time in her career at Cayuga Speedway.

In August General Motors of Canada, which had supported Williams from the start of her CASCAR career, announced it was withdrawing from motor racing. She quickly bounced back from this setback, however, and completed a deal to race for Canadian Auction Group - Canada's largest auto auction - in 1999. She raced a Ford Taurus in CAG's red and black colours rather than the white Pontiac Grand Prix race fans have become familiar with.

While Williams has made a steady rise up the stock car racing ladder she has excelled in other areas of the motorsports field as well. She has spent seven years with the CART Pace Car Team, where her natural driving skill and congenial manner have been allowed to flourish. In her role with the squad, she travels around the world with FedEx CART Championship Series, offering VIP tours of the various CART circuits in one of the pace car team's dynamic sports cars or acting as the official pace car driver for one of the series events.

Her position with the team takes her halfway around the world to Australia and Japan, and in 1998 and 1999 she was the official pace car driver at Toronto's Molson Indy.

Williams has also kept herself extremely busy away from the racetrack. She fills her off-season with supply teaching, public speaking appearances, school visits and trade or consumer show participation. She is also a spokesperson for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada.

In more ways than one, Kelly Wiliiams is an athlete on the move.

Snippets


News



Kick some Butt? Maybe??????

Recently, there has been a lot of talk that NASCAR may buy CASCAR and call it NASCAR Canada. If and when this happens, racing in Canada is going to get a major boost and I’m ready to go back and kick some butt! I think the timing is right to try and get back into the CASCAR Series and there will be more opportunities with NASCAR possibly getting involved. Check back often as there might be an announcement soon! www.cascar.ca

Canada’s Worst Driver: Airing Now!


In March of 2005, I was asked to be an “expert panelist” on a T.V. show called Canada’s Worst Driver. The role of a panelist was to determine who was Canada’s Worst Driver. A pretty scary job! The people on the show were from across Canada and they had to be nominated by someone they knew. If they were picked for the show, the “driver” and the “nominator” had to come to Picton Ontario for the filming. They gave up their keys when they arrived and didn’t get them back until they were deemed to have improved enough to leave the show. Remember the goal was to find the worst driver.

There were four panelists; Jim Kenzie from the Toronto Star, Scot Marshall from Young Drivers of Canada and Uzma Rehman a psychology professor from Queen’s University.

The show is currently airing on Discovery Channel Monday nights at 10:00. You can also check our their website to find out more www.discoverychannel.ca/worstdriver/

Retirement?


It may be time for retirement: It looks like my racing days are over unless a miracle happens. I was supposed to hear back from a potential sponsor and didn't hear back, so I am going to assume that they don't want to move forward. It's hard to believe I am going to be a retired race car driver at the age of 32!

Results


One Lap of America: How I met the Firestone Brothers


At the Long Beach Champcar race I was asked if I would be interested in competing in a race called the One Lap of America in an SVT Focus. Of course I jumped at the opportunity because I thought it would be the ultimate road trip.The entry was going to be with Bridgestone/Firestone and Champcar and we were to be the teammates to Adam and Andrew Firestone (The Bachelor) .My co-driver was going to be someone I didn't know and didn't actually meet until I landed in South Bend Indiana for the start of the event. His name was Mike Swope and he was the engineer for the Praxis suspension system which the Firestone brothers were running on their car.

The idea of this race is to drive almost 5700 miles across the United States and stop at a different race track every day to compete. By the way, we did all of this in 8 days! 3-4 hours sleep was the "norm". We started in South Bend, and then onto Topeka, Kansas; Pikes Peak, Colorado; Sonoma, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Pueblo, Colorado; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Elkhart Lake, Indiana and finally back to South Bend Indiana. We unfortunately didn't make Pueblo as we had a mechanical breakdown in Las Vegas and had to spend the night.

Although we thought we lucked out sort of and were going to get a good night sleep in Las Vegas, we ended up having to drive 17 hours to Tulsa Oaklahoma to rejoin the group. So two 17 hour drives in 3 days was very grueling!

We ended up finished 7th in our class and back in the low 70's of 79 entrants, but it really was the ultimate road trip and something I would certainly do again. The SVT Focus if not the fastest on the race track was the greatest on the highway. The seats were very comfortable considering we spent 75 hours sitting in them and we always passed half of the cars on the way to each event. Without a speeding ticket I might add!

Driving in the One Lap of America was an experience I will never forget and something I wanted to share with everyone.

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