PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Josh Williams received one of the highest honors of his racing career this week with his nomination for the National Motorsports Press Ass’n Third-Quarter Pocono Spirit Award.
Williams is one of three nominees for the honor, alongside Roger Penske – the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series and Team Penske – and 2018 NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano.
He was nominated based on his efforts with the Musselman’s Josh Williams Hospital Tour, which allows Williams to regularly visit with young patients at children’s hospitals across the United States.
“This is one of the biggest honors I’ve ever personally received,” Williams said. “To know that people in the sport see what we’ve been doing for these kids over all these years means the world to me, and it’s way more than I could have ever expected. I’m humbled to be nominated alongside Roger Penske and Joey Logano, two giants in our sport who give back as much as they can in their own right.
“The hospital tour is for the kids and about bringing joy to as many of them as we can, and it’s an honor we look forward to continuing going forward.”
The 27-year-old driver of the No. 92 DGM Racing Chevrolet Camaro recently ran his annual “handprint car” during the Xfinity Series finale at Arizona’s Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 7, a tribute to the many pediatric patients he visits each year during the Musselman’s Josh Williams Hospital Tour.
Williams’ hospital tour concluded its sixth year in 2020, after debuting in 2015, while he was competing as an owner/driver in the ARCA Menards Series.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the possibility of in-person hospital visits this season, Williams took his hospital tour virtual and spent time with patients via video conferencing and virtual visits.
Williams’ recent online stops included spending time with patients at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.; and Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Fla.
“Our visits are always unique and always special, and at the end of the year, the kids always get a kick out of seeing their handprints on the ‘apple sauce car,’ as they call it,” Williams noted. “Running that car is our way of thanking Musselman’s for helping to make my visits with them possible, and it’s one more way to help keep smiles on all the kids’ faces while they go through whatever battles they’re going through.”
Penske was nominated for his work in leading the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the NTT IndyCar Series through the COVID-19 pandemic this season, including ensuring the safe running of the Indianapolis 500 in August and helping the Indy car field complete a 14-race schedule.
Logano’s third-quarter charitable efforts centered around the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs this fall. Each week through the 10-race postseason stretch, Logano donated $22,000 through the Joey Logano Foundation to a North Carolina charity. The beneficiaries included organizations supporting homeless children, those in foster care or those who were aging out of the foster-care system.
Voting for the NMPA Third-Quarter Pocono Spirit Award is open to NMPA members through Nov. 30.