Antonio Williams. (Folie Lewis Racing Photos)
MORESVILLE, NC – Doug Foley and his team Foley Lewis Racing Top Fuel have recruited sports marketing talent for New York Giants running Antonio Williams as the team prepares for a full season in the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.
Williams, who already has NASCAR experience, will leverage his connections in the sports world to reach new marketing partners for the veteran Top Fuel.
“We feel that having Antonio as our new director of business development really brings a completely different perspective,” said Foley, who is racing with longtime team partner Tim Lewis. “Not only does he have the NASCAR connection and motorsports background, but he also has the sporting side. He has a great approach and is just a guy who appreciates life. He’s very friendly and easy to talk to. We think the whole package he brings to the table will open up opportunities we never thought possible.”
“The fact that he plays for my absolutely favorite team wouldn’t hurt my life,” added Foley, who grew up in New York but now lives near Mooresville, North Carolina.
Williams, who entered the NASCAR world in 2021 through a strategic partnership with NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Joe Graf Jr. , eager to branch out and start working with Foley Lewis Racing at the NHRA Camping World Series.
“I see a lot of potential within the team,” Williams said. “Working with Doug, Tim, and Jay (Pierce, Chief Marketing Officer at FLR), I think it would be a great combination. Between who I know in NASCAR and my connections in the NFL, and now that I am progressing into the new territory of the NHRA, there are a lot of doors that I think we can blow through. And kind of grab it.”
Williams has already begun efforts to connect the team with new marketing partners for the 2023 season. Foley has raced nine races this season, including the runner-up effort at the NHRA Gatornationals. The plan is to run the entire 21 racing season in 2023.
“I’m excited to be working with the team, and I hope to make an immediate contribution,” Williams said. “I will do everything I can, especially on the commercial side, to continue to help grow the brand and grow the team, and bring in some top-tier sponsors so we can be a very competitive team next season.”
Williams recently began training for his first season with the New York Giants after two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He hopes to combine his two worlds – football and motorsport – through his efforts with FLR.
“It’s a great combination because in most leagues the racing season starts right when our football season ends, so it never overlaps,” Williams said. “I think it intertwines if you let it. There’s a huge fan base from the NFL and a huge fan base for motorsports. My goal is to find a way to combine these two. If we can find that balance, I think it’s going to be huge for us.”
Foley and Williams met through mutual contacts, and Williams got his first taste of the NHRA nitro experience when he visited the team at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol Dragway earlier this summer. It was an amazing experience for Williams, who was excited about the opportunity to introduce new fans and brands to the sport.
“I don’t know if there’s another sport that has a lot of excitement with the cars going on the track, the power it generates, how high it goes,” Williams said. “Everything 10 times in an NHRA race. Speeds, times, everything. I think it’s unique. There’s nothing like it. I think we should take advantage of that. When you’re unique like that, you work with it and you take advantage of the opportunity” .