How a career-best finish was heartbreaking for Josh Williams

Restarting 11th with four laps to go in last weekend’s Xfinity race at Kansas Speedway, Williams saw his chance for a top-10 finish, something he had done only five times in 90 previous starts.

He had fresh tires and hope. There are no more powerful allies in racing. Especially for one who calls himself an old-school racer for how he worked his way up to driving for a small-budget Xfinity team. 

“Late in the race like that, when everybody is really trying to get after it, it is kind of like roulette,” Williams told NBC Sports. “You really never know what number it is going to land on.”

As the field entered Turn 1 on the restart, a lane opened on the bottom. Williams charged. The DGM Racing driver climbed to eighth by the backstretch. He gained two more spots to finish a career-high sixth.

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In Ohio State football’s safety competition, Marcus Hooker and Josh Proctor meet at career crossroads

COLUMBUS, Ohio — To understand Marcus Hooker’s career arc with Ohio State football, you must first understand the shadows.

He followed in the footsteps of an older brother, Malik, who grew into an All-American and first-round NFL Draft pick for the Buckeyes. He arrived to a program loaded with elite talent as a modest prospect, unable to crack the top 600 in the Class of 2018 recruiting consensus. His OSU career began with a suspension stemming from an off-season arrest.

After arriving in Columbus, he acquired another shadow — and a friend. Josh Proctor, the touted, top-100 safety prospect in the Buckeyes’ 2018 class, both challenged and championed Hooker.

“He always brought out the best to me and I always brought out the best in him,” Hooker said. “He always was telling me, to just keep going — don’t worry about that play or things that were bothering me at

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