CONCORD, N.C. -- Corey Williams has been busy over the past few weeks as the demand of iRacing rigs have ramped up after live races were postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
A fabricator with Hendrick Motorsports, Williams has a side business called Williams Custom Fabrication, where he creates unique iRacing rigs.
Williams got into the business 10 years ago after his career racing career started to slow down. He still had that competitive drive and decided channel that into iRacing. He discovered that his setup was shaky at best, which prompted him to create a custom rig.
"My feet were moving, my chair was moving, my pedals kept sliding back and forth and I thought, 'This isn’t going to cut it.' So I went to work, I brought my wheel and pedal with me and I just started working," he said. "I built up a rig, brought it home and I just fired some pictures on the iRacing hardware forum and began getting my inbox full of people that were interested. I was like, 'Wow, there’s actually a demand for this,' so that’s what started it."
Williams said with the help of his brother, who owns a powder coating business, they are able to build and paint the rigs within a couple of days. With more people wanting the machines after the sports world came to a halt, Williams said he never expected his business to blow up the way it has.
For him, it's important that the customer feels that they have a unique system that caters to their needs while maintaining a high-end business model.
"Being at Hendrick Motorsports has given me that platform to see how a business should run (from) the start to the finish, and that’s what I’ve applied to my business," Williams said. "Just really trying to get an idea on paper, get it on a computer, get things drawn -- I’ve learned that manufacturing aspect at (Hendrick Motorsports), so I just try to apply it to my business and it’s worked so I can make them all the same between fixturing and stuff like that."
With many NASCAR drivers taking to the virtual track with the season on hold, Williams hand delivered a rig to Chase Elliott in Georgia earlier this week. Elliott wanted his own system and is competing in the virtual race at Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday.
"I think he was really excited about it," Williams said of Elliott's home delivery. "He had a company bring this simulator over the weekend before and set one up in his garage. It was really extravagant and a super nice setup. For me, it was just really rewarding to have someone like him want something that I created.
"He’s like, ‘Man, I’ll meet you half way to pick it up’ and I really wanted to have control over just making sure that it was set up correctly. He could do that, but I know how things need to be and I know that it can take time to work through the issues that comes with putting these things together. … I got it set up and to see him try it out was pretty cool to see."