Will Cox III will join JR Motorsports’ championship-winning Late Model team for 2021, partnering with 2020 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series champion Josh Berry to round out JRM’s two-car effort. The 15-year-old Raleigh, N.C. native will compete in his first full-time Late Model season and join a list of drivers with the program that includes Anthony Alfredo, William Byron, Christian Eckes, Sam Mayer and others. He will also be a member of the Chevrolet Driver’s Edge Development team for 2021.
Cox III comes to JRM after a rapid rise through the karting and U.S. Legend Car ranks, which began in 2017 at the age of 12. After attending a sports-car race at Virginia International Raceway with his father, Cox began racing go-karts following a test at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, N.C. The following year, Cox III raced in the local karting ranks there and branched into the national touring groups in the United States and Canada. In 2019, Cox III earned his SCCA license and competed in three road races.
“This is amazing and I cannot thank JR Motorsports enough for choosing me for such an awesome opportunity,” Cox III said. “It’s going to allow me to bring my performance up to another level because now I have such great equipment. Instead of it being about relying only on the equipment, I can now focus on improving myself as a driver and enhancing my abilities.”
Cox III is set to work alongside teammate Berry, a veteran driver and mentor who served as one of his instructors during a Late Model test at Hickory (N.C.) Speedway last season. “He’s got so much experience and has accomplished so much,” Cox III said of Berry. “With him having helped me from day one, now that he’s my teammate, I have a great coach standing beside me.”
After consulting with driver development manager Lorin Ranier, Cox III shifted to U.S. Legend Car racing to begin training on ovals. In a summer spent competing in the Young Lions division around the Southeast, Cox III led all 30 laps of the U.S. Legend Car Nationals championship race at Carteret County Speedway in North Carolina to earn the Young Lions national championship. A month later, Cox III was leading the World Road Course Finals in Atlanta when he was hooked from behind by a competitor and finished third.
Last season, Cox III moved up to the U.S. Legend Car Pro Series and planned a full season, only to be derailed by the pandemic. In April, he tested a Late Model Stock Car at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Upon his 15th birthday, Cox III competed in the Carolina Pro Late Model Series, moving up to Late Model Stock Car competition following his first victory in July. Cox III made his first CARS Racing Tour start in July at Hickory, finishing on the lead lap in 15th.
When not racing, the young driver attends online classes through Liberty University’s Online Academy, the same program pioneered by another JRM Late Model driver, William Byron.