K&N Air Filters’ Chief Engineering Officer, Steve Williams, has over twenty-five years of drag racing experience and following the conclusion of the 2014 NHRA race season he is able to add another NHRA Division 7 championship to his resume. Williams has three previous championships to his credit, but he has been through a bit of a dry spell as the last championship was over ten years ago.
Steve Williams travels across the United States competing in NHRA divisional and national events. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, Williams runs a second race car, a TNT Race Cars built dragster, in the Super Comp class. Steve is quick to admit that he couldn’t be an accomplished drag racer, head of R&D for K&N, and a family man without tremendous support from a great group of people he surrounds himself with.
“None of this would be possible without the support of my wife, my daughter Shelby, K&N’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Rogers, and my crew,” said Williams.
In no particular order Steve Williams imparted his three-part recipe for winning championships. Driving well and being consistent is an important ingredient in the recipe for success. Steve feels that his twenty-five years of experience are a contributing factor to his championship. “Challenging conditions like temperature changes, shifts in the wind, and changes in altitude favor experienced racers who can anticipate how their car will be affected and adjust for these changes,” said Williams.
In a sport like drag racing where winning and losing comes down to thousandths of a second, it’s no secret that a little bit of luck, whether good or bad, goes a long way. In years past Steve has won races, but not been lucky enough to win the championship. In 2014 Steve Williams wasn’t lucky enough to claim a Super Gas win as he went out in the final round of elimination three times, but managed to earn enough points to claim the NHRA Division 7 Super Gas championship.
Steve also believes that having capable, reliable equipment is the third ingredient for winning championships. Steve said “I probably have one of the best Super Gas cars in the country.” Steve explained that it isn’t just about making the most power, nor having the lightest car, it is the sum of all parts that makes for a great drag car. Steve says he couldn’t do it without the help from his crew. “John Reedy builds some of the best engines in the business, and I can’t thank Travis Hodges enough for his help with prepping and transporting the equipment,” said Williams.
Steve Williams is obviously excited about winning the 2014 NHRA Division 7 Super Gas championship, but he seemed most thrilled about earning his Gold Card. The Gold Card will cover all of Steve’s NHRA Division 7 Super Gas entry fees for the 2015 season. “It’ll be nice to save a few bucks at each race,” stated Williams. Although when any racer saves a few bucks, it’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Sure Steve might save some money on entry fees, but undoubtedly that money will go back into his race program some other way and not his wallet. Racing, except at the most elite levels, is a labor of love draining far more money from your bank account than it puts in.