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K&N V.P. and NHRA/IHRA Drag Race Driver Steve Williams

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NHRA/IHRA Driver Steve Williams
NHRA/IHRA Driver Steve Williams
Most stories on the K&N website are about racers out in the field who use K&N filters. This one is a bit different; it's about Steve Williams, Vice President of K&N Engineering. Why would you want to know about him? The answer is simple; everyone knows great racing products aren't build by folks who never set foot in a race car.
Steve Williams and his 1962 Super Gas Corvette
Steve Williams and his 1962 Super Gas Corvette


So it's not surprising that K&N currently has about 30 employees who are racers and deeply involved with the development of products. This means that they race with the products they build, allowing them to learn what these products need to be successful and last a long time. K&N is all about making products that increase horsepower and protect the engines from harmful debris. The best way to describe it is—they are racers developing products for racers that everybody can use to increase and protect their engines.

But let's get back to Steve… His passion for racing started at an early age. "I had a next door neighbor that went to the races all the time and as a 12 year old interested in cars, I cleaned his car so I could go to the races with him." After that first Drag Race he was hooked and it seemed to stick with him as he was growing up. At the age of 36, Williams decided to build a drag race car out of a basket case '62 Corvette that had been parked dash deep into a tree. "It took me about 2 years to build the car and when I went to race, it fit right into the classes of Super Comp and Super Gas that NHRA had just started to run a few years earlier. I suppose that the competition was the magnet that kept me racing for the last 20 years."
K&N's Vice Presedent and NHRA/IHRA Racer Steve Williams
K&N's Vice Presedent and NHRA/IHRA Racer Steve Williams
Steve's first win was the 1991 NHRA divisional race in Bakersfield, CA. His most current win was the 2010 NHRA National event in Las Vegas, NV, in Super Gas. Currently, he has about 23 "Wally's", as they are known in NHRA racing, with three divisional titles and has finished in the top ten nationally in both Super Gas and Super Comp many times. His best finish ever was Third Nationally about five years ago. He has received a lot of support over the years from wife Janet and his now eight year old daughter Shelby, who accompany him to most of the races. Throughout his 20 years of racing Williams has spent the most amount of time racing NHRA events but has also raced with IHRA, the Southern California Super Gas and Super Comp Associations.

Steve started in K&N Product Development in 1997 but currently holds a VP position with primary responsibilities in Engineering, Marketing and R&D. His current race cars in competition include a Super Gas '63 Corvette, and a new Super Comp T&T dragster. Both cars are maintained at K&N, with help from K&N employees Travis Hodges and John Reedy. Williams says "All in all, I feel I have been very competitive considering I have had full-time responsibilities at K&N the last 14 years. K&N has always encouraged me to Race a full schedule and go after a National Championship and I could not race without their support"

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.