Most of the NHRA sportsman racers, especially those who compete on the West Coast of the U.S., might find it quite odd that by this time in the season, K&N VP Steve Williams has not already racked up a good handful of victories. But with his latest final during the NHRA Div. 6 event in Kent, Washington when he took his K&N dragster to the Super Comp final where he met up with fellow K&N racer Aaron Kinard, Williams seems to be just warming up for what's yet to come in 2012.
NHRA sportsman racer Steve Williams prepares for the legendary quarter-mile at Washington's Pacific Raceways
Steve Williams and his Super Comp Dragster at NHRA Div. 6 event in Kent, Washington
"It was really hot during the national event up there and I lost a close race in the semis," he said. "So going into this weekend for the divisional, the bottom line is, everybody is racing the same race track for two weeks in a row, so the racing was really close. Like the really close race in Super Gas [9.90 Index Class], just by a couple thou and it was probably one that I should have won."
"In Super Comp, it was just crazy," he said of his car's consistency. "I just changed to a set of Weld's brand new wheel they just came out with and a new set of Hoosier tires and my sixty foot times only varied six thou all weekend. That car has never been that consistent and I feel that was the key to my success."
Williams sent home a slew of tough racers along the way, including a good round with Bob Woodruff where his .018 starting line advantage played right into his hand to force Woodruff under the index and in the process picked up the all-important bye into the final.
"When I got to the semifinals I had a bye and I had packed the box up, because I didn't want anybody to know what I was setting up on," he explained. "And I'm going down the track and all of a sudden about eight hundred feet the car starts popping and missing. When I get back, I know they aren't going to run the final without me, so I changed the ignition box, the distributor cap and rotor. I actually go into the final not knowing if it's going to miss again or if it's going to be clean."
"It ended up being the cap and rotor and the car ran perfectly clean," he continued. "But now, it's six hundredths faster than it was the round before. I went down there in the final and made it as close as I could. I mean, Aaron is a good racer and he did what he was supposed to do. I was set up on probably about a three or four thou stripe and you know he just dropped really hard. So I'm out, I'm 8.87 and he's 8.896. If I would have had a decent tune-up, it would have been a good final and I would have given him a good race."
"With the way my year has been going, you know I've been in five semifinals and now a runner-up," he pointed out. "I mean I'm getting close [to winning], I'm just not busting one out. My daughter said to me that the last five weeks dad, you've lost fourth round, fifth round and sixth round and it's time to win."
Both Williams Super Gas Corvette Roadster and his Super Comp Dragster are fully equipped with K&N Engineering products, including the K&N composite scoops and one of the latest offerings from K&N. "The motors for both cars are built here at K&N in our race shop and everything is Brodix," he noted. "We have the new 5" center Brodix along with Sunset Racecraft components. I'm running the new billet K&N washable/cleanable oil filter on both cars," he noted. "It's a lower pressure drop filter, so the standard spin on canister filter has what is called resin impregnated paper that the oil has to be forced through. This K&N filter is a surgical stainless steel screen that stops particles at about twenty microns. Because it flows oil easier, than the paper, it actually has less pressure drop across the filter and therefore it takes less horsepower to force the oil through the filter."
"That's not the only benefit," he added. "With a spin on filter, not all the oil is going through the filter, some of it actually is bypassing. With a K&N billet reusable filter, since it takes less force to push the oil through the filter, you filtering all the oil and you are keeping the bypass closed."
"When you are headed to Indy, you go right past Topeka, so it just makes sense to stop and take in that divisional event," noted the California resident. "I've missed a few division races out this way, so that will help me make one up. I'm really looking forward to racing at Topeka, since I have a lot of good friends who will be there like [Gary] Stinnett and Tommy Phillips, they are all buddies of mine. Plus the nice thing about this race is that it is a Friday-Saturday race so you can hit the road and get into Indy at a decent time. Then after Topeka division and Indy national, I'll still have Vegas divisional, national and Pomona national to finish out the season running in both Super Gas and Super Comp at each event."
While Williams was very pleased to make it to the Super Comp final at Pacific Raceways, especially after being away from the track for a while, he also points out what it means to him to be able to compete across the country at this level. "After Houston, I hadn't raced in two months so the last four weeks I have been out and it's always good to go rounds," he admitted. "I always want to thank K&N for the great opportunity for me to not only be able to work for a fantastic company that invests in racing and gives back to the racers , but also by allowing me the opportunity to get out there and help develop new products that helps keep K&N on the leading edge. So, I'm always very thankful."
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