In 1961, a young and energetic fella eagerly crawled behind the wheel of his dad's new dodge pickup, geared up and ready to embark upon the first legal NHRA event of his career. One might suspect that once the race was behind him, Steve Dillman had been bitten by the bug, and had aspirations of continuing to pursue the sport of drag racing. On the other hand, who would have fathomed that fifty-one years after his first race, at the Indianapolis Speedway, Dillman's passion for the sport would still be burning strong, and he would still be on the track, matching driving skills with fellow drivers.
Steve Dillman has been a household name in the Drag Racing community for over fifty years
One might also suspect that in the last half-century, Steve Dillman has seen his fair share of change, and rightfully so. "I've seen the sport go from flagman to our Christmas Tree of today," recalled the driver. "From no drag tires, to recap slicks that weighed thirty pounds per tire, to the tires of today; From racing just for trophies, to big-buck money races," he continued. "I am so glad to have lived in the era."
"I have met so many great people and families over the years, and became good friends with many from all over the country," he shared. "I have been so lucky to have really great sponsors that have become good friends."
Steve Dillman's recipe for success consists of a good car, the best products on the market and a dedication to the sport
Dillman has raced in various classes throughout his career. Although previously competing in the Sportsman classes, he presently races in the Super Street, Super Gas and Super Pro classifications.
"I have a 1967 Chevy II, with a 421 cubic-inch small block that was built by Steve Schmidt Competition Engines," explained the driver. "The car is all steel, except for the hood. It's a legal Super Stock body. This car belonged to my younger brother, who passed away in 1999, and I was able to buy it in 2006. It had changed hands twice. I sold my dragster in one week and in turn was able to purchase it."
Although Steve Dillman occasionally partakes in bracket racing, he predominantly competes in NHRA events. According to the driver, victories have been hard to come by thus far in the 2012 season, but he has managed to log several runner-ups. That said, Steve Dillman has earned his fair share of impressive victories throughout this tenure as a driver. When asked about his most prestigious victories, Dillman mentioned two events in particular. "My biggest win was at the Moroso 5-Day Bracket Championship, at West Palm Beach, Florida. I won the first night and won the overall points for the five days." The driver continued, "And the runner up at the Jegs Northern Sports Nationals."
Throughout the years, experience has played an essential role in Steve Dillman's overall success. That in mind, he is confident that the ingredients for his recipe to success are a good car, the best parts on the market, and last but not least, a dedication to the sport.
When asked his strong point as a driver, the Greenwood, Indiana native said, I've been doing this since 1961, and have had good friends like David Rampy and Edmond Richardson helping me over the years."
Referring to the importance of his team, Dillman continued, "I race with my sons. Ryan is the youngest, and Brandon is the middle son. Ryan runs Super Gas, and we can compare info. When bracket racing, we all three help and compare info. Can't have enough of it," he explained. "My wife, Frosty, is my main crew. We travel together, and she dials the car and helps me with everything. We have traveled a lot of miles together."
Along with family and team, Steve Dillman considers maintenance of utmost importance. "You have to stay on top of things with a race car," stated the driver. "Every week I go over a check-list. You have to use the best products out there." That in mind Dillman is an advocate of depending upon K&N products to keep the internal components of his engine contaminant free. In fact the driver uses K&N air and oil filters on the race car, as well as K&N air filters for their tow truck.
"While on vacation in California, I was able to tour the K&N plant, and see what goes into production and the research they do," recalled the driver. "I was amazed! They are the best on the market today. At the races, I set up a display at my trailer during the entire event, and display products and literature for people to see. I have K&N flags flying, and pass hats out to kids, as well as decals and patches. I enjoy talking to people about their products. It's easy to do when you believe in the product. "
As the season winds down, Steve Dillman and his team are still enthused about their final races of 2012. When asked what fans can expect, his response was short and to the point. "I hope to win a few of the last races of the season."
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