SPORTSMAN STAR WILLIAMS HAS FUN WHILE CHASING GLORY
For a racer who has won two NHRA national championships and has scored seven Top 10 finishes combined in Stock and Super Comp during the last four years, you would think Austin Williams is all business when it comes to racing. Surprisingly to some, while he admits to always wanting to do well each year and has winning a JEGS Allstars title and a U.S. Nationals victory on his to-do list, the most important thing for him in his racing career is to fun.
“Racing is fun for me, and I don't want it to become not fun. At that point you're racing for the wrong reasons, and you’re probably going to have the wrong results as well,” said the defending Super Comp national champion. “I’m really competitive, but at the same time it’s a fun weekend with friends rather than it being an event where I need to win in order to be able to eat.”
What makes his racing weekends even more enjoyable is that he gets to spend time with his parents, both of whom race. Williams’ mother competes in Super Street and races more often than his father, who is busy helping maintain the race cars.
Williams caught the racing bug at an early age when his parents began bracket racing locally when he was old enough to go to the track. Soon after when he turned 8 years old, Williams began racing Jr. Dragsters and worked his way up to bracket races and divisional races.
“When I graduated from college in 2013, I was able to commit to a full points schedule of six national events and eight divisional races in each class,” said Williams, who works as a mechanical engineer for Halliburton. “Everything will be the same this year as it has been the last five or six years. Both cars are the same. I didn’t change anything over the winter except the oil and spark plugs.”
The Texas native will get his 2018 season started at the NHRA Division 4 race at No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, La., where he hopes to continue the momentum with which he ended the 2017 season, scoring a Stock victory at the season-ending NHRA Finals.
“My goal every year is a Top 10 finish in both classes,” he said. “I’d like to have a respectable year in Super Comp to kind of validate my results the last couple of years with the dragster. But if I had to choose a class in which I’d prefer to win a championship, I’d choose Stock because I’m a bottom-bulb, footbrake racer at heart. I think that style of racing is way more fun and less stressful.
“Super Comp is really cool because equipment-wise everybody is kind of on a level playing field, so from a driver standpoint I think it's a little more satisfying to be able to win a championship in a class like that where all of the equipment is pretty even-keeled across the board. It just comes down to game plan and execution. But with the Stocker, even though it’s slower, I get to shift and every once in a while the car will do a wheelie, so it's just a little more fun.”