It's Father's Day every day for the Williams duo on the Tide Racing Team HICKORY, NC (June 14, 2004) While most competitors in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garage do not have the luxury of spending Father's Day with their Dad due to the race held at ...
It's Father's Day every day for the Williams duo on the Tide Racing Team
HICKORY, NC (June 14, 2004) While most competitors in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garage do not have the luxury of spending Father's Day with their Dad due to the race held at Michigan Speedway, every day is Father's Day for the father-son duo of Steve and Chris Williams on the Tide Racing team. The pair first worked together at Galaxy Motorsports in 2000 until Steve left to join PPI Motorsports in 2001. And in less than one year, Chris followed.
The two travel full-time on the NASCAR circuit and serve as mechanics on the Tide car. In addition, they both are part of the pit crew: Chris is the gas man, and Steve is his counter-part, the gas catch can man.
Both have inherited their love of racing from their fathers. Steve's father used to take him to the local races in the summertime when he was a child, and Steve passed that love of racing onto his son, Chris.
"I grew up going to the local short track races with my father as a spectator," said Chris. "We just enjoyed watching the races. Normally, we went to the now defunct Queen City Speedway in Cincinnati. Every year, we also would go to the World 100 in Eldora, the biggest late-model race there is."
"It was always a dream of mine to work professionally in racing, but I got married and had a family at a young age, so I put my dreams of racing on the backburner until my kids were grown," said Steve. "Once that happened, I loaded my toolbox, went to North Carolina and planned to stay a month to look for a job. The plan was to leave after a month if it didn't happen. The second day out, a guy offered me a job, but I went from making a lot of money to almost nothing, but I got my foot in the door and knew if I paid my dues, it wouldn't always be that way."
It wasn't long after Steve moved that Chris decided his love of racing was as strong as his father's and he moved down to North Carolina as well. The two have such a strong bond, that they claim to never argue about anything.
"Our biggest argument, which is really isn't one, is we room together on the road and I like to keep the temperature really cold in the hotel room. He does not like it as cold as I do, so that is about as bad as it gets," said Chris.
Steve agrees, "We get along so well and I think it might be because he has always worked around me, so he tends to do things the way I do it, so there really is never any conflict."
Both even agree about their most memorable moment in racing together.
"Our most memorable moment together is the win at Darlington in 2003," said Chris. "Although I was with the team when we won at Martinsville in 2001, I wasn't part of the pit crew, so Darlington was our first win together as that unit."
Apart from being agreeable, the two really appreciate being able to work together and don't take it for granted.
"The best part about working with my dad is the unspoken communication we have. Maybe it is a father-son thing that no one else can get, but we can just look at each other and know what it is getting ready to happen or what the scenario calls for," said Chris. "What I most appreciate about having my father on the road, is going to him for knowledge. There might be a time when I have what I consider a stupid question, and I'll ask him before I'd go to anyone else. He's a lot smarter about racing than I am and the best thing has been being able to learn from him."
Steve said, "The best part about working with Chris is I get to see him developing as a person, learning his job and blossoming into something. He started basically knowing nothing about racing and now he's great mechanic. I've gotten to see that whole transformation and it is really nice."
While another win would be a great Father's Day gift for this pair, there is a more important Father's Day present Steve will get this year, but he'll have to wait a few months to enjoy it--a grandson, due September 27th.
"We plan to name him Cameron Bailey," said Chris. "I think that's the ultimate Father's Day gift!"