Day Motor Sports Driver Profile: Oval veteran Calvin Williams back in Victory Lane

 SCURRY, Texas — It’s been said you have to be well acquainted with any given track before you can win there. Learning the right lines, how conditions change throughout the night and other details are essential before it can all come together. Occasionally, some first-timer rolls in and spoils that theory. 

Take 40-year-old third-generation racer Calvin Williams, for example. The 20-year veteran of the ovals made his first visit to Grayson County Speedway last Saturday, and went home with a nice $1,000 payday after the Factory Stock feature. A bit of luck was involved, yet he had a strong car, as well. 

“Earlier this year, I had taken some big swings at the setup,” Williams explained. “I had taken myself completely out of contention; all while trying to find more speed. Bryce Pritchett and I have been talking, and decided dialing it back to the basics was needed. 

“I hate it that Rodney White got tangled up in traffic and into the wall. I knew lapped traffic could be a factor, and sure enough, it was. But I was in the right spot at the right time, and that victory was long overdue. It felt good, and does a lot for a man’s confidence. I don’t race much now, so that was nice.” 

Williams found out not too long ago that his Grandfather raced on the dirt ovals. And while his father is into drag racing, Calvin’s third-generation skills have taken the family legacy back onto the dirt tracks. 

“This family has always spent Saturday nights at a race track, that’s pretty much all I know,” he said. “I always felt like I was the trader by racing on dirt. But when I learned about Grandpa’s career, I realize I’m just getting back to my roots. In fact, I switched to the No. 11 because that’s the one Grandpa ran. 

“So my love for the sport comes naturally. I started out in Bombers in 2003, then took my Bomber into Street Stocks and finished second the first night out. I raced in the old SIMS Limited Mod deal before IMCA came to town. In 2010, I built a Street Stock, got into a Factory Stock part-time in late 2016, then went full-time in 2017.” 

No matter where he unloads, whether it’s Kennedale, Hunt County or wherever, Williams knows it will be tough to get anywhere near the podium. 

“I feel like we have some of the toughest Factory Stock guys in the state around here,” he said. “Kennedale is kind of home track these days, and competition is super tough there. I run at Hunt County some, and it’s no cakewalk there, either. It’s intense everywhere.” 

When Williams puts on his safety suit and gets ready to race, he climbs into a nice machine. 

“I have a 2021 Sniper Speed chassis here,” he explained. “It may be a few years old, but is a super nice car and has the potential to run up front on any given night. It’s light, fast and when I don’t start fooling with the setup, it hustles around the oval with the best od them. 

“It’s powered by a motor my Dad built. He’s a perfectionist; he builds our drag motors and any engine we use on the dirt. His motors make big power and are always reliable. I couldn’t ask for  more, and having a skilled engine builder in the family is more than cool. It keeps our horsepower all in-house.”

Along with his years of experience and top-notch race car, Williams has a ton of support in his corner. 

“I would like to thank my Dad, Kirk Williams, for always supporting me in anything I do. He’s always by my side; if you see me at the track and he’s not there, it means they went drag racing. I’ll also thank my brother, Kirk Jr., and best friend Shawn Mead. They’re always willing to turn wrenches, and swap out 100 shocks and 37 springs in between Heats and features. I truly appreciate all of their hard work.

“My Number 1 Fan is my daughter, Alivia. She is also the 50/50 ticket girl at Kennedale, Hunt County and she works concessions at RPM in Crandall, as well. I’ll also offer a Special Thanks to my friend Bryce Pritchett for the help and support, along with my wife for putting up with this sport we love.”

And there just might be another member of this talented racing family behind the wheel down the road. 

“My son has experessed an interest in getting involved, as well, but I’m happy with him just being a kid for right now. He’ll have plenty of time for racing after he gets out of school. I run my own business, so my priorities these days are work, family, then racing. Kids need to be kids, and Dad’s have to work.” 

With the halfway mark of our 2024 season just around the corner, Williams knows what he wants to do. They say he’s the man from Scurry, and in a hurry. The nickname is deserved. 

“I don’t chase points anywhere, I feel like that just adds stress and can take the fun out of this hobby. I’ll just continue to bounce around between KSP, Hunt County and maybe RPM a little, although they don’t race that often. That win sure felt good, so we’ll be out trying to have more fun and get us another one.”

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer

Photo by Mike Frieri