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Williams Wheels to His First Modular Muscle Championship

Posted By: Mary Lendzion
Written by Mary Lendzion
Photos by NMRA Staff
 
Shane Williams has been racing with the NMRA for more than 20 years, and in that time, he has become friends with many of his fellow racers.
 
In fact, when he arrives at races, one of the first things he wants to do is spend some time talking with racers in various categories, not just the two in which he competes, Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle and occasionally ARP Open Comp. 
 
The friendships he has formed off of the track are incredibly important to him, but so is being competitive on the track, and he has worked hard to be sure that he and his car are capable of winning on any given race day.
 
That was apparent when Williams went into the 2022 race season at the NMRA Spring Break Shootout in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. He qualified in the fourth spot with a quick .006 reaction time, won the first round of eliminations with an 11.99 on an 11.76 and won the second round of eliminations when his opponent saw red. Williams exited eliminations in the third round in his Mustang powered by a 4.6L Two-Valve engine and C4 transmission by Performance Automatic. His car is carefully tuned by Tim Matherly and cruises on UPR suspension components.
 
“It was discouraging to lose in the first round in Florida, and it was a bumpy start to the season, but it forced me to have more focus,” said Williams.
 
Determined to do even better at the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport in April at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina, he qualified in the fifth spot out of 16 cars with an .015 reaction time, won the first and second rounds of eliminations with an 11.80 and 11.81 on an 11.70, and the third round of eliminations, a double breakout, with an 11.68 on an 11.70. After preparing himself and his car, he headed to the starting line to take on Dean Snow in the final round of eliminations, and went to the NMRA Winner’s Circle with a dead-on 11.70.


 
With his heart set on another successful weekend, Williams went to the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by Fuelab in May at World Wide Technology Raceway in Illinois. He qualified in the fourth spot with a .004 reaction time, dialed an 11.85 and won the first round of eliminations with a 12.00. He won a double breakout with an 11.84 in the second round of eliminations, and won the third round of eliminations with a dead-on 11.85. Williams had the track to himself in the semifinal round of eliminations, and earned his second event win in a row with a right-on 11.85 against Andy Russell.
 
“After two wins, I kept asking my wife if she thought I could do this again,” said Williams, with a laugh. “She said she really felt that I could, and then I started to believe it myself.”
 
Williams made the trip from his home in Tennessee to Ohio for the NMRA Ford Performance Nationals in June at Summit Motorsports Park, where he 
qualified in the third spot with a .004 reaction time, and won the first and second rounds of eliminations despite breakout times of 11.96 and 11.95 on an 11.97. He then ran right on an 11.97 to win the semifinal round of eliminations and an 11.98 on an 11.97 to earn the win against Andy Russell in the final round of eliminations.
 
With growing confidence, Williams was .009 at the hit to qualify in the fourth spot at the Arrington Performance NMRA/NMCA Power Festival presented by TorqStorm Superchargers in July at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Michigan. He won the first round of eliminations with an 11.96 on an 11.92, the second round of eliminations with a 12.00 on an 11.92 and the third round of eliminations with an 11.96 on an 11.92. When it rained and the decision was made to finish the Michigan race during qualifying at the Whipple Superchargers NMRA Ford World Finals presented by Competition Clutch featuring the Holley Intergalactic Ford Festival in late September, early October at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky, Williams stayed focused and won the make-up Michigan race. 


 
Making the Kentucky race even more memorable, he qualified in the seventh spot with an .012 reaction time, won the first round of eliminations when his opponent went red, won the second round of eliminations with an 11.78 on an 11.74, made a solo pass in the third round of eliminations and won the fourth round of eliminations with an 11.76 on an 11.74 before winning his fifth race of the season, this time with an 11.76 on an 11.74 against Lee Blankenship. While he was at it, also won the ARP Open Comp race that weekend. 
 
The passion and season-long persistence paid off, as Williams was crowned the 2022 NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle champion. It is his first NMRA championship. He also had a very successful season in the OSCA.
 
“I was starting to feel like I had some kind of curse in the Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle because I had come close to the championship a couple of times but was never able to make everything come together, so to earn the championship in 2022 feels amazing,” said Williams. “My wife, Holly, and my daughter, Abby, were so supportive and encouraging, and so were the racers I was able to pit with at each race, including Danny Towe, David Mormann, Mike and Elaine Moistner and Chris Parisi. The rest of the racers in Modular Muscle are great, too, and I’m glad to call all of them friends. Maybe they’re part of the reason I felt more comfortable competing this year than I ever have. I still don’t believe the season that I had.”
 
The NMRA looks forward to turning the spotlight to Williams and his fellow champions at the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals Awards Ceremony, held during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Dec. 9, 2022, at the Indiana Convention Center.
 
Please check out stories about each of our champions on www.NMRADigital.com and www.RacePagesDigital.com as well as in the upcoming Champions Issue of Fastest Street Car magazine.



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