Drag Racing, Feature Article, Washington — March 18, 2005 at 4:47 pm

Steve Adams (issue 63)

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By Steve Heeb

Just two days shy of the Easter Bunny opener at Bremerton Raceway (which was still on as far as anybody knew at the time) and 2004 Sportsman champ Steve Adams was busy working on the car. Not the station wagon he competes in, but the Junior Dragster fielded by his 10-year-old son Tim.

That particular Friday, the ’81 Oldsmobile station wagon that Steve has driven to three straight championships was parked nearby serving as a mobile transport for fuel containers, lawn chairs and a variety of other odds and ends, while Tim’s racing was the focus.

Watching his son race must bring back memories of when Steve started his own on-and-off racing career just shy of 40 years ago.

Just 16 and living in Maryland at the time, Steve began his racing career behind the wheel of a ’55 Ford at US 13 Dragway in Delmar, Del. He compares the Class racing they did back then to today’s Stock Eliminator.

He credits the switch to e.t. bracket racing for helping him break from the rut he was in.

“In Class racing, you couldn’t adjust for the weather or anything,” he explains. “The changeable dial in was the key.”

After a break from racing, Steve took up competing in his brother’s ’60 Pontiac, before getting a ’65 Mustang.

In 1977, Steve headed west bringing the Mustang to Seattle, and eventually settled in SeaTac, Wash., where he made Bremerton Raceway his home track.

“Most of the people are friendly,” he says of the normal Bremerton racers. “It has a friendly atmosphere.”

It was 1998 before Steve’s racing efforts resulted in a Sportsman championship at the track.

Son Michael also started racing in the Sportsman bracket, driving the Malibu wagon that had been his father’s previous ride of choice.

“It is different when I race Michael,” Steve says. “ I don’t really care who wins. When he races me, he knows that I am not just going to hand it over to him.”

The 2000 season saw Steve behind the wheel of the Oldsmobile wagon that has been so good to him.

In 2002, Steve was atop the field again in what has become a string of three consecutive Sportsman titles.

He also is proud of winning last year’s King of the Track title, competing against the winners of each other class, including those where electronics are allowed while he was foot-braking to the win.

Steve gets sponsorship help from Duke’s Transmission, and  credits a supportive family. He also thanks Carl Orlando, Terry Malm, Mark Dodd, Dave Barcelon, Dennis Boley, and all his friends at Bremerton Raceway.

“This year Don Soto and Gary Howe have been among the many people who have given us help with the junior dragster,” Steve adds.

As he prepares to vie for a fifth championship in 2005, he says he will “keep the focus” but is not making any real changes.

Well, maybe one change.

He announced that he also will drive ’66 Chevelle in the Stock ranks. It is the same car some may recall him driving in Super Pro and Super Street during the late ’90s.

But that hardly seems significant on a cool March afternoon as he concentrates on switching out the instruments in Tim’s Junior Dragster between practice runs.

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