A native of Michigan, Steve currently lives in Florida. He has made the 20 hour trek to the Slinger Nationals every year since 2012, except one year when he broke his hand at Anderson.
Why did you get into racing?
My dad raced late models (in Indiana and Michigan) while I was growing up, so I’ve been around racing my whole life. He was my hero growing up!
Who is your favorite NASCAR (or other pro) driver?
Chase Elliott. I’ve raced against him, and beat him in a prestigious race at Anderson [Indiana]. I liked his demeanor and how he handled the loss, his lack of blaming other people. He has a great personality. He was definitely born with a silver spoon, but he polishes it and takes care of what he needs to take care of.
What do you like about Slinger Super Speedway?
This place is crazy! On the track – the banking, high speeds, and the way you 100% need to pay attention to every detail. Off the track – Todd Thelen is terrific! He’s the one who first invited me here, and he’s one of the reasons we keep coming back. I even have his name on my hood and tell people about him and Slinger Speedway everywhere I go. Leonard [Reimer] is a terrific guy, all the people that work here are! Leonard has really gone out of his way for my family. He’s taken us to breakfast, let us use his vehicle…he’s just been a great guy to us through the years and is great for the race track! The fans are really cool too. The first time we came here, we had like 150 fans come up and thank us for coming here to race! That doesn’t happen at other places. The way the fans flock into the pits after the races is great; they are another reason we come back!
How did you pick your car number (#10)?
About 15-16 years ago, Johnny Benson all but won the Daytona 500 in the unsponsored #10. It was cool to see a guy from my home state [Michigan], and with no sponsor, leading until near the end of the race. I had a different number at the time, but changed it to #10.
Who is on your crew?
Mica Williams, Bubba Brooks, Chris Hall, Dave Simpson, Tim Curry, my girlfriend Midnight, my daughter Olyvia, my sister Christy, my dad Joe (my mom has passed, but rides on my hood with me), Dick Jordan, and Buford McCoy.
Who are your sponsors?
Racecar Engineering, FLF Race Cars (Allegan, MI), Bassett Wheels, Southern Race Suels/Sunoco, Five Star Race Car Bodies, All Star Performance Products (Watervliet, MI), Checkered Flag Graphics (Lakeland, FL), Rocket Fabrication and Suspension (Plymouth, IN)
Is there anyone else you need to thank?
The employees at my businesses that enable me to do this! Big Appreciation goes out to them; they are great people!
I also really want to stress my appreciation to Mica (Williams). He’s a crew guy, spotter, mechanic, and the guy that maintains the cars during the week.
Where is the most interesting place you have been?
The Straits of Michigan, where the boats come in and there’s a 27’ difference in height between the waterways. It’s an amazing technical wonder of the world! Key West and Costa Rica – simply for their beauty Wisconsin Dells – We go there every year when we come up for Nationals.
What is your “real job”?
I own four businesses: (1) Racecar Engineering – a racing parts store, (2) three used car lots, (3) a towing company, and (4) a sign shop
Which Slinger driver do you have the most respect for?
Brad Mueller immediately took us under his wing our first time here. We didn’t know him, but happened to be parked in the pit stall next to him. He told and showed us what we needed to do. He really went out of his way without even knowing us, and we became friends. He even gave us a [street] car to drive around our second year up here. His racecars are beautiful and clean. He’s a funny, up-beat, well-rounded guy! On the track, we’ve raced many times and had zero contact. I hope it remains that way! I’d be really happy with us having a 1-2 finish on Tuesday… with him being #2.
Rob Braun also always comes over and has something goofy to say. His friendliness to outsiders is great for the track, and he has been good to my family. When I’m home in Florida, I always check Race Monitor on Sunday nights to see how Brad and Rob have done.