ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Byron Dragway is just heating up for a summer of action, but it’s already been a blockbuster year there for one Winnebago 20-year-old.
There was a whole lot of cash on the line Sunday at Byron’s Firecracker Bracket Nationals. There was a purse of $160,000. Winnebago’s TC Williams, also known as TBucket, wanted it.
What were his nerves like knowing what was at stake?
“I didn’t really think about it too much,” said Williams. “I just kind of went up there, I just wanted to keep going, keep the hot streak going.”
Williams was in his dragster.
“It’s a 2018 trick chassis dragster out of Beloit, Wisconsin. It’s pretty fun.”
In the final round he had to beat Byron racer Jeff Billeter who was driving a ’71 Bago wagon. Billeter was given a head start in his less powerful car. Williams had to catch up to Billeter and pass him within an eighth of a mile, and he did.
Williams wasn’t surprised that he’d be able to makeup the ground on Billeter.
‘No not really, I mean my car is set up so that we’re both supposed to cross the finish line at the same time, so I knew that my car was going to get there. My car is consistent enough that I didn’t, I wasn’t worried about that. I was just trying to get the starting line advantage. “
Williams has been involved in sports all his life. He was one of the top basketball players at Winnebago High School a couple years ago, but racing is his full passion now. He started dabbling in drag racing at the age of ten following in the footsteps of his racing father Torry senior.
“I’ve been with him ever since I was little that I can remember.”
His win Sunday was Williams’ third in the last month at the Byron Dragway.
“I’ve got to give it to the guy up above,” said Williams of his hot streak. “I’ve just been in the right spot at the right time, and I’ve just been a little bit better than the guy next to me, and I’ve gotten a few lucky breaks here and there.”
His first two wins were worth $10,000 and $5,000, so what will he do with $160,000?
“I’m just kind of putting a little bit away for school and then a little bit back into the car here and there but for right now the car is fine, so it’ll just kind of stay there until we need something or we need to upgrade something.”
Williams car hit 145 miles per hour in that winning run on Sunday. Williams will be a sophomore at UW-Platteville this fall majoring in engineering.