Steven Hilliker

Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2017


Steven #21s & his brother David #21D

Steven #21s & his brother David #21D

HillikerSteven Head A S 72

 

HillikerSteven 1998 S 72

When it comes to motorsports there isn’t much that Midland, Michigan’s Steven Hilliker isn’t willing to do or already tried. The eighteen-time champion has driven his #21 into victory lane, approaching 300 feature wins, including both dirt and asphalt, in everything from a Street-Stock to a Super Late Model, UMP Modified, and in recent years the Dirt Late Model division.

Steven is not only a fierce competitor; he is also car builder, engine builder, carburetor expert, machinist, and on many Saturday nights before strapping into his own racecar, his voice can be heard over the PA system singing the National Anthem.

Steven comes from a family with generations of car racers. His grandfather, father, Uncle Floyd and cousins all raced in years past. In 1976 Steven’s cousin Ben Boyce was racing on Mid-Michigan dirt tracks with his brother Richard as his crew chief. Steven started going to the races with his cousins in 1976 and at the end of the year, was able to hot lap Ben’s car for a few laps, and the rest was history.

As a 17-year-old high school student Steven began to hone his skills as a car builder. The family had an old 1963 Olds Starfire with a 394 BB that Steven made into a doodle bug, and a 1965 F-85 Olds without a motor setting in the side yard. Steven’s dad suggested he take the motor out of the Starfire and put it into the F-85 and let his uncle drive it at Mt. Pleasant Speedway. The 394 motor had a motor mount under the front under the water pump and off both sides of the block just in front of the bell housing, so major work was needed to create solid enough mounts. Fortunately Steven was in his second year of welding in high school, and with a little 120V buzz box, 1-¼” pipe and butt weld 90º fitting, built his first racecar at home in his mom and dad’s garage.

On the way to the race track, Steven’s uncle who was driving the hauler, slid he helmet over to Steven on the passenger side of the truck, and said “you drive tonight” and that is where Steven’s driving career started.

It was that 1977 Mt. Pleasant season opener where Steven competed in his first race won his first feature in the same night. The season would later bring Mid-Season and Season Championship titles, and a 2nd place points finish, just behind Professor Lloyd Thomas who was a veteran in the Flyer (street stock) division.

Steven’s winning ways have continued throughout his 39-year racing career, over the years he has amassed fifteen track championships on dirt and two on asphalt, he also currently holds three track records and has a number of other accomplishments including:

1978 -1979 – Sportsman Points Champion at Mt. Pleasant and Merritt Speedways won 53% of all races entered in 1979
1980 – Super Late Model Point Champion at Merritt Speedway and 2nd in points at Mt. Pleasant Speedway.
1981 – Super Late Model Points Champion at Mt. Pleasant Speedway and 2nd in points at Merritt Speedway.
1982-1985 – Competed in the Sportsman division at Merritt Speedway, finishing 2nd in the points in 1985
1986 –  Competed in Super Late Models on dirt and asphalt at Tri-City, Auto City, and Owosso Speedways.
1987 – Competed in Super Late Models on asphalt at Tri-City and Auto City Speedways, experiencing a crash at Tri-City that broke the tracks concrete wall.
1988-1989 – Competed in the Sportsman division at Merritt and Mt. Pleasant Speedways, finishing 2nd in points at Merritt in 1989
1990 – Competed in the Sportsman division at Merritt and Mt. Pleasant Speedways, finishing 2nd in points at Merritt.
1991
– Sportsman division Points Champion at Merritt Speedway.
1992 – Sportsman division Points Champion at Merritt Speedway.
1993 – Sportsman division Points Champion at Merritt Speedway.
1994 – Sportsman division Points Champion at Merritt Speedway.
1995 – Sportsman division Points Champion at Merritt Speedway.
1996 & 1997 – Competed in the Limited Late Model division at Tri-City and Auto City Speedways, winning the Mud-Slinger / Ash-Kicker at Auto City.
1998 – Competed in the Limited Late Model division at Tri-City and Auto City Speedways, finishing 2nd in the point standings despite destroying the car by going over that wall in turn one at Tri-City.
1999 – Tri-City Speedway Limited Late Model Points Champion.
2000 – Tri-City Speedway Limited Late Model Points Champion.
2001-2004 – Competed in the Limited Late Model division at Dixie Motor Speedway.
2005 – Competed in the Limited Late Model division at Dixie Motor Speedway before lack of funding ceased the operation while leading in points. Finished the season racing a Michigan Modified on dirt at Mt. Pleasant Speedway driving for Ken Kalka
2006-2008 – Competed in Ken Kalka’s Michigan Modified at Merritt and Mt. Pleasant speedways, and Canada, with a trip to Eldora Speedway in 2008 & 2009.
2009 – Competed in the UMP Modified division at Merritt Speedway, Mt. Pleasant Speedway, and Mid-Michigan Raceway Park. Won the first annual Lil’ Bud Shootout memorial race at Mt. Pleasant Speedway
2010 – UMP Modified Points Champion at Merritt Speedway.
2011 – Set a new track record (14.44) in a Winged Modified at Merritt Speedway, set a new OMP (open) Modified track record of 14.273 at Tri-city Speedway and won the Casey Ray Eberspeaker 55 Memorial race at Michigan Raceway Park as well as competing in four Michigan Dirt Cup Series races.
2012 – Merritt Speedway Winged Modified event winner.
2013 – 13 Pro-Stock Feature wins, including five-in-a-row at Merritt and Tri-City Speedways, won the Merritt Speedway track title and set a new track record.
2014 – Points Champion and New Track Record (14.914) at Tri-City Speedway. Most feature wins at Tri-city and Merritt Speedways.
2015 – Points Champion for Pro-Stock at Tri-City Speedway and Merritt Speedway, with 19 total feature wins.
2016 –  Dirt Late Model, 4 points, 1 feature win, Sportsman of the Year Tri-City Speedway.

Steven has had a successful racing career, and considers the ability to race a true blessing. His courteous driving style and humble personality have made him a fan favorite and he has been honored with numerous Sportsman of the year awards at Merritt and Mt. Pleasant and two at Tri-City Speedway.