The NBC anchor and die-hard NASCAR fan, 44, is part owner of a dirt-modified stock car team in Belgrade, Mont.
SI: Last fall you took a couple of laps around Talladega Superspeedway in a Winston Cup car and got up to 181 miles per hour. Describe that feeling.
Williams: It was—I'm tearing up here—as close to the highest ranking bodily act as you can get. All your senses are working at full capacity, yet in a way, the wall is passing by so quickly that every second feels likes a documentary.
SI: How did the ride compare to Air Force One?
Williams: The seats recline a bit more on Air Force One, and the beverage selection is better. But the ride can't be compared. We once dipped a wing over the pyramids of Egypt because President Clinton wanted to see them. That's the closest thing you could compare to the banking at Talladega.
SI: Any politician you would call a real NASCAR fan?
Williams: Arizona senator Jon Kyl. He's a true gearhead. He's one of us.
SI: Are you a NASCAR dad?
Williams: As patronizing as it is when we label groups of people—my wife resented being called a soccer mom, for example—I guess I am. I go to races. We bring the kids. I buy stuff. But will seeing a candidate's name on the side of a car make me support him? I am happy to report that while I love Mark Martin, I have not ever purchased any Viagra.
SI: You were friends with the late Dale Earnhardt. What's your favorite memory of him?