Tommy Phillips drove his CBS ArcSafe/K&N Engineering Corvette Roadster to the Super Gas title at the NHRA Division 5 Lucas Oil Series event at Cordova Dragway Park in Cordova, IL last weekend. En route to the win, Phillips mowed through a talented Super Gas field, earning hard fought victories over notable competitors Steve Hoyt, Rick Bowman, Luke Bogacki, and others before knocking off Marc Erickson in the Super Gas final round.
“To be honest, this win is a pretty big shot of confidence,” said Phillips. “I feel as though we’ve struggled all season. In fact, this is my first win of the year. It’s not like I’ve been horrible: I’ve made some mistakes, but overall my driving has been fairly solid, and the cars are just incredible. We’ve just been on the wrong end of some good races. Those close contests where a thousandth of a second or two fell my way in years past have been going the other way this year. That’s just the nature of this sport, and it can be very humbling. I’ve been around it long enough to know that, and I’ve also been around it long enough to know that momentum means a lot—both positive and negative momentum. Hopefully this will set the tone for the rest of our season.”
It’s not as though Phillips’s season has been a disaster; far from it. The year simply has not lived up to the loft standards of a 25-time NHRA National Event winner and 7-time division champion. He opened the 2012 campaign with a runner-up finish at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, CA in Super Comp. More recently, he drove his Super Gas machine to a runner-up finish at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Chicago, IL. His win in Cordova pushed him into 4th place in the national NHRA Lucas Oil Super Gas points standings, and into 2nd in the Division 4 ranks. Nonetheless, Phillips was happy to lift the winless burden from his back in the 2012 season.
“This weekend I had an A+ race car and a B- driver,” he laughed. “My CBS ArcSafe/K&N Corvette was absolutely incredible. In six elimination rounds, it varied .001 of a second in 60 foot. Those of you who race or follow the sport closely know that’s just unheard of. The car definitely earned this trophy, I’m just glad the driver didn’t get in its way!”
In six rounds of competition, Phillips posted three perfect 9.90 ET’s, and a pair of 9.89 times as well. He also did his part on the starting line, with six reaction times varying from .008 to .021.
Tommy and his CBS ArcSafe/K&N Engineering team will head back to Texas for a weekend off before attending the NHRA Division 5 LODRS event in Topeka, KS on their way to the Mac Tools NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on labor day weekend. Phillips recognized his main supporters at K&N Engineering and CBS ArcSafe, as well as associate partners Sterling Volkswagen of Abilene, Robert and Wynette Hudgins of Lee-A Inc., Art and Randy Zunker of Team Beyond Reason Motorsports, Brett Patterson, and Duane and Heidi Robison. He also credited Sunset Racecraft, Hughes Performance, Lucas Oil Products, Hoosier Racing Tire, TNT Supercars, and VP Racing Fuels for their role in his winning combination. Keep up with Tommy’s racing exploits by friending him on Facebook: Tommy Phillips