K&N's Tommy Phillips Locked and Loaded for 2012 Season Kick-Off in Pomona

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Tommy Phillips' Super Gas Corvette roadster
Tommy Phillips' Super Gas Corvette roadster
With yet another NHRA Division 4 title under his belt after the 2011 season, Forney, Texas resident Tommy Phillips is set to hit the trail of what should prove to be another fantastic NHRA season with his stable of four K&N Engineering/CBS Arc Safe race cars, three of which he will drive in competition. The 2012 season marks the fourth consecutive year with K&N as the primary sponsor for the veteran racer.
Tommy Phillips' K&N Engineering/CBS Arc Safe Super Comp dragster
Tommy Phillips' K&N Engineering/CBS Arc Safe Super Comp dragster

"2011 was an odd year," Phillips pointed out. "Certainly we are proud of how we finished, but when I look back at the very beginning of the season, the first few races I just didn't drive that well. I don't know why, but I just wasn't myself. For the first time in a while I was back to racing full-time, so I was really very focused on the business and marketing side of it all and maybe just not as focused on the driving side of things. If you want to know the truth, I just think I wasn't really ready to race and it really showed."

Phillips comes into the new year with twenty-five NHRA National events victories and a total of twenty-eight division wins already to his name and mentions that what he learned over the past season should help him add to that total in the months to come. "If you look at my points at the end of the season, for some reason I have always done well at the National meets and not so well at the points meets [division races]," Phillips explained. "I don't understand why, it's the same racers at all the events. But I think I finally came to the realization that I just don't get as up for the points races as I do the nationals. I mean, let's face it, they take as long to run, cost about the same to go to and don't pay out as much to win as the national events do. It's not all about the money, but it is part of the deal since you have to factor in what it cost to travel and so on. So by putting more focus into my point's races last year, it did pay off and we won four of them."
Tommy Phillips plans to bring his Super Comp dragster and Super Gas Corvette roadster to the 2012 O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals
Tommy Phillips plans to bring his Super Comp dragster and Super Gas Corvette roadster to the 2012 O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals

"So by being more committed to the point's races, I was pretty happy with the outcome," he continued. "But what I really learned is that I need to be more consistent overall and that I needed to look at my season race schedule a little differently. I needed to not be out on the road so many races in a row and even if I had to travel a little more, how could I be home a little more and not have four or five races in a row. I even bit the bullet and hired someone full-time for the race team, someone who could take care of the rig and get it to the events for me, so maybe that would buy me another ten to fifteen days a year to be at home."

In addition to racing full-time, Phillips continues to work alongside his mom at home, overseeing the day-to-day operations of two large bingo halls. "By dividing up my schedule differently for this coming season, not only will it help me to be able to stay on top of things that I need to at home, with payroll and all the items that I take care of, but it will also allow me to go to several races that I normally wouldn't attend. So this season I only have one time where I will have a three races stretch and I think it will help me battle the, whatever you want to call it, being on the road too long at a time, you know burnout and beat down."

Phillips will start his 2012 quest at the NHRA season opener in Pomona, California where he will compete in his K&N Engineering/CBS Arc Safe #5 Super Comp dragster and his #4 Super Gas Corvette roadster during the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals.

"My focus this season is to win a National Championship and everything else will fall into place," he admitted. "I geared my schedule and my races around that for this year, and the one thing that will mess me up a little is the JEGS races [All-Star]. I really do like those races and it will mess my chances up for that, but at some point, you just have to prioritize your goals and mine is to win a National Championship in 2012."

With the change in Phillips' sponsor line up from last season, it has been a very hectic off-season for he and his crew, making all the changes needed in addition to the normal end of year maintenance. "We have been just crazy getting everything redone, all the cars, the rig even the golf carts and scooters had to be stripped and rewrapped," he chuckled. "That on top of freshening the motors and transmissions. When it's all done and you have it out there, you kind of take it for granted, but man is it a lot of work to get everything to that point."

Phillips points out that he is honored to continue his partnership with K&N Engineering. "Even before I started working with K&N, I used many of their products because I know they are superior in their field," he said. "But I'll tell ya, in the years of being involved with them now, I really have an unbelievable respect for how K&N does business, especially after I had a chance to witness everything that goes into the products that they manufacture. Strictly speaking as a racer, K&N is really behind everything that is right. They not only continue to do everything they can to constantly improve their products by listening to and working with racers of all sorts of motorsports, but in what they really stand for and all of the various projects they are behind."

"I am all K&N all the time," he added. "From using their oil and air filters on every one of my race cars to even adding the new Heavy Duty K&N air filter to my Freightliner motorhome that I use to tow the race trailer. I am really looking forward to the added advantage it will give me in all the miles I intend on putting on it this year."

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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