Strength In Numbers In The Pits At Houston’s TX2K
Photography via Danh Phan
Texas is home to the quintessential American attitude of ‘bigger is better’, and this mantra includes a fascination with all things high-horsepower. For automotive enthusiasts, this attraction plays out in the form of the TX2K event held each year in Houston, Texas, where an assembly of the nation’s fastest street-driven drag-race cars takes over Royal Purple Speedway and exemplifies the theory by attacking the dragstrip in a festival of horsepower.
TX2K originally started in the spring of 2000 as a Toyota Supra-specific event, and 16 years later it has become a showcase for not only fast examples of the Supra, but for any vehicle with equal parts monstrous grip and power capability. In the United States, as TX2K videos surface on the Internet each spring, the automotive world is put on notice that the season for go-fast events has begun, and winter hibernation has come to a close.
The JZA80 of Tim Robards’ is one of the remaining high-output Supra examples to attend the event, which in recent years has become a sea of lightning-quick Nissan GT-R chassis. Robards’ car uses parts from Extreme Turbo Solutions to develop big power, as the massive turbocharger helps the built 2JZ-GTE engine execute trips down the quarter-mile in the seven-second range.
Speed Warhouse, a relatively unknown competitor this year, made the journey all the way down to Houston from Leesport, PA with their ’75 Celica. The company creates some of the automotive world’s most unique projects, including this Celica outfitted with a 2JZ-GTE engine swap and built in the eight weeks leading up to the event. This Japanese classic boasts a large turbocharger and rolls on slicks; ripe modifications for this event, which requires both in order to achieve a competitive level.
Although it’s rarely seen from the front, Mullet’s Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera started life as a 562-horspower V10 supercar. This Lamborghini now creates in excess of 1,500 horsepower thanks to its twin-turbocharged Underground Racing powerplant, plenty to put it close to the head of the pack of nasty supercars.
English Racing’s Acura Integra intrigued the Internet a few years ago when the giant-killer burst onto the scene at a previous TX2K event and defeated numerous supercars previously thought to be the fastest vehicles on-site. With more enhancements this year, ‘The Little Integra That Could’ was seen shocking the owners of assorted twin-turbocharged 1,000-plus-horsepower vehicles all weekend, including this Audi R8.
Tony Palo of T1 Race Development and Injector Dynamics, an experienced drag racer and business owner, furthered his impact on the automotive world when he switched from building high-performance Honda cars to displaying his expertise within the growing Nissan GT-R market. He has since fabricated an R35 example with over 2,100 horsepower and three goals in mind; winning, breaking records and establishing T1 as the premier GT-R tuner. Most recently this car set (and reset) the quarter-mile record and became the ‘Fastest USA GT-R’ with a 7.38-second elapsed time and a trap speed of 195.76 mph.
Autobanh Motorsports, from the Houston area, debuted the first dry-sump 2JZ-GTE powerplant that has retained air conditioning for those street cars looking to build insane horsepower levels, yet remain docile enough for salvation from the Texas heat. It’s all packed inside a JZA80 Supra outfitted with Weld RT-S wheels. This machine is clean enough to take home show honors, yet rowdy enough to back up its visuals on the drag strip.
Midwest Modded’s bright R35 GT-R is covered in more show-car oriented modifications than other cars on the property, like a Varis widebody Kamikaze-R kit and a set of stunning three-piece 20-inch SSR MS3 wheels. This GT-R is capable of producing well over 1,000 horsepower from its TopSpeed Motorsports-tuned VR38DETT engine though the Armytrix Titianium Valvtronic F1 Bluetooth Exhaust.
Another local to the Houston drag racing scene, Kozmic Motorsports came prepared with a few cars including their fabricator’s classic Mazda 323 hatchback. This FWD terror sports slicks to harness the turbocharged engine’s power, which allows it to run 10-second elapsed times in the quarter mile.
The Texas setting also caters a viewing party for spectators who make the trip from numerous locations to witness the innovative technology, record-setting pace, and competitive nature emanated by the notable cars at TX2K.
Along with the large populace of extremely quick racecars present with slicks and parachutes, there were a handful of street-friendly cars like this twin-turbocharged Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4. The striking Verde Scandal paint is accentuated by the bright blue hue of the Velos D5 wheels, and contrasted by the carbon fiber of the Vorsteiner Novara kit.
The TX2K event combines a sanctioned daytime motorsport atmosphere with dangerous nightlife where even high-horsepower twin-turbocharged exotic cars struggle for supremacy. Each year, Houston will continue to wake up the automotive world by displaying the fastest import and exotic drag racing cars in the nation at the TX2K event.