Where The Race Gas Flows Like Wine: TX2K18
Text and photos by Danh T. Phan
It’s Wednesday at 2:00am, the interstate is a couple of miles away, and you hear two engines in the distance passing by like Formula 1 cars—yes, it’s that time of year again, it’s TX2K. If you aren’t familiar with TX2K, it’s a Thursday through Sunday, roll racing and drag racing event filled with the fastest “street” cars in the nation. The event takes place about 45 minutes east of Houston at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, TX. Although, the excitement for the week of TX2K isn’t just about the event, it’s what happens outside of the racetrack that’s interesting. Car meets, and the infamous late night street racing draw attention to TX2K on an international scale.
Where to go, or what to do
Throughout the week of TX2K, attendees are able check out the local meets happening all over the city of Houston. Because these gatherings happen on private property, law enforcement can’t do much other than keep a watch until someone starts doing a burnout… then the party ends. Womp.
At these meets it’s not uncommon to see unique builds circulating the area. Various street builds such as Khiem Pham’s 2JZ-swapped FD RX-7, an interesting LS swapped Miata, and an anime covered FR-S (a trend named “itasha”) were just a few of the cars on display.
Finding good food isn’t an issue either, with mobile cuisine like YoYo’s Hotdog food truck—one of the best hot dogs in Houston—on tap.
Shops in the immediate area also open their doors for a range of things from dyno contests or just to provide a place to hang out. We stopped by to visit Autobanh Motorsports, a 2JZ engine specialty shop in southwest Houston.
Jon Do’s MKIV Toyota Supra was in one of the bays. This JZA80 has a gorgeous black and gold engine build, but the wiring is still being worked on.
Inside one corner of the shop Jimmy Nguyen and Jon Do looked over some wiring issues (#2JZworldproblems).
Even without food trucks, good meals in Houston are never far. The Autobanh guys were serving up some super good KBBQ short ribs.
Jason (aka @st00pidfast) even did some last minute analyzing on Jimmy D’s tune on his MKIV Toyota Supra.
Other great spots to visit are the hotels recommended by TX2K for out-of-towners to stay in. We stopped by the Marriott in the Westchase area of Houston to see if there was any action. Unfortunately, it was either too early, or too late as it was a quiet night at the hotel. However, we did find Kyle from 1320Video setting up a few street races. We decided not to follow, as it was getting late and wanted to make it to Royal Purple Raceway in the morning.
TX2K18 at Royal Purple Raceway
The forecast called for rain the weekend of TX2K18, but it only ended up raining one day for an hour. The rest of the weekend was beautiful, and filled with moody skies.
Cars all over Royal Purple Raceway took shelter underneath various tents like this chameleon wrapped Huracan hiding from the rain.
The sight of big tires on this S30-chassis Datsun Z car was kind of questionable.
Oh! Okay, that’s why.
Elsewhere at the track, another S30-chassis Z was found with huge slicks in the rear—because 2JZ.
This event was originally dubbed the “Supra Nationals” due to their overwhelming presence in competition. However, as time has progressed and modification trends have shifted, it seems the “GT-R Nationals” is more fitting.
Upon walking around the pits, this Honda S2000 stood out from the rear because of the aggressive fitment lurking under the overfenders. It looked like a show car, but under the hood? 2JZ? No shit. This 2JZ-swapped S2000 built by Under Pressure Racing Development in Tacoma, WA, did a few test runs and unfortunately fried a Motec PDM15 computer. Luckily, they were able to find another one, and last we heard, got it running fine again.
Nothing says ‘Murica more than this.
Maybe next time we’ll make an article of just plates at TX2K.
Race gas drinking, but those plates, though.
What would TX2K be without Alpha Performance from Chicago making the trek to be in attendance.
Alpha Performance even brought their Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha with full interior running 10-second passes.
Geo from Real St. Performance in Florida owned one of the quickest Supras at TX2K. They were just a few fractions of a second shy of hitting 6s, but still took a win overall in the Supra JZ class.
Some of the other quick Supra MKIV guys included, Cody Phillips Racing’s 8-second Supra, and Virtual Works Racing’s 7.24-second Supra.
This image looks distorted but it’s really not, someone actually made a “mini” Lambo.
For the uninitiated, meet “Leroy the Savage”, Cleetus McFarland’s stripped down twin-turbocharged C5-chassis Corvette. This crazy thing runs 8s in the stick shift class, and collects hundreds of thousands of video views. If you’re not familiar with who he is, just check out his channel on YouTube.
Here is an immaculate example of the R34-chassis GT-R, of which there were only four in attendance at TX2K. Not a very common car to see anywhere in the United States.
We loved this serious work-in-progress FR-S drag car.
It was time for Undergound Racing (UGR) Lamborghinis to line up for competition roll races.
Bob Helms, the driver of this UGR Huracan, looked like he was in good spirits after making it to the semi-finals.
UGR dominating the semis…
Beautiful exotics were just “display” cars at TX2K.
Winner of the stick shift class, Boostin Performance’s “Red Demon” 1000 whp 4-cylinder DSM ran an astonishing 7.04-second pass at 213 mph—amazing.
The grid during sunset is a beautiful sight to see.
Some fans got acquainted with Cleetus while he waited on the grid.
This Tesla Model S ran 13s all day, which is not too bad for a P85D.
Topspeed Motorsports’ Nissan R34-chassis GT-R was one of the strongest RB-powered cars with 1,125 hp.
English Racing’s “Little Integra That Could”, was sighted in the pits. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the Honda compete in roll racing action.
Despite the blazing sun, a packed grandstand full of spectators were ready to see some racing.
Prospeed Autosports’ 2000 hp twin-turbocharged ‘Unicorn’ Corvette broke into the 7s, with a 7.66-second pass at 191 mph.
There were also a few exhibition races like this Ferrari La Ferrari against its German foe, the Porsche 918. The winner, of course, was the 918.
Because it was so popular, even a heavily eliminated GT-R Class still occupied several staging rows.
The remaining contestants in the GT-R class exhibiting some action on the strip during sunset.
Stick shift class competition wound down the evening’s festivities.
If you haven’t been to TX2K and you’re an enthusiast of cars, we’d recommend going out there to check it out. There’s meets to go to, shops and people to visit, late night street racing, records being broken, and you’ll even have chance meetings with YouTube celebrities—ha!