Have you ever wanted to see a GT-R run 6-seconds in the quarter-mile? If the answer is yes, then TX2K19 is the event to see it happen. The annual event, held March 14-17 in Baytown, Texas, plays host to some of the highest-horsepower cars in the world and gives them the opportunity to flex with drag racing or roll racing.
I was given the opportunity to produce a live broadcast of the event on SpeedVideo.com, which prompted my first visit to Texas and served as the stage to experience roll racing for the first time. I was able to watch the entire event unfold as I sat behind monitors for 12-hours days, producing the TX2K broadcast.
The four-day event started with some rain but did not deter GT-R’s, Lamborghinis, Supras, and Vipers from attempting 200+ mph passes with varying success.
Here are 5 things I learned at TX2K19:
1. AWD GT-R Are Very Hard To Launch
Love it or hate it, roll racing is a thing. Inspired by cars without enough torque to get off the line illegally roll-racing on the freeway – and all-wheel-drive GT-R’s – TX2K offers a safe and legal way to experience high speed beyond just a quarter mile.
How it works: two cars have 400 feet to pace one another up to 60-65 mph before they hit the “green zone.” Once cars hit the “green zone,” the drivers may mash the pedal for the next 1,600 feet before they pass over the finish line, completing their 2,000 foot run.
TX2K19 had many new drivers who were unfamiliar with the format and struggled to reach the 60-65 mph pace at the set point, or were going too fast before they hit the “green zone,” which resulted in multiple breakouts and re-runs.
TX2K organizers made comments throughout the event on the immense level of safety and track prep performed by Jason Miller. Miller is well known for organizing “World Cup Import vs. Domestic.” The TX2K track was as sticky as could be. Good conditions meant records were sure to be set.
If you tuned into SpeedVideo, you probably noticed more “Track Prep” than usual. The event saw a number of 10-15 minuet breaks for prep but even with the attention to safety, that did not stop some significant incidents that delayed the race. The event had serious hard crashes, oil downs, and weather delays.
Part of Miller’s prep included spotters all the way down the track, which were able to radio in if they saw any issues. This proved beneficial after a Dodge Viper crashed during roll race qualifying and a spotter found a 10mm socket left behind.
Watching the GT-R classes, it appeared to me that AWD cars are tough to launch especially on a sticky track.
Despite qualifying sessions plagued with Texas rainstorms and GT-R oil downs, roll race eliminations began on Friday night and ended with a 228 mph run from an Underground Racing Lamborghini Huracan.
2. 6-Cylinders Can Dominate 8-Cylinders
After seeing a few 6-second passes done by 6-cylinder powered cars, I personally fell in love with the 2JZ class. Being a fan of drifting and drag racing, this class really showed me the power a 2JZ can make and how a Supra can be set up to be an extremely competitive drag car.
3. Street Cars Are The New Race Cars
With cars coming from the factory with 600+ hp, street driven cars are becoming the new race cars. The time is coming to an end where you build a “strip only” car.
The final two days of TX2K19 featured nothing but drag racing. The classes ranged from a 2JZ only class, to GT-R Unlimited, and a new class of “Heavy Weights” which required the cars to be a minimum weight of 4,200 pounds.
Needless to say the heavyweight class was dominated by Dodge Chargers and Cadillac CTSV’s which came first and second respectively.
After wrapping up the broadcast and locking up for the night, I headed back to the hotel. I heard about the infamous Houston freeway roll racing but didn’t expect to run into any.
In the distance, I could see red and blue flashing lights, where the local police department must have been cracking down on “wannabe racers” who just saw 200 mph passes.
From my hotel room I could hear pulls on the highway and was able to get some sleep after hearing the spool of a turbo in front of the Waffle House.
4. 1,500+ HP Is The New Norm For Street Cars
The streetcar class was filled with over 50 “street legal” cars all rated at a minimum of 1,500 horsepower.
Ryan Lewakowski brought his Z06 Corvette from Colorado with hopes to break the stock engine/transmission record. His fastest speed was a 9.26 at 155 mph, but to win this class, you need to be running faster than a 7.18 at over 198 mph.
Did I mention these are street cars? I loved seeing them parked in-front of hotels and restaurants throughout Baytown, Texas after the event concluded each day.
The running joke throughout the week was a meme making the rounds through social media of a prius with a bumper sticker that read, “Pass me, I’m flooring it” with the title of 500hp cars at TX2K. To be even able to compete you need 1500 +.
5. Import VS Domestic Will Always Draw A Crowd
The spectators know what they want, and when it came to imports vs domestic the stands were full. The Stick Shift finals was a classic Import versus Domestic drag race. The crowd was on their feet as the “Minion” Mustang crossed the finish line first and beat the popular all-wheel-drive Honda it went head-to-head with.
At TX2K19 I saw a number of new records set, some crashes, 6-second GTR’s and 2JZ Supras, and a 228 mph Lamborghini. This event is more significant than ever, and I will be looking forward to TX2K20.
Photography by Dimitri Lazaris