Hernandez ready to prove himself in Hattiesburg
Hattiesburg, MS
Share |

Hernandez ready to prove himself in Hattiesburg
HATTIESBURG, MS. – To say Josh Hernandez received a crash course in driving a Pro Modified car would be both a bad pun and the truth combined. In his first outing behind the wheel of Tommy Lipar’s supercharged 1957 Chevy, the Magnolia, Texas-based driver found himself entangled with fellow Lone Star State racer Frankie Taylor in a two-car crash at Houston Raceway Park.
Not exactly the kind of start a rookie Pro Modified racer wants to ever encounter, Hernandez is eager to put the unfortunate experience behind him. This weekend’s ADRL Winter Drags in Hattiesburg, MS., will provide the opportunity.
“I have been involved in drag racing long enough to know this isn’t the way we wanted to get started,” said Hernandez. “Drag racing has its way of making you experience emotional peaks and valleys.”
Never has Hernandez made a truer statement. Just one round earlier Hernandez stormed to the low elapsed time of the Pro Stock Super Bowl in Houston, Texas with a mark of 6.13 to eliminate veteran runner Roy Hill. He also established the pole position with a 6.19 posting in only his second run behind the wheel of a Pro Modified.
Hernandez will be representing not only Tommy Lipar Racing in 2005 but a few local associate sponsors as well. The Angel Brothers, co-owners of Houston Raceway Park, are major associate sponsors on the team.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to drive the Pro Mod for Tommy and the Angel Brothers this year,” Hernandez said. “Together with Century Asphalt Materials, Angel Brothers paving and utility contractors have provided the support to put on a professional, high-performance program. We couldn’t be more excited about 2005.”
Hernandez is an admitted horsepower enthusiast, having tinkered with hot rods for much of his youth. A former Technical Student of the Year for his technical drafting talents, it didn’t take long before his concentration settled into the Motorsports arena. He’ll quickly lay claim to being a jack of all trades when it comes to driving a race car. Hernandez is currently licensed in Pro Stock, Pro Modified, Alcohol Funny Car, Competition eliminator, Top Sportsman and Super Comp.
Hernandez spent much of last season behind the wheel of the Tommy Lipar Racing Alcohol Funny Car. He enjoyed a fair amount of success and the experience did a lot to lay the groundwork for his current endeavor. He’ll admit that replacing last year’s driver Von Smith provides an incredible amount of pressure to perform.
“Von Smith established a high standard to follow,” Hernandez said. “In moving from a Funny Car to a Pro Modified, I understand a lot more of the things that he experienced. You tend to overdrive a Pro Mod a lot more than a Funny Car.”
But when it comes to the accident in Houston, Hernandez is still at a loss for what caused the mishap. The car rode the wall and was immediately thrust into the opposite lane.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Hernandez says, shrugging his shoulders. “All I could see were sparks and the bottom of Frankie's car about ten feet in front of me. Luckily, I didn't run into him, I was doing everything I could not to make contact. I pulled the 'chutes and tried to steer away from him. My car was sliding on the bent wheelie bars and I was just along for the ride with a front-row seat of Frankie rolling and spinning on his lid.
“I'm glad no one was injured and, obviously, I feel horrible about the accident especially after doing so well so far. To let the team down by banging up the car is the worst fear as a new driver."
In Hattiesburg, Hernandez will have the opportunity to redeem himself even though he doesn’t have to. For him, it’s a personal thing.
Qualifying for this weekend’s ADRL Winter Drags in Hattiesburg, MS., begins on Saturday at Noon. Teams will be afforded two more sessions at 2:00 and 4:00 PM. Final eliminations are slated for 7 PM.
For same day coverage of this event, visit the Torco Race Fuels-sponsored www.competitionplus.com.
The official website for the team can be accessed at www.tommyliparracing.com. The official website for the latest American Drag Racing League is www.outlawpromods.com.

< < back > >