Hernandez settles back into his groove with impressive ADRL debut
Hattiesburg, MS
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Hernandez settles back into his groove with impressive ADRL debut

HATTIESBURG, MS. – Josh Hernandez knew the most crucial part of his weekend during the Inaugural ADRL Winter Drags was not in qualifying for the tough eight-car field. For the newly appointed driver of the Tommy Lipar-owned Pro Modified, the most complex task was in simply climbing behind the wheel.

Just weeks removed from an unavoidable but nevertheless nasty accident, the former alcohol Funny Car driver still had a few lingering jitters. However, those feelings quickly dispersed the moment that championship winning crewchief Howard Moon gave the signal to fire on a Friday evening shakedown pass.

“It felt a little bit unnerving at first, but once the car straightened out and ran, it felt great,” Hernandez said. “I’m pleased to be back on the horse. I knew this first run was going to be crucial. I feel a lot more comfortable now than I did before I got back in the car.”

In a short amount of time, Hernandez is learning more than just how to drive from a different position within the car. His previous driving gig was a center-driven Funny Car. His Pro Modified is left-hand driven.

Hernandez is quickly adapting to all the intricacies.

“I think I’m experiencing the full menu in Pro Modified,” Hernandez added. “My crew has been very supportive of it all. I think the biggest fear a driver should have is in letting his team down. I felt like I did that in Houston. We ran so well and they had done an incredible job. I think their support has made this return possible. It can be a head game sometimes.”

Sandwiched between the concerns of driving comfort were a handful of mechanical gremlins that commanded painstaking attention to detail. Nonetheless, the various distractions didn’t cause his confidence to waver in the least.

Hernandez completed qualifying for the ADRL event less than .03 off of the qualifying pace. His best run of the weekend was an eighth-mile 4.209.

With this event out of the way, Hernandez is more than ready for his NHRA AMS TLR driving debut at next month’s NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.

The official website for Tommy Lipar Racing can be accessed at www.tommyliparracing.com.
Associate sponsorship for Tommy Lipar Racing comes from Century Asphalt Materials and the Angel Brothers.

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