Just over a week has passed since racing history was made at the 2017 Texas Invitational. From epic races to new world record passes and heated rivalries, the event didn’t disappoint. The dust is finally settling over the discrepancies from the final King of the Streets race among two of the top contenders, Tony Palo and Ross Fowler. Tony has made the iconic GT-R platform even more legendary after setting the bar higher than ever before. The battle is over but the war has just begun. Street/Race Magazine brings you a front row seat to the action-packed recap here.
As you may have read in our article about Day 1 and day 2 of the Texas Invitational, Friday was spent testing and speed indexing, and then eliminations for the RWD and 6-Speed Challenge took place towards the end of the day. Saturday, outside of a last chance speed indexing round, was reserved for the 175 Trap Attack, Pro Trap Attack and King of the Street eliminations. Throughout all of the 5 classes, the competition was some of the closest we have seen.
Day one of the Texas Invitational brought some of the most excitement of the weekend. After a morning of testing and getting cars dialed in, it was time for round one of speed indexing. Tony Palo, the owner of T1 Race Development, brought out his prize T1 Built Nissan GT-R to compete for the title of King of the Streets against Underground Racing and some of the fastest street cars in the world. There is no denying that the T1 GT-R is one of the baddest GT-R’s in existence, as Tony came out and shocked everyone by running 230-miles per hour in his first qualifying pass. To put that into perspective, the ½ mile (2,640ft) World Record is 257-miles per hour. Tony went from a rolling 65-miles per hour start to 230mph in just 1500-feet putting him #1 on the qualifying list for the weekend. He was 10mph faster than the previous record of 220mph and the next closest qualifiers were Viren Singh in his T1 Race built GT-R at 219.72mph and Ross Fowler in his Underground Racing twin turbo Huracan at 218.23mph. The lowest MPH out of the top 16 was 196.33mph, which isn’t slow by any means.
On to eliminations for day one, and it was time for the RWD Challenge. Collin Murphy and his Calvo Motorsports twin turbo Viper ACR ended up in the finals of the RWD Challenge with Zachary Park in the Drag965 and ProSpeed Autosports Unicorn Corvette. Seeing these two individuals battle for traction and take down the rest of the field all day long as some of the best racing of the weekend. At the end of the day, it came down to whoever could put the power to the ground better and Collin came out on top in the RWD Challenge. The impressive part about that is, he was on the stock 19’s that come on the ACR and managed to keep the Toyo R888r’s from going up in smoke with over 1,700-horsepower.
Next up is the 6-speed challenge, which in our eyes is one of the most difficult classes for the drivers. The two that seemed to have the best driver mods of the day were Micah Fleshman in his Underground Racing twin turbo Gallardo and Ken Broadnax in his Performance HQ Corvette. These two rowed gears into the finals where Micah barely came out on top of Ken and took home the win.
Day 2 began with more speed indexing, then after lunch, we moved into the eliminations of the last 3 classes. The 175 Trap Attack class ended up with Ken Broadnax in his Performance HQ Corvette making it to the finals for the second time this weekend but this time against David Pearlman in his Dallas Performance twin turbo Huracan. David inched his way out ahead of Ken in the finals and took home the win for himself and Dallas Performance.
Next up was the Pro Trap Attack which had some super quick cars and great competition. At the end of the day, Micah Fleshman took home another 1st place win in his Underground Racing twin turbo Gallardo against Joel in Felipe Armenta’s Nth Moto built twin turbo Viper. One of the coolest sights to see is these big power Viper’s on a meaty tire and seeing the tire ripple at high speeds.
As the day came to a close, Tony and Ross had knocked out racer after racer during eliminations and they were the last two standing in the spotlight for the King of the Streets. This is the race everyone had waited for, two fire-breathing twin turbo monsters with enough power to rotate the earth. The first two starts were deemed a red light, due to Ross not being evenly paced with Tony by the time they made it to the starting flags. Both cars turned around for the second time, lined up and went for a 3rd pass. The two took off for the third time and ended up getting a green light, which was later retracted due to human error on the starting line. Ross stayed in it the entire pass and Tony let out half-track, realizing the start might have been off, again. As the cars came back to the pits, they were waved on and sent back to the grid to line up for another race. This is where the whole situation started to move south.
The fact of the matter in this situation is there is absolutely no perfect way of measuring a perfect start in roll racing like this. Whether it was driver error, or human error during the triggering of a green light during the final race, a mistake was made and a solution was offered by the Texas Speed Syndicate staff to re-run the cars and give everyone the race they had been waiting for. Both parties had 30-minutes to ice down their cars and get them cool enough for a re-run.
After another 45 minutes of discussion between the TSS staff, Underground Racing, and T1 Race Development, the event organizers left it up to the drivers to make the decision on what was going to happen. Tony and T1 decided he was on board with the TSS decision to re-run but Ross and UGR refused to race again as they felt it was a fair start and the light was green. Tony decided that he would not take a win under those conditions and told Ross that he could have it if he did not want to re-run. There was no final race, and the win was awarded to Ross and UGR leaving all of us in attendance with the biggest blue-balls in Texas Invitational history.
It’s not our place to take sides, to say what should have happened or to say who was right or wrong in this situation. All we do know is that what’s done is done and we look forward to another badass Texas Invitational next year. Hopefully, we will get to see these two powerhouses line up again and battle it out on the race track, instead of the internet, to see who is truly the King of the Streets.
Special thanks to Texas Speed Syndicate and all of the sponsors of the Texas Invitational for the hospitality and for putting on yet another great event.
Watch the entire video below by 1320Video of Tony and Ross battling it out for the King of the Streets