NHRA officials today announced a partnership with Phillips Connect, along with the formation of the “Phillips Connect 300 at the 1/8” program, a special club that will honor the first 10 drivers in either Top Fuel or Funny Car to reach the 300-mph milestone in the 1/8-mile.
Starting at this weekend’s prestigious Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, the first driver in NHRA history in one of the nitro categories to reach the 300-mph mark by 660-feet in qualifying or eliminations will receive a special $30,000 bonus as the first driver in the “Phillips Connect 300 at the 1/8” program. Each of the next nine competitors to reach the mark will also earn recognition and a bonus.
NHRA and Phillips Connect, an industry leader with connected asset solutions for trailers, chassis, and containers, partnered together to create the unique program, rewarding the milestone feat of technology and engineering among the standout teams in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.
“When I broke 300 mph in a Funny Car at the quarter-mile, it was a major accomplishment,” said Phillips Connect EVP Jim Epler, who enjoyed a standout career in the Funny Car ranks. “Now you see drivers reaching this speed at just half the distance. It’s a true testament to the technology and the incredible crew chiefs that have taken this sport to the next level. We’re honored to be a part of this groundbreaking club and appreciate the hard-working teams that have kept the NHRA excited.”
Top Fuel points leader Brittany Force went 299.00 MPH, while Phillips Connect-sponsored Top Fuel driver Justin Ashley went 298.27 at the most recent race in Brainerd.
The 300-mph mark is one of the last barriers for race teams in the thrilling 11,000-horsepower nitro categories to reach in a safe and controlled manner, and Phillips Connect was eager to create the unique program. The industry leader has developed innovative IoT sensor connection technology widely used in the freight industry, keeping drivers and their cargo safe. Phillips Connect products are also designed to improve overall safety and security, reduce costs in fleet maintenance, and dramatically enhance fleet asset utilization.
“We had the privilege of testing our motorsports program with Justin Ashley Racing this year, but to put a program out there with NHRA that includes all nitro drivers is very exciting,” said Phillips Connect founder and CEO, Rob Phillips. “The NHRA is growing at lightning speed with new technology that enables the sport to keep getting faster. Our customers have a deeply rooted love for motorsports, and we are thrilled to get even more involved with the industry.”
The second driver to hit the 300-mph mark in the eighth-mile will receive $13,000, while the third gets $9,000. The fourth through 10th drivers will each receive $3,000. The purse award is unique to each driver regardless of the driver’s team affiliation and regardless of whether the driver is competing in Top Fuel or Funny Car.