On the Run by ProQuest


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									                                                            On the Run               with Tommy Phillips
                                                    driver of the Tigerflow/TNT Supercars Super Comp dragster

                                                    A     ttending the 2009 Jegs NHRA Cajun
                                                          SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La., was the last
                                                     thing on my mind as I walked from an hour-long staff
                                                     meeting back to my office on Monday, March 16. My
                                                     mind was whirling around in an effort to answer the
                                                     million-dollar question about our business: “How do
                                                     we continue growing our business in a shrinking
                                                     economy?” As I walked back into my office, oblivious
                                                     to everything around me, I realized step one would be
                                                     not to stay home from the races.
                             Working for Smiley’s Racing Products, parent company of TNT Supercars,
                         which is the company I manage, brings a number of unique circumstances to my
                         life because we sell performance parts for all motorsports venues. On any given
                         day, I may sell a package of tear-offs to a dirt track racer, a firesuit to a sprint
                         car racer, and a turnkey $80,000 Super Comp dragster to a drag racer. Of course,
                         I prefer the dragster sale because that’s what we primarily do at TNT Supercars,
                         build race cars. For the most part, I love my job and consider myself very lucky to
                         be able to turn my passion into my livelihood. I especially enjoy going to the
                         racetrack and supporting our customers, so by the time Monday afternoon rolled
                         around, I was over my economic grief and decided I was ready to go race.

                              “I love my job and consider myself
                                very lucky to be able to turn my
                                   passion into my livelihood.”
                             Wow, did that ever turn out to be a fantastic decision because less than a
                         week later, I was standing in the winner’s circle of the Jegs SPORTSnationals
                         doing something I had never done: holding two national event Wallys in the air
                         with a huge smile on my face! Fifteen years of hard-core racing earned me 16
                         national event wins, 21 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series wins, five Division 4
                         championships, and multiple top-five national points finishes, but there’s nothing
                         more gratifying than a double-up. Realistically, it was probably a once-in-a-
                         lifetime achievement for me, so I was very happy to have my good friends Jay
                         and Linda Thornburg there to work their tails off helping all weekend. They
                         really had to hustle, and litt
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