Philip Palmer - Team Green Discuss Pro Street & The Future
21 May 2014 - Thomasville GA is located about an hour from South Georgia Motorsports Park. It's a small rural town located amongst blueberry, nut and peach farms in beautiful South Georgia. It is also home to Philip Palmer and Stuckey Racing, known around the country as Team Green, and they are one of the top NHRDA teams in the country.
Phillip and Stuckey Racing are legends in NHRDA Drag Racing:
3 Time NHRDA World Champions on Pro Street
First to win consecutive back-to-back champions in NHRDA history (2011-2012)
First Pro-Street to run in the 9's
First Pro Street to run in the five's in the 1/8th mile
First Pro Street to run in the eight second zone
Former National Record Holder
Championships in NHRDA DHRA and NADM
Personal Best - 8.91 ET at 153 mph
Phillip and Team Green is made up of truck and team owner Earl Stuckey, with crew chief and R&D duties in the capable hands of Robert Donalson. Their 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 is one of the most popular trucks in the pits and on the track. The all important list of sponsors on board for 2014 are equally impressive: BorgWarner Turbo Systems (AirWerks), Suncoast Transmission and Converters, AirDog, DDP Dynomite Diesel, Fluidampr, Optima, Shiver Diesel Injection, Fleece Engineering and Ferrea Valves. Mickey Thompson and MacFab are helping with tires and bead locks this year.
Phillip is the Fleet Manager for the City of Thomasville during the day. Although a thoughtful, soft spoken man, he has the competitive heart of a true multi-time drag racing champion. We had the chance to sit down for a few minutes to ask him about the 2014 season.
When asked about his thoughts of the Pro Street class in 2014 Phillip replied "There are already three to five trucks that are very competitive and in the eight second field. H&S, Bully Dog, ourselves at Stuckey Racing. "
Regarding what it will take to win the 2014 championship, Phillip commented - "Consistency is key to winning championships, there's no doubt to that. An old friend said to me a long time ago, "You must first finish to finish first." So the shop, the guys, and having the truck set so it's not breaking anything are key. Our record speaks for itself."
"People know that when Team Green Stuckey Racing shows up we've got a consistent team, a consistent truck. We work issues out, keep moving forward, and working with our sponsors. That's what gets you to the next level."
In Texas Jarid Vollmer ran six thousandths under the national record, but was unable to back the time up to set a new record. Phillip commented about the level of performance and the results in the class, and about a couple of the setups the teams are using in Pro Street.
"Regarding the current record, it's one of those things. Some use "Sled Pulling Technology" some use the original diesel torque technology to go down the track. We're in the torque sort of things; we work at a lower ROM to move weight. Some use technology to make RPM, and they are making a ton of horsepower. But the thing is you've got to bring it to the track. You have to tune it to the track, tune it to what the track can handle."
"We're at a point now where there are six to eight trucks that can reset the record. We're not going to blister or blow the record away, but it's up for grabs this year. The whole Pro Street field is capable of running fast numbers. It's the fastest Pro Street Field we've ever had." he continued.
"We improved and perfected our combination over the last nine years. We've got to step it up to the next level. Everyone's gone from 5.9 motors to huge cubic inch motors. We need to move in that direction, but you've got to put all the factors together. You can make 2,500 horsepower on the Dyno, but you've got to get it to leave and go down the track."
Tires are key. For us it's been Mickey Thompson. We've been a true Pro Street truck. Slicks have gotten us into the 1.30's in the 60-foot, and the truck has picked up. Suncoast transmissions have also been key for us.
A LOOK TO THE FUTURE THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHAMPION
One of Philip's goals is to continue to help support all the new fans, drivers, enthusiasts and new Diesel Powered vehicle owners that are coming into the NHRDA family.
"This is where it starts. Whether it's big tires, racing, or "rolling smoke" as we say. That entry level is where people started, and it starts out with kids fascinated with this. My son started that way."
"These young enthusiasts really excite me because they are our future drag racers and anybody is welcome. Nothing is too small. Seeing these guys learn, getting their knowledge, their seat time, is great. We need more people.
Stuckey Racing is the base of our team. We have the ability to help them. Machine work, programmers, we like to give them options. With over 60-80 pounds of boost fire-ringing is important. Everybody has their own recipes, we got ours, we know what works."
Phillip and team green began their season at the NHRDA South East Truckin Nationals with a runner up finish after qualifying number one with a 9.38 and top speed for the class - 144.94 mph. They are currently third in National Championship points in the Pro Street Class. Our thanks for Philip taking some time during the work week to visit with us, and good luck to Team Green!