â€œWeâ€™ve been struggling the last couple months, but itâ€™s back,â€ said Taylor, the 2010 ADRL Pro Extreme World Champion.
Whatever was missing during the first two months of the year â€“ and there was still plenty of magic through the first two events â€“ was found at Royal Purple Raceway during testing for Taylorâ€™s PX car.
He went 3.65 the day before he left for this weekendâ€™s Penske Truck Leasing Inaugural Northeast Drags at Maple Grove Raceway, giving the excitable Taylor some good vibes heading into the ADRLâ€™s third race of the season.
â€œSomething like that makes us feel better and a lot more confident,â€ Taylor said.
Taylor also had some big sponsorship news as the ADRL visits historic Maple Grove Raceway for the first time in its history.
Nitro Fish will sponsor Taylor for the Northeast Drags, giving the Houston-area native even more motivation for a strong performance this weekend.
Running in two classes (Pro Extreme, Extreme 10.5) for the first time in his ADRL career, Taylor hasnâ€™t finished the way he would have liked.
His qualifying numbers have been strong, but eliminations havenâ€™t yielded the performances that helped make Taylor a world champion in 2010.
â€œWeâ€™ve been struggling in the elimination rounds, but I think itâ€™s about to turn around,â€ Taylor said. â€œI wouldnâ€™t say weâ€™ve been struggling, but it hasnâ€™t been as good as weâ€™ve liked.
â€œBut itâ€™s about to get better.â€
Taylor has enjoyed the performance of his XTF car, as he advanced to the semifinals last month at the Spring Drags.
But that finish summed up Taylorâ€™s season, as he crossed the center line against a broken Billy Glidden, costing a chance for his first ADRL win in XTF.
In Pro Extreme, Taylor has been the No. 2 and No. 3 qualifier in the first two events, running in the high 3.60s to get there.
But he hasnâ€™t finished the job, losing in the second round at each event.
Taylor, though, has an inkling that could change this weekend in his first ever trip â€“ all 1,500 miles of it â€“ to Maple Grove Raceway.
â€œWeâ€™re really looking forward to this race, especially after the numbers we ran today,â€ Taylor said. â€œMaybe the stars are aligning for us. Having two cars in the top five in points is a pretty good feat so far, but we need to put them both in the winnerâ€™s circle.â€
Should that happen in the same event, Taylor would become the first driver to win in two classes at one event.
Itâ€™s been an arduous task to race in two classes, but Taylor insists it hasnâ€™t bogged him down too much.
â€œItâ€™s been a little rough sometimes when both are in the second round or whatever, but it hasnâ€™t been too terrible,â€ Taylor said. â€œIâ€™m hoping this weekend weâ€™ll be working a lot, and weâ€™ll have a lot of turnaround time.â€
As for performance, Taylor being Taylor means his talking big and has high goals, most notably in Pro Extreme.
The ADRLâ€™s quickest driver and holder of the ADRL world record at 3.596, Taylor predicts that record will fall during what is expected to be ideal conditions at a track known for its fast surface.
â€œMaybe the top four qualifiers will be in the 3.50s. If the air is good and the track is as good as they say, I could see it happening,â€ Taylor said.
â€œMaybe youâ€™ll even see a 3.55. It could happen, but (KH Al-Thani) could get in the .50s, and so could Joey (Martin). Iâ€™m planning on doing it, too.â€
(Photos by ADRL/Richards)