As one of NHRA’s most successful Sportsman racers, Justin Lamb has seen the inside of the winner’s circle a time or two – 59 times, actually, between national and divisional victories – and as the lifelong drag racer extends a habit of winning, he’s also finding satisfaction between celebrations.
“This is racing – we go to win, and we’ve been fortunate to do that a few times this year,” said five-time Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series champion Lamb, who claimed seven trophies this season in various series and events.
“But I’m also seeing that being involved in drag racing at any level is a lot of fun. I enjoy the trouble-shooting aspect, and we’ve had plenty of opportunity to focus on that this past year as we faced some challenges. I also had a lot of fun bracket racing and Jr. drag racing with my son, Jayce, and that’s something I’m excited about continuing in the new year.”
Ahead of the 2022 season of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Lamb’s winter warm-up consisted of driving his Chevrolet Camaro roadster to the Super Pro title at the first race of the 2022 ET Bracket Series at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The following month, he earned the trophy in the PMR Stock/Super Stock race at Muscle Cars at the Strip driving the 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt with which he won each of his three Super Stock world championships. The car had been in retirement for a year, but Lamb brought it out early in 2022 to knock the dust off before racing it at the K&N Spring Fling Million bracket race at LVMS. Immediately, he knew he had fire in his hands. Not only did the Cobalt get the win at the Muscle Cars at the Strip event, Lamb also went on to win the Pro category at the Spring Fling to enter the Super Pro field at nine cars.
“When a car sits for that long, you never know what you’re in for,” he said. “But right away, I was pretty happy. I have made so many runs with the Cobalt that it’s just second nature to race it. We’ve had a lot of fun, but I’m looking forward to getting back in Larry and Carol Stone’s Super Stock COPO to test before next season. We’ve made some pretty significant changes to that car, and we’re eager to seeing them pay off.”
With the proven and continued success of the SilverState Plumbing-branded Cobalt to start they year, the Justin Lamb Racing (JLR) team elected to run the Cobalt in NHRA competition as they were diagnosing and addressing an electrical gremlin in the Super Stock COPO. That decision gave the mean little Chevy steam, and Lamb went on to win the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas.
That particular victory at The Strip kept Lamb in an impressive position as the Sportsman driver who has gone the most consecutive seasons with at least one national event win. Fellow Las Vegas Four-Wide victor Ron Capps, with 14 consecutive winning seasons, holds the record overall in NHRA.
Although the Cobalt had been handily taking care of business on the drag strip, Lamb recognized the yet-to-be tapped potential of the Super Stock COPO, and the car joined its aesthetic twin, the RAD Torque Systems Stock COPO, for a journey to the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals at historic Indianapolis Raceway Park. There at Indy, Lamb earned coveted class trophies in both Super Stock and Stock Eliminator for the first time in his career.
Not long after, son Jayce hoisted his first trophy with victory in his Jr. dragster Race of Champions competition at the Division 7 ET Finals.
The victorious theme continued as the JLR team moved the Cobalt back into rotation while beginning an assertive plan to eliminate the gremlins that had been plaguing the Super Stock COPO. Again, the ‘Cobalt That Could’ came out charging, and Lamb won Super Pro in the local bracket series, reached the semifinals at the NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip, and closed out the year with a win at the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series closer in Las Vegas.
“It was a good season,” said the driver who finished the year No. 2 in the Super Stock NHRA Pacific Division standings. “It took an unusual turn, but there were actually a lot of positive things to come out of it. The trusty Cobalt showed us it still knows what to do, and I’m excited to get back behind the wheel of the Super Stocker now that we think we’ve got it on the right path. That car hasn’t begun to show its potential.”
Lamb is grateful for the continued support of sponsors Silver State Plumbing, RAD Torque Systems, Redback Boots, Goodyear Racing Tires, LIQUI-MOLY, Moser Engineering, Palmer Electric, Stone Chevrolet, Matco Tools, Madcap Racing Engines, and A-1 Performance Trans and Converters.