Texas Mile returns to Goliad
By Molly Meier
Oct. 19, 2010 at 5:19 a.m.
Updated Oct. 20, 2010 at 5:20 a.m.
During the Texas Revolution, members of the Texian Army displayed fearless dedication and bravery as they faced their opponent at the battle of Goliad. Their unwavering commitment to the preservation of freedom and sacred rights are keystones to today's Texas. Not far from that hallowed ground, motorsports enthusiasts from around the world gather twice a year to fearlessly battle it out on the pavement as they attempt to conquer The Texas Mile.
Tucked away among pastureland sprinkled with quarter horses and Texas bluebonnets lies the formidable high-speed shootout known as The Texas Mile. Located on the runway of the Goliad Industrial Airpark, a former U.S. Naval Air Station auxiliary landing field, The Texas Mile is becoming the destination of choice for performance street car, motorcycle, hot rod, and land speed racing enthusiasts. The biannual, three-day event attracts racing enthusiasts from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and abroad. Participants compete for best in class and high-speed land racing records. Motorsports enthusiasts will again be heading to Goliad on Oct. 22-24, to break new speed records and run flat out during the upcoming Texas Mile. The event provides jobs in the community and brings several thousand people to the Goliad area twice each year providing a boost to the local economy.
Offering up a full, one-mile straight track plus a half-mile shut down from a standing start, the 8,000-foot long concrete/asphalt runway is among the fastest and most challenging tracks in motorsports.
Since inception in 2003, The Texas Mile has grown rapidly in popularity and is followed widely by automotive and motorcycle circuits as well as national and local TV and press including; Speed TV - Super Cars Exposed, Hot Rod Magazine and Motor Trend Magazine.
The Texas Mile attracts racing enthusiasts from all walks from the guy (or gal) next door to high-end, performance motorsports professionals sporting some of the hottest exotic machinery around. Here, you'll see a whole lot of "wow" including Lamborghinis, Porsches, Vipers, Supras, Corvettes, VW's, BMW's, Ford Shelby GT's, Suzukis, Kawasakis, Harley Davidsons, Triumphs and more. To date, the fastest speed clocked in any vehicle recorded at the Texas Mile was 324 mph in 2008 in a jet car.
Drivers and riders bring their families and RVs, setting up camp on the opposite taxiway to watch the runs down The Mile. Some participants and spectators stay in motels, RV parks and quaint Texas bed and breakfasts in nearby Goliad, with overflow into Beeville, and Victoria. Visitors also take side trips to see the sights and absorb the rich history of Goliad County. Spectators love mingling and talking shop with drivers and riders as they work on vehicles between runs. On-site food vendors and porta-potties help make the Mile a comfortable home away from home. Every detail has been carefully thought out and designed to enhance "The Texas Mile" experience.
Select riders and drivers proudly sport the coveted 200+ mph club t-shirts sold exclusively to those who have officially clocked 200, 225 and 250+ mph. Shirts are available for those who also conquer the 130-190 mph brackets.
At the March 2010 Texas Mile, Tom Gates, from LaPorte, shot to the No. 1 spot on the "Standing Mile Over 200" list with an amazing run of 261.5 mph on a 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa. Richard Holt, from Giddings, laid down 250.1 mph in his Lamborghini Gallardo setting a new speed record in the "Street Car Unlimited with Power Adder" class.
In addition to the thrill of record-breaking speed, motorsports fans might see custom, high-performance platform cars put to the test. Marcel Horn, president of Canadian HPA Motorsports, and his team brought three, twin turbo, DSG (direct-shift gearbox) equipped VW's to the March event. HPA focuses on the Volkswagen and Audi platforms, reaming out maximum performance with precision engineering and customization while preserving integrity and street usability.
The German automaker, Volkswagen offers the Scirocco exclusively in Europe in a 4-cylinder turbo, front wheel drive model. HPA took possession of a 2010 European Scirocco and brought it to Canada for transformation. After 14 months of planning, with careful study of the Scirocco platform and endless hours of tuning, HPA unveiled North America's only 2010 Scirocco and the world's only V6 awd (all wheel drive) powered Scirocco platform. Utilizing the sleek, aerodynamic roofline and large cabin of the European model, HPA craftsman made it scream with the twin turbo, V6 awd customizations that tucked in at an impressive and consistent 170+ mph at the March races.
Bruce H. Poor, owner of the Decathlon Raven FT640 that was also driven by Marcel Horn said, "The Texas Mile is still a laid back event. It's uncomplicated but very professionally run. I like to say it hasn't been 'too found' yet. We love it."
Horn explained, "The Texas Mile presented itself as the perfect venue to evaluate performance hardware under the most extreme demand in a safe and legal format. Traveling 2,500+ miles from Vancouver, BC to Goliad, we can tell you that the event offers a perfect ROI."
Brenda Sue Carver lives for the Texas Mile events. Riding a 1993 Kawasaki 2X11 Ninja, which is also her every day street bike, the petite brunette motorcycle racer from Kilgore, Texas came away with a new personal best of 185.6 mph. Yes, race fans, that was on a bike.
Elmo Howe and Boo Dale from New Braunfels were newcomers to the March Texas Mile event. Driving an orange 1967 Ford Falcon, Howe said with a wink, "This car belonged to our grandmother. She used to take us down to the river in it. It's nothing but an ol' grocery gitter." Boo stirred things up when he laid down 153.8 mph in the grocery gitter, ran into a bit of trouble on the half-mile shut down and shot off the end of the runway into a big cloud of Texas dust. The emergency vehicle was dispatched with red lights flashing. Fearing the worst, Howe hitched a ride on the back of a golf cart that maxed out at a 10 mph with a tail wind - the slowest ride ever at the Texas Mile. When they finally arrived at the end of the runway, they found Dale sitting behind the wheel with a mile-wide smile on his face.
If you race for a living or a hobby, are involved in the performance motorsports business, love racing, or simply wonder how fast your ride will go, The Texas Mile is one event you won't want to miss. The next running of the Texas Mile is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Molly Meier is a freelance writer and photographer living in Houston.