CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Start your engines during the weekend of March 24, The Texas Mile is back in Beeville for three days of high-speed action.
Drivers from all over the state and even farther away are at Chase Field Industrial and Airport Complex with a need for speed.
One mile one car or motorcycle at a time. That’s how long drivers have to hit their top speed to earn bragging rights.
“It’s just an incredible exhilarating thing and there’s a lot more skill to it than you think too,” Paul Liberato said, a driver for Riverwood Racing.
Liberato is back for his eighth year to do what he’s done each year—get faster.
“I was running this car behind me and I was running about 171, 172 miles an hour," he said. "Every Texas Mile I’ve increased my speed. The last Texas Mile I ran was 201.3 (mph). Today (Friday) I ran 203.5 (mph)."
That's what's driven drivers to return year after year.
“It's the challenge of being better than you were," said Jessica Evans, social media director for the Texas Mile. "Everyone wants to achieve their top speed and when they do that, they want more.”
You'll see all sorts of cars, street-legal and not street-legal, and motorcycles flying down the runway at Chase Field.
There are different classes for people to enter into. There are some regulations to participate
Liberato said he's licensed and has the safety precautions to go 214.9 mph if he can reach that speed.
"What we do at the Texas Mile is we have different segments in terms of speed, so. When we get past 215 (mph) then we have to have a whole different set of safety standards, and different roll bar, different suits," he said.
In its 20th year, the Texas Mile has become a popular spectator event.
Liberato said that’s because you never know what you're going to see. He said he's seen a car go 300 mph and a tax cab breaks a world record.
“I think she comes from Kansas I'm not sure," he said. "She drives a little Mini Cooper out here. So you can pretty much the old term 'run what you brought.'”
While the weekend is all about competition, both Liberato and Evans said it's a very family-friendly event. Spectators can walk around and interact with any of the drivers.
“They have an opportunity, they can come into our pits," said Liberato. "We call this the paddock area. They come into the paddock area, we’ll talk to them about our cars. People bring little kids and we’ll let them take a picture with our car.”
"It's like a car show in motion," said Evans. "You can see the cars up close and personal in the paddock space and then you get to see them go their top speed in one mile."
Friday is used as a sort of warm-up day for drivers to work out whatever kinks they may have. The real speed happens on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $25 for a weekend pass.
If you miss this weekend, the Texas Mile returns from Oct. 27 to the 29 to celebrate the 20th anniversary.
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