The Texas Mile March 2012


I flew out to Houston, TX again to attend the TX Mile with my buddy Sam. What an event this is as always. I REALLY love TX, it just agrees with me for some reason, throw in all the awesome rides and cool people at the Mile event and it makes for a great weekend all around.


What made this particular TX MIle event even more special was my friend Karl Schello was bringing his highly modified SRT8 Challenger all the way from California to run it in the TX MIle event. Karl had come to several TX MIle events prior to help pit crew with me on Sam's ride, but this time he brought his own monster to pilot. Karl had previously set a 183.7 MPH record for a modern Challenger at the Mojave mile back in September of 2010, but that was on the stock motor. Sam captured the record from Karl back in October 2011 with a 186 MPH run with his Arrington built and Manguson blown Challenger. Karl was back with a goal of 200 MPH.


At initial testing, Karl hit a 198.1 MPH pass, so we were confident 200MPH was attainable. This was the first time the car had been run since being built by ST Motorsports in California. Adam, ST Motorsports owner and tuner, upped the power a bit and Karl made another pass, however there was an issue with the TCM (transmission control module) hitting a 5500 RPM rev limit in 5th gear. Sam made a few calls and we located a gent with a Mopar TCM that Adam could tune to a higher RPM limit. WIth that installed, and Sam's taller tires on Karl's car to help with the gearing, Karl hit his goal with a 200.9 MPH RUN! During this pass, at the very end of the day on Saturday, the wind had blown down the 1 MILE marker at the end of the air strip. Karl blew by the sign at 200.9 MPH and not knowing he'd hit the mile mark he stayed in the throttle full tilt. When Karl saw the black top where he was supposed to turn off to head back to the pit area he knew he'd gone too far. He was probably traveling at 210 MPH plus when he got on the binders in an attempt to slow the car down, but could see the end of the track fast approaching, along with the trees at the end of the run way. In a last ditch effort to slow the car, Karl bumped the automatic trans down in to 4th gear to let engine braking help slow the car. He managed to get the car down to about 150MPH and made the hard left hander to an emergency run off, but took out the engine's head gasket in the process, so Karl's race was run. He was safe and had his 200.9 MPH certificate so all was well. Karl even set off his Halon fire surpression system as the saftey crew told him his car was on fire! Seems the Evans coolant used in the one off engine was flamable and when the head gasket went, the coolant got in to the exhaust and was ignited throwing three foot flames out the exhaust! That 200.9 MPH pass makes Karl the world record holder for the modern Hemi in a standing mile event.


Sam started off on Friday with a blower only test pass which netted a tick over 181 MPH. However on that run his front air dam ripped off the car! While calling some local dealerships to try to locate a new front bumper cover and air dam, we decided to just use some good o'l field engineering and fixed it with duct tape and zip ties with the help from Adam and his crew from ST Motorsports. Really nice to see guys jump in together to help a fellow competitor get his car back up and running, even though it was built by a competing shop. Adam and his guys definitely earned my respect that day.



Sam ran his car with a 190 MPH goal. His test passes on Friday netted a 189.2 MPH run, so we were confident he'd hit 190 in the cool air on Saturday morning if we got there early. We showed up before sun rise to get the car ready and in the staging lanes. Sam made his pass and got a 193.8 MPH meeting his goal. We didn't plan to run Sam's car any more, once you meet your goals you tend to just let it be, but his wife Courtney and their two boys Zack and Dillan came out to see him and the boys wanted to see Dad hit 190MPH in person. On Sunday we got to the track late, got Sam's car ready, and he made a pass for the family and cracked off a 195.1 MPH pass!


All in all a great weekend, my buddy's both met their goals and we all went home safe. I can't wait to go back in October.






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