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Another Mile, another record set
by Gary Kent
Oct 30, 2013 | 39 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beeville resident Albert Garces stands beside his 2001 Pontiac Trans Am before making his first run in the Texas Mile Saturday afternoon. Family members and supporters sat behind him in an ATV. Garces hit a speed of 171.5 mph in that run.
Beeville resident Albert Garces stands beside his 2001 Pontiac Trans Am before making his first run in the Texas Mile Saturday afternoon. Family members and supporters sat behind him in an ATV. Garces hit a speed of 171.5 mph in that run.
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BEEVILLE – A Hennessy Ford GT broke its old Texas Mile record Sunday, streaking down the crosswind runway at Chase Field at an astonishing 278.2 miles per hour.

According to Jessica Reyna of J&S Motorsports, the car, owned by Mark Heidaker and driven by Patrick O’Gorman, shot right passed its previous record of 267 mph.

The same car has dominated the top speed at the mile this year, setting a record of 267 mph in March. Before that, the top speed at the mile was set in 2012 at 257.7 mph.

More good news this year came from Shannon Matus, who has been organizing the Mile for the past 10 years with her husband, Jay.

She crushed the rumor that the event would be moved to Houston next year.

“Beeville is home to the Mile,” Matus said Friday afternoon.

Even some of the drivers at the Texas Mile Saturday believed last weekend’s competition might have been the last one here.

Matus said she and her husband started the Mile at the former Navy landing field in Goliad, and it stayed there for seven years.

Matus said that even in those years, Beeville was like the headquarters of the event. She said home for her and Jay was the Best Western Motel during those years.

When the Navy decided to start using the Goliad runway for its touch-and-go practice runs three years ago, Jay and Shannon approached Joe B. Montez, executive director of the Bee Development Authority, and they entered into an agreement to bring the event to the crosswind runway at Chase Field.

Last weekend’s Mile marked the third year for the event to be held here and the 10th year of what has become one of the nation’s foremost speed competitions.

The event being organized in Houston is an entirely separate racing attraction and is not associated with the Texas Mile.

“We aren’t going anywhere,” Matus said.

Beeville car owner and driver Albert Garces enjoyed the support of his family as he prepared to make his first run this year in his 2001 Pontiac Trans Am.

Garces did not get on the track until Saturday afternoon, and he managed to cross the mile marker seconds later at 171.5 mph.

Garces has been one of the drivers running the mile since it came to Chase Field three years ago.

A southeast wind blew most of the day Saturday, but that apparently had little effect on the speeds of the trucks, cars and motorcycles running in the event.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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