At the Texas Mile, the Corvette—which would normally turn heads as its engine rumbles a slow methodical growl—is more commonplace than a white Ford truck on a county farm road.
This past Saturday, an estimated 1,600 people came to watch as Porsches, Ford GTs and at least one Lamborghini took to the track at Chase Field to run the Texas Mile.
Had it not rained on Sunday, this likely would have been their biggest crowd yet.
This is the 11th year drivers, young and old, have raced the Mile. Some have more experience than others.
Jessica Reyna has been an employee working with the Mile since 2007. She was only 18 then.
She was hired by event coordinator Shannon Matus and is now chief of registration and event administrator.
But she had never run the track.
That was until this past Saturday evening when she climbed behind the wheel of her boyfriend’s 2010 Camaro SS and pulled on a pair of driving gloves and slid on a black helmet.
This muscle car had a cool air intake, custom cam installed at BRM Motorsports, Pfadt long tube headers and was custom tuned by Sam Miller at Advanced Modern Performance.
Translation — this car would likely fly if it just had wings.
“I was really nervous,” she said.
Her boyfriend, Mark Evans, had reached 166.9 mph earlier in the car. He also works for Matus and her husband as the logistics coordinator and vehicle tech inspector.
“So I was also thinking about the potential of me beating him,” she said.
She had her instructions. She was ready to ride.
She pulled onto the track.
Her grip tightened on the steering wheel.
Her right foot rested just above the gas pedal.
She got the wave — she was clear to go.
“I was pretty much trying to concentrate on shifting,” she said. “Once I got into fourth gear, I didn’t have to shift anymore.”
Don’t be fooled. There is no time to relax.
“I was at 129 mph at the half-mile mark,” she said.
Her foot pressed harder on gas.
The speedometer climbed higher.
Any markers along her path would have blurred together.
“The only thing I saw was the big mile marker sign and the lights to tell you it is time to slow down,” she said.
The digital clock marked her speed at 162 mph.
“I now understand what the hype is about,” she said. “I can’t wait to do it again.”
Now it’s back to the slow lane in her Jeep Wrangler.
Well, that is until October when the Mile returns to Beeville.
“I am hoping for 170 mph next time.”