Texas Mile co-founder Shannon Matus believed moving back to Beeville was the best option for her organization.
In a matter of three days, she went from “believing” to “knowing” thanks to the community of Beeville.
The first Texas Mile back in Bee County since 2016, which was held Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1, went “really well” Matus said last week as she and her husband, Jay, worked on plans for the next event.
“Between having to move, between COVID, between several different challenges just getting it prepared, between short notice, I think it went really well,” Matus said.
“The reason I say that is because of the feedback from participants, the thank yous that we have received; the feedback from the fans there in the community that are thrilled to have us back.”
The event’s return to Bee County - dubbed the Comeback Celebration - featured a full field of more than 200 vehicles and drew thousands of spectators to Chase Field.
“On every particular area,” Matus said, “people’s reactions were that they were thrilled with us being there.”
The event had been held in Victoria since leaving Beeville in 2016, so coming back had a “feeling of home,” Matus said.
The community, Matus said, welcomed the event back with open arms and made sure she knew that by stopping her to tell her as much.
One fan, Matus said, went so far as flagging her down in her vehicle so he could express his gratitude for the event’s return.
“He said, ‘I’m from Beeville and I am so thankful y’all brought this back.’ ... And he said, ‘We came every year that y’all were here in Beeville and my son has been asking me when are we going to go to Victoria to see it,’” Matus said about the meeting.
“He said, ‘My son has grown up coming to your events ... and my daughter is now coming with me and we do this as a family event. Thank you so much for fighting hard to get it back here.’
“That was just someone coming directly up to me, and we had that several times.”
Renowned top-speed drivers Shane Stubbs and Van Collier, who both set world records at the last Texas Mile event in Victoria last October, provided the most memorable moments on the event’s new course on the mile-and-a-half-long Runway 13/31.
Collier, in the Air Tech of Houston/M2K Motorsports Shelby Ford Mustang GT500, established the course’s speed record at 243.5 mph on Day 1 of the event.
The next day, Stubbs, on the TredwayStubbs Racing/Stubbs Total Performance Suzuki Hayabusa 1300 motorcycle, broke that record with a pass that saw him reach 245.6 mph.
Collier wasn’t leaving Beeville without the record, though, reclaiming it on a pass that saw him hit 247.4 mph.
The event’s logo will be updated to reflect that record run, according to Matus.
And that update is already in the works as Matus and her staff set their sights on the next event, which is slated for March 2021.
“We’ve already turned our focus,” Matus said.
“We’re working on a private event that is going to take place sometime between now and March,” she continued. “We are reaching out to (people in the auto industry) about setting up a testing day.
“In addition to that, we’ve already got our eyes set on March of next year.”