The Texas Mile…Journey to 200MPH

What a weekend! If you are a fan of insane speeds…adrenaline filled…heart-pounding…high horsepower…car and motorcycle racing, keep reading. But if you are just meh about it, well…keep reading anyway.

Now we all remember the scene from Fast and Furious “You owe me a 10-sec car!” That scene added to the already iconic status of the MK4 Toyota Supra and its glorious turbocharged 2JZ motor. To this day the pure mention of either has all the JDM fanboys and fangirls swooning. And the sight of a Supra always breaks necks.

In 2017 I got a call from my cousin Antrel in Texas. He usually text, so you know this must have been important. He called to tell me a friend of his just wrecked a MK4 Supra. The guy wasn’t hurt, only his pride. As luck may have it, the car was not covered for collision and the repairs were more than his friend could handle. He made the decision to sell the car and reached out to Antrel…SCORE! After telling me this story my cousin sent me a few photos and wanted to know if he should buy it. Before he could even utter the price the guy was asking, I shouted “Buy it! Why are you calling and asking me dumb questions? Buy the damn car now!”

The car was purchased and after examining the damages he immediately jumped into doing the repairs. The car wasn’t stuck as there were some modifications done by the previous owner. Running down the list of parts and the kind of power it was making prior to the accident, the Supra was a powerful, yet streetable car. But now in Antrel’s hands, this car was going to be a beast. This JDM legend was now in the hands of someone very familiar with building and racing award winning motorcycles. With the a major runway race already in his radar, the journey to 200mph began.

Fast forward to Oct 2019 and I find myself on a flight from Cali to Texas to witness my cousin race his freshly built Supra in what is known as The Texas Mile. A one mile balls-to-the-wall race down an airport runway with the goal of hitting your top MPH. Victoria Airport is the location for this twice a year event that brings out the best of the best in search of their maximum speed. For 3 days there are ametuers, seasoned vets, performance shops and full blown race teams out there chasing trap speeds at the half and full mile marks. Impressive is an understatement. I witnessed the fastest land speeds I’d ever seen this weekend by both a car and bike being piloted in excess of 240mph.

With trailers in tow, Antrel and his brother (Derrick) brought both of their JDM cars to the final Texas Mile race of the year. The MK4 Supra, now pushing over 1000whp and a home built turbo Z31 Nissan 300ZX capable of over 300whp. The Z was built and tuned solely by Derrick, who by the way is not a mechanic by trade. He cut his teeth learning how to build and tune his car from the ground up and completed the build just in time for the event. Their passion stems from their father Derrick Pride Sr. who had built many race cars before his untimely passing a few years ago. As you can see the apples didn’t fall from the tree. Pride Motor Sports (PMS) was created some years ago to encompass all of the motor-sports activities of both brothers and that of their late father. This was to be their first team showing.

Now the Texas Mile is an extremely well organized event and is the place to be for anyone that loves the rumble of a big ole American V8 and high speed driving. With one car at a time making runs down the runway, it is just man/woman and machine. No time clocks or staging trees to focus on…just you, the accelerator and a license to run your vehicle as fast as it can possibly go within a mile. Seeing the vehicles speeding by is like watching planes take off. An illusion enhanced by the audible sound coming from some of the cars that sounded light fighter jets.

Mopar seemed to be the theme at this event…not officially, but there was a good showing of Hemi powered cars. Hellcats-a-plenty, but as the weekend went on, Mustang GT350s and Camaro ZL1s emerged to give the Dodge Brothers some competition. But standing out from the crowd were the Supra and the Z. First by being imports, but the nostalgia factor was heavy. While collecting many looks, the 2 cars evoked emotion and many conversations. There were numerous people that either had a Z, or Supra in their younger years or the typical Supra fandom took over. “I used to have a Z and regret selling mine.” came out of a lot of mouths. “Look a Supra!” “Whats your top speed?” “How much power are you making?” “What did you do to the motor?” “What turbo are you running?” were the common questions being asked and seeing Antrel and Derrick light up to talk about their cars is a memory that won’t be forgotten. They worked hard to get here and this was Derrick’s first event…ever. This was to be the fastest he’s ever driven and to be competing on this stage for his first ever race was intimidating in the hours leading up to his first run.

This event was special for a number of reasons. Derrick’s first race…the PMS brothers racing together for the first time…and both of them hitting the highest mph in a car they’ve ever done. Both cars performed very well and it was really cool watching Derrick tweaking his tune after each run. I am still amazed that he taught himself how to do this in preparation for this race. Added to the fact that the car ran without issue is a testament that this is God’s gift to him from his dad. What they don’t know is that I saw when Derrick pulled out one of their dad’s old helmets to show to Antrel…a symbol that he was with them. Such a surreal moment.

Now I don’t have a car to race, but I was there with cameras in hand ready to capture the Pride brothers make their mark in this sport. I am getting excited all over again just writing this. Antrel came into this latest event with a 195mph license from his March qualifying run. Derrick was there to earn his stripes and make his first licensing runs.

There are guidelines to racing in this event. One being that each driver needs to level up through 3 license brackets…165, 200, and up. So this means that no one can just come out the gate swinging 200 on their first ever run. You would be escorted off the grounds immediately. Your first license run has to be under 165 and second is under 200. Once a driver ticks 200 they fall into that elite 200mph club and its balls to the wall from there on out. An elusive speed that even after years and thousands of dollars people are still striving to reach.

Over the 3 days of racing, the goal for PMS was to find out what the Z was capable of running and try to hit the 200mph mark in the Supra. With the amount of cars running there was a lot of down time so this gave us a chance to hang out, talk cars, and reminisce. We checked out cars, came up with strategizes, and reflected on how we got so deep into cars. Antrel and I blamed my sister for getting us behind the wheel at an early age. I think I was around 12 or 13, but that’s another story.

After unloading the trailers and setting up camp Friday morning, the Pride brothers made a couple of runs.  Both cars looked and sounded very solid. Antrel put down a 186 and Derrick tripped the mile with a 111. The Friday runs were used to dial in the cars and get comfortable with the track. Both cars were run in low boost and with the rev limiters (accidentally) turned engaged. This was fine because they were just testing things out, plus no one wants to blow up their car on the first day. After a couple of runs and some minor adjustments we shut it down and planned to go all out on Saturday.

That night the 3 of us discussed their runs and how the cars felt and what to expect for Saturday. Here are the plans we came up with…

Derrick plan: Step 1: Warm the car. Step 2: Turn up the boost. Step 3: Turn off anything that would prevent the car from reaching peak power. Step 4: Push the Z as hard as he could.  And he did, he was able to hit 130 but realized more tuning is needed to extract the cars full potential.

Trel’s plan (very similar and went something like this): Step 1: Warm the car. Step 2: Turn up the boost. Step 3: Turn off anything that would prevent the car from reaching peak power. Step 4: Roll thru the 1st and 2nd gear and then open it up in 3rd. At 9:09am Saturday October 19, 2019 on Antrel’s first run of the day, he crossed the mile marker at a blistering 205mph! Holy —-! He did it! I cheered so loud I couldn’t hear the other spectators clapping. I rushed over with his son (Aaron) to meet him after the incredible run. The 2 years of building and tuning paid off. He was now in the prestigious 200mph club. Amazing! So glad I was there to share in and capture this moment.

The definite highlight was spending time with family and watching these 2 brothers encourage, strategize, and congratulate each other over a race their father would be proud to have witnessed. Aside from being with family, meeting and talking with so many people…correction…enthusiast was definitely a highlight of the weekend. People of diverse social and economic backgrounds congratulating each other on their runs, or just admiring someones build put a huge smile on my face. This is definitely the type of community I could get used to being around.

This weekend I was beyond blessed to share in this epic accomplishment with my life long friend, someone that I’m happy to call family…my cousin Antrel Pride. I am proud of what you and Derrick have both accomplished and I am looking forward to what the upcoming years will look like for Pride Motor Sports. Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey.

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IG picture update

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted and I really miss sharing with all of you. Over the last couple of months I’ve been working on a partnership with The Automobile Club of Southern California. My goal is to help promote the local car scene by providing photos for their IG social media platform. I’m happy to report that a couple of my photos have made it onto their page.

Take a look below and please give the pic a like. The more likes, the more opportunities @perksgarageblog will be given to share and reach a larger audience. Thank you in advance.

Here is the link to the latest pic that was posted today: https://www.instagram.com/p/BzavNHujuxc/?igshid=1tne7s5vdzpgm

Here is a link to the first pic they used: https://www.instagram.com/p/ByiRnjXjAQm/?igshid=c0yemwh8llac

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Tesla just Sent It!

“Full Self-Driving” video just released from Tesla. I personally would be extremely nervous with the merging and pulling out into traffic aspects. Especially given the way road repairs and freeway construction are suspect at best these days. Some of these on ramps just spit you out into traffic without any run-off to build up speed and merge properly.

Watching this I see that they are one step closer to…I was going to say stealing the joy from those of us you like to drive and control a vehicle, but I won’t. I do think some people need not get behind the wheel, so this will help and settle my nerves when I see some distracted driver barrelling down the road straddling lanes. So with that said, hats off to Tesla for their innovation and strides at automotive autonomy. Now please make this technology affordable to the masses and soon.

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The classic BMW E30 Re-imagined

Hi everyone and happy Friday. I was scrolling thru YouTube and came across this video of an amazing rendering of the classic E30 BMW. All I can say is WOW! This needs to become a reality. This guy has some real talent and #BMW needs to build this…ASAP!

Video courtesy of YouTube

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Hooking up Blue Steel with a late Christmas gift

It’s been a minute since I’ve written a little something, not sure why…maybe just being lazy. But today I have some updates for the Focus ST a.k.a. Blue Steel. Bought and installed a little something and did some exterior touch up/ enhancements. Back in December, after much research and debate, I ordered a set of Mountune lowering springs. The springs are supposedly designed to work great with the ST’s factory struts without being too low and ruining the struts prematurely. Dropping the ride height up to 1 inch up front and 1.4 out rear. Those numbers help to eliminate the unnecessary and unsightly wheel gap that the factory springs provide. The Mountune springs lower the cars center of gravity, tighten up the turn in, while sharpening the car’s already impressive handling. What’s in the box? I was excited to finally get notification that they shipped after almost 2 months of waiting. Funny thing is a cancelled the order when I found out they were backordered but after looking around and reading reviews I reordered them. Figured I wouldn’t have the time to install them until February anyway so the wait wouldn’t kill me. You know for me it’s like Christmas when car parts arrive at the house, but unlike my younger years I’m a little more apprehensive on doing installs. Just thinking about breaking something or just the soreness that comes from a day of labor under a car. Although I didn’t run into the garage to install them the same day they arrived, I have a friend who was pretty eager to get his hands dirty and help take the job. It was a rainy weekend and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave to even leave the house or even be in a garage, but I’m glad I did. My buddy Rahman helped me get the job done. The only hiccupa we had was not loosening the sway bar for the rear springs first. Would’ve made the job much easier and saved some time. Probably not necessary, but it did help. And not spreading the front knuckle wide enough. Being too gentle when it wasn’t necessary. That made for a workout. These tips I carry with me in the event another spring install comes my way.
Front strut removed
All in all it’s a simple install, but we took our time. Didn’t need any extra nuts and bolts after we were done. Plus it gave us some needed male bonding. Here is a pic from right after the install. I’ll get together with Rahman once we get some consecutive dry days to take some pics and compare my Mountune springs to his Ford Performance springs. From the little driving I’ve done, I’ve noticed a difference but I also want to hit some twisties soon. That’ll give me a chance to push the car and really test out the springs. And here is after a week of settling and a much needed wash. Looking pretty good. Along with lowering the car I also tinted the rear lower reflectors. Bought some inexpensive self adhering film from Amazon. Made a template. And wala! Just need to red out my 3rd brake light to finish off the look of the rear. Lastly I desperately needed to replace the crappy factory lug nuts. Mine were swelling making it difficult to use a standard tool to remove them. Apparently there is pending lawsuit about this as people have been unable to change there tire and have gotten stranded. Here are the new ones. I didn’t think that I wanted black but they do look good. Notice the swelling on the stock ones. Shame… Shame… Shame That about does it for this post. I will definitely follow up with a review of the springs and how the new lugs are holding up. Thanks for reading. Remember to like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our Perks Garage YouTube Channel and now on Instagram @perksgarageblog

Audi E Tron GT reveal

This is from when I was invited down to the L.A. Auto Show during media week. I was able to capture the reveal of the soon to be released Audi E Tron GT.

Audi previewed the car during a Superbowl ad over the weekend and the internet had already been buzzing with renderings. Audi’s first all electric sportscar that will make is debut in the upcoming Avengers 4: Endgame movie this summer. I can’t wait!!!

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