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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Dos Lagos annual Father’s Day car show

After our Saturday morning hike on Skyline Trails my wife and I headed to Trader Joe’s and stumbled upon a parade of show cars arriving for the annual Dos Lagos Father’s Day car show.  I caught a glimpse of a few Boss Mustang 302’s driving thru the parking lot before catching and taking pictures of dem Dodge boys rollin in as they were setting up for the show that was to begin at 10.  

I came back a little later with my family just in time to catch the tail end of the show.  Arriving later was an effort to avoid as much of the Corona heat as possible, but the sun was relentless.  Whether driving down the streets or attending Cars n Coffee or the Dos Lagos show you can see that the Corona area loves their American Muscle so there is always a large presence on display.  Today was no different as you will see from the photos below.

Although we arrived towards the end of the show,  I was able to capture pictures of the remaining vehicles with my Galaxy Note 5.  I used my GoPro to catch some of the cars.  I will post that video after I do some edits, so for now enjoy the pics.  

A little Hellcat prowling around.

One of my favorites.  Glad I caught this one before the show because I didn’t see it when I came back for the actual show.  I found that not everyone stays for the entire show.  Maybe it was the heat.

A couple of Stangs just hanging out. 

I love the look, clean and simple. 

Airred out with what looks like a 22″ wheel, maybe even larger. 

The colors really popped on these two.

A ‘Showstopper’ indeed.  Really digging this Duster.

Luke, come to the Darkside.  This car won a trophy for his excecution of style.  A bit over the top for my taste, but a good-looking show car none-the-less. 

Yes, please!

Aside from the flame shaped tailpipes, this ’73 240Z had a nice look to it.

There were only a handful of imports that made an appearance – Mitsubishi EVO, Ferrari, R35 Nissan GTR, Porsche Cayman S and BMW M6 and you will see them in the video once posted.

All-in-all a nice little outing.  Black Panther approved.

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Photos and video courtesy Perks Garage.

Cars n Coffee…Saleen Edition

Ever since they made the announcement to close the Irvine Cars n Coffee last December there has been a void in my life.  I mean, it left a void in the lives of all car enthusiasts within a 500-mile radius.  On any given Saturday people and performance shops would travel from all over SoCal to congregate at Mazda and Ford’s joint corporate parking lot from 6 – 9A.M to show off their cars.  You could see anything from an from $2500 Mazda Miata’s to $1 Million dollar Bugatti’s.  It was also not uncommon for you to come across a manufacturer revealing a pre-production or concept vehicle that they were touring around the country.  Cars n Coffee allows the mass of enthusiasts, bloggers, editors and paparazzi a shot at the story or photo of the month.

About a month ago, my neighbor sent me a flyer announcing the rebirth of Cars n Coffee.  Not only was it coming back, but it would be making its new home right in my own backyard…Corona!  The cherry on top of this exciting announcement was that it would be hosted by none other than Saleen Supercars, aka SMS, a leader in American performance.  That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the ex-race car driver and supercar innovator himself, Steve Saleen, has opened his doors and provided us a new haven.  As I close my eyes and channel my inner Napoleon Dynamite, “YESSSS!!!

This past Saturday I woke up bright and early so that I could head over to the Saleen/SMS grounds.  I was anxious to experience Cars n Coffee at Saleen and see what the folks in Corona were offering.  September summer weather and early morning = top down cruising for me in the TT.  Usually when I go to Cars n Coffee, I park in the area designated for spectators, but on this day I was directed by the event organizer Craig to pull into the show car area.  What!?  Me?  Are you sure? I quickly looked over my shoulder to see if there was a Porsche or a Dodge Hellcat pulling in behind me.  Nope!  He had me and my little silver roadster pull in and park right up front.  As you can imagine I was flattered to be invited to be part of the event for a change.  He had me park next to the 2015 Ruby Red Mustang GT with Performance Pack seen in the photos below.  It’s a good thing I thought to wipe the brake dust off my wheels before I left the house.  That would have been embarrassing.

Driving onto the Saleen/SMS grounds gave me that same childhood chill reminiscent of pulling into the gates at Disneyland as a kid.  For those that don’t know, Steve Saleen is responsible for the incredible 750hp Saleen S7 and collaborating with Ford to create the Saleen Mustang. Steve and his Saleen/SMS brand are also known in the automotive world for creating crazy performance packages for Chevy, Dodge and have recently done some things with Tesla. Whuuuuuuuuut?! A Saleen version of the Tesla Model S!!! Having them located so close to me with a parking lot packed every Saturday with sports cars and meticulously maintained show cars ranging from the 1930’s to 2016 is for a car enthusiast, well…AMAZING! It didn’t hurt that there were 2 new Corvette Zo6’s posted at the entrance greeting people.  Someone brought out their tastefully customized 72 ~73 Datsun 240 ZX. There were lots of old school Fords, a streched Cadi and a Shelby Cobra. Saleen even brought out their 575hp SMS Black Label Dodge Challenger, oh my! Can you believe someone had the nerve…no, the audacity to park their Ferrai Testarossa next to me ;).

So after pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, I pulled out my camera and began taking photos.  It was a bit warm and humid, but there was enough eye-candy to distract me from the beads of sweat forming on my forehead.  A few of the cars even made me feel dirty for looking at them the way I did…I’m going to have to pray about that.  Lots of cars and cool people made for a great turnout.

One of the great thing about Cars n Coffee is how it unites the new and the old (not just talking about the cars) for a few hours to acknowledge and appreciate what it takes to build and customize a car.  We come together and check out the classics to the latest in cars and the trends that make them unique.  It’s always a good time hanging out with other enthusiasts talkin’ shop.

This was only the second week of hosting and it is clear that Saleen is looking to make itself a staple in Corona as a car enthusiast hub.  All visitors and cars are welcomed.  I am very excited to see how the Cars n Coffee…Saleen Edition grows as more people find out about it.  Can you possibly think of a better way to spend a couple hours on a Saturday morning?  Didn’t think so.  Well it looks like I now have to split my Saturdays between cars and hiking with my wife…sorry babe.

Great people and amazing cars…I will definitely be back, especially after they told me that they are having a Saleen event following Cars n Coffee on Sept 26th.  So get those Lambos waxed and detail those Porsches, and I’ll see you there.  Now onto the pics…

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Datsun 240

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Nice pine work.

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Testarossa luv




The white on the 2015 Mustang is…Mmm Mmm Mmmmmm!




A little Miata love.  Thanks for representing.


Chevy Vega


This belongs to a guy  that I chatted with named Chris.  Nice looking Super Bee.  I love the Business look of the Charger SRT8.

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There was something about this Stang that just spoke to me.


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Yes it is for sale…

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I like this Carroll Shelby shirt.

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That’s All Folks!

Welcome to the Darkside!

Well, Saturday my friend Corey calls me up and starts firing off questions…”Where are you?  What are you doing right now?  When is the next time you will be on this side of town?”  I tell him “Whoa, slow it down there partner.  Whats going on? ”  Then he tells me that he bought It!  He made the purchase that changes the fabric of our automotive lives.

Now I know that there are those out there are saying, “Whats the big deal?  Your friend bought a car.”  Well I say…back away from the computer and get back to your competitive couponing!  You’re probably wondering what so special about this car purchase?  You see,  I have know Corey for a good 20+ years and we have been import owners and car enthusiasts from birth.  Between the two of us we have owned and modded/customized over 20 cars (with the exception of the $500 CRX that I bought with a post dated check that ended up getting impounded for not having current tags).  We have gone from Honda Civic’s, that impounded CRX, Accord, S-2000, 2 Acura Integra’s, a TL, a Datsun 510, 2 Mitsubishi Evo’s, a Miata, VW Rabbit and the list goes on.  All special to us in their own right.  But, for my friends and I – this purchase… this right here…this is a game changer!

So on this day Corey calls telling me that he just picked up a 2015 black on black 5.0 Mustang GT with the Track Package.  A 435-hp All-American V8 with a lowered tuned suspension sitting on 19’s with 2 Recaro seats that keep you nestled quite nicely for some high speed Hooniganism. For comparison, the Evo that he gave up for this Muscle Car actually put 350-hp to the wheels, which is roughly about 395-ish horsepower from a engine half the size of the Mustang, but turbocharged.  Now those of you that are unfamiliar with what all these numbers mean, the average car driving down the road puts around with 200-hp and everyone driving them thinks that they are Mario Jeff Andretti Gordon.  Take a look at all those guys in their Honda Civic Si’s or Scion FR-S or even that BMW 328 flying down the freeway thinking that he is doing the most.  Each one of the aforementioned cars is putting out almost twice the power of those cars and wouldn’t break a sweat while tearing that Civic or BMW a new one.

Taking advantage of the Labor Day weekend, my wife and I headed to my buddy’s side of town to sample what this FORD had to offer.  And to find out why he switched over to…The Darkside!


We met up in the Best Buy parking lot over in the LBC to take a few snaps before seeing what makes this new Mustang, so special.


My initial impression was, WOW!  This thing is…WOW!!!  The lines, the wheels, the lowered stance, to the sloping rear window.  The proportions and styling with the Track Package all contribute to the aggressive look which is further backed up when the angry V8 is brought to life with a push of the Start/Stop button.

We saw what I like to call Darth Vader sitting in the parking lot so I had him pull up next to it.  It’s another American Beauty…The Chevy Camaro ZL1!  Here are a few from when the GT met the ZL1.  Easy fellas…


As you may be able to tell from the photos, the ZL1 is more beast mode than the GT, but at a $70k sticker and 100-hp more, it should be.

After the quick cell phone paparazzi session, we folded my 6’3″ son in the rear seat and strapped myself in the passenger seat of the Mustang.  A few toggles of the performance settings, a blip of the throttle and we were off.

Man, the sound of that V8 is intoxicating.  When he let off the clutch and mashed down on the go-fast pedal, I was thrust back into the Recaro with a Joker-esque smile was plastered across my face.  Being a passenger when my friend drives is a thrill ride in itself, and the all new Mustang is like the new Twisted Colossus at Six Flags.  It has that nostalgic American heritage, but it is draped in enough modern gadgetry to wow you.  The ride was surprisingly smooth and compliant for a sports car with 19 inch wheels and summer tires.  With 435-hp, there was plenty of power on tap in any gear.  Cruising in 4th gear, you simply drop the hammer and everything in the rear-view gets really tiny, really fast.  There is no need to downshift to try and muster up torque like you would need to do in lesser powered cars.

The good things about being friends for so long is being trusted…trusted enough to drive his brand new car and not be afraid that I would tear it up.  I mean we used to take turns co-piloting for each other while we raced all over the So-Cal freeways like we were a pro-rally team, so I guess that evokes some confidence in each other.  Besides he rode my GSX-R from the dealership the day I bought it (8 years ago), so taking hold of his almost $40k Stang should be an even trade 🙂

I had my wife go for a ride in the black beauty.  Obviously a ploy on my part to get her new car endorphins kicking in, hehehe!  They were gone for a good while racing through the local industrial area under the night sky’s cloak of darkness.  When I finally caught up with them and she exited the car, I could see her smiling from a mile away.  She was impressed but then I got really sad because I heard her muttering to Corey how she has already banned me from buying cars…for the next 5 years!  WHUUUUT!?

It was finally my turn to tame this steed, so I buckled into the drivers side Recaro and started to measured myself to the steering wheel and pedals.  My hand gripped the shift knob, depressed the clutch and we were off.  I took it easy at first because I didn’t to pull a rookie move and stall it.  Once we started rolling, I gave the accelerator a good squeeze and threw Corey back in his own passenger seat.  “Second! Second!”  I hear him as I shift and another rush of power came over us as the speedo and tach needles raced higher and higher.  The shifts were smooth and the throws were short.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see him smiling as we come upon a red light.  I really wanted to do a burnout, but I’ll leave the tire shredding to the owner of this wild pony car.  He told me to take it on the freeway to get a feel for it.  The freeway on-ramp never knew what hit it.  This car is like a rocket!  We blasted onto the freeway and I dipped into traffic and did my thing.  Lane change, smash the gas and exit after exit flew by.  We were moving!  This was very reminiscent of our old freeway romps when we were younger.  This car is a blast to drive!  It is very sure-footed for a muscle car with such a robust engine.  Braking with the Brembo calipers is enough to pop an eye out of the socket.  What amazed me the most is that the car handles so well, unlike the 2011 Camaro SS I drove at a Chevy event.  Can you say nose heavy?

Well this is a lot of words and I definitely could go on and on so I will wind it down.  I do want to commend Ford for creating the best-looking, and best handling Mustang ever!!!  The fit and finish on the interior was very nice.  From the soft touch dash, the center stack layout, all of the chrome accents, its a place you wouldn’t get tired of sitting in.  Quality, style and performance, this Stang is worth every penny.  All that’s left to say is…the Darkside never looked so tempting!

The 2015 Ford Mustang GT is the new American Revolution.  God Bless America!0906151925a




Pictures of the just shy of 400-hp Evo and the owner (Corey) taking a nap.

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