The small town of Caddo Mills, TX is home to 335 families and roughly 2000 people yet it hosted more horsepower in one weekend than most racetrack events all year.
The 1500hp Late Model Racecraft Corvette Z06 driven by Joel Gusman would win the Vette class and title of King of the Street
The 1500hp Late Model Racecraft Corvette Z06 driven by Joel Gusman would win the Vette cla
The small town is unlike most because these folks have a secret passion for speed. In the early 1950s, the NHRA called the Caddo Mills airstrip home and crowned it the first NHRA-sanctioned drag strip. Today it's known as the world's oldest strip, even though sanctioned racing hasn't occurred for quite some time.
It seemed fitting, therefore, that decades later the same strip would host the fastest cars in the nation to prove street cars can still obliterate world records.
Amar Sood, founder of Speed Syndicate, is part of the brains behind the Texas Invitational that noticed people needed a venue to put their project car smack-talk to rest. As many of us know, forum trolls and haters hatch in large batches from an ancient reptilian genome; so when you get the opportunity to silence one you take your best shot.
The airstrip seemed like the logical choice for 800hp+ cars to duke it out. And since the town of Speed, er... Caddo Mills... loves crackling V8s and the whine of turbos, they happily opened the gates to the event.
During the two-day festival there were several activities for racers. Saturday's test and tune session was followed by grudge matches organized through the TSS forum and settled on the racetrack. These were purely for bragging rights and, since everything was officially timed via a speed trap, you could return home with something to hang on your wall, or another reason to blow more money in performance parts for the rematch.
Fans lined the runway just as they did 60 years ago
One of several Lamborghinis entered by Underground Racing, but even these twin-turbo monsters struggled in this high-octane gathering
One of several Lamborghinis entered by Underground Racing, but even these twin-turbo monst
Winner of the Six-Speed Challenge was Stacey Barnett's 996 Porsche GT2
Sunday was the main event. A brief rain delay cast doubt on anything taking place but eventually it got underway as the Texan skies gave way to bright sunshine.
The event classes consisted of the Six-Speed Challenge (aka Men's Class), Corvette Challenge and King of the Street.
The Corvette Challenge was won by Late Model Racecraft in its 1500hp Z06 that clocked 189.39mph. The team also took home King of the Street title, leaving the T1 Racing Development Nissan GT-R in its wake by sunset.
A peek under the hood of the 1000hp evoms Porsche GT2. And yes, that is a parachute on the back
A peek under the hood of the 1000hp evoms Porsche GT2. And yes, that is a parachute on the
Events like this aren't meant for the general public so TSS endeavored to ensure the Texas Invitational was an intimate affair for the 70 cars that showed up and the 300 people who filled the pits and lined the airstrip to witness speed at its finest.
Several European cars attended to test the power and might of American V8s. One of which took home top honors in the Six-Speed Challenge. This class put manual-gearbox cars head-to-head for the one-mile sprint.
Regarded as the toughest class because power ranged from 800-1000hp, it came down to traction, and the driver who got everything right in the end. The trophy went to the 1000hp 996 Porsche 911 GT2 from Evolution Motorsports, driven and owned by Stacey Barnett. He claimed victory against some fierce competition.
Underground Racing also entered several machines, but tuners like T1 Racing Development, Late Model Racecraft and evoms made the twin-turbo specialists fight for every match.
"The playing field has started to level, and while some cars were pushing past 1500hp, it was the 800-1000hp class that saw most of the new cars this year. In fact, it was the Porsches that surprised most people at the event," Amar told us.
For the 2013 season, the organizers have announced the arrival of the Spring Texas Invitational to be held in April. So if you'd like to try breaking the 200mph mark, register at texasspeedsyndicate.com