Few weekend race events have grown quite as quickly as the Texas Mile, a twice-a-year run down a 1.5-mile airstrip in Beeville, Texas, that lets tuners push their creations to 200 mph and beyond. One of the stars of the past couple of years has been a fourth-generation Chevy Camaro, tuned by a Houston shop into a twin-turbo monster that hit 263 mph last October, claiming the mantle of America's fastest Camaro. This year, the team returned to the Mile last weekend with some 2,800 hp — and found that the engineering they'd put into safety features paid off when the car went off track, rolled several times and caught fire.
The Camaro, built by KP Racing in Houston, was powered by a 441-cu-in V-8, which the team overseen by Kelly Bise had cranked to about 2,800 hp. While last October's run of 263.2 mph went off without drama, two years ago the Camaro had gone sideways at the end of the runway after hitting 244 mph:
According to witnesses, driver Joe Huneycutt was halfway through the run when it veered off the runway. "The car must have done at least 8 barrel rolls before coming to a stop, then it caught on fire," KP Racing said in a Facebook post. "Pretty scary for those of us attending the event."
Fortunately, despite the car's destruction, Honeycutt suffered only a concussion and several cuts and bruises, and was released from the hospital shortly after the crash, a testament to the roll cage built by John Harrison of Specialty Metal Craft and HANS neck-protection device Honeycutt wore. All involved say the crash won't deter them from returning to the Mile in search of even faster speeds — and ample proof that safety devices can keep such fun from turning fatal.
Photos: KP Racing via Facebook