When I say “King of the Streets” I’m referring to the Texas Invitational event put on by the Texas Speed Syndicate every year at a no speed limit runway outside of Dallas, Texas. Here you will see the best of the best aftermarket tuners for high-end performance vehicles in a shootout to become “The King of the Streets”. I’m talking Lamborghini’s, Audi R8’s, GTR’s, all pushing in excess of 2,000whp and notice there’s a “w” which of course means horsepower to the wheels.
I should clarify these aren’t per say “drag cars” in comparison to say Big Chief and other Pro-Mod style drag cars that start from a dead stop, or “the dig” as often referred to. Those drag cars are designed to take off like that and hook up where these Lambo’s with 2200whp will just smoke the tires. Don’t get me wrong they can be tuned to run like that, but where cars like that really thrive is getting up into the high speeds.
The Texas Invitational (TI) is a rolling start event where they will get up to a predetermined speed of say 50-70 mph as they cross the starting line then they drop the hammer up to speeds well over 200mph. It’s similar to what you’ll see at most mile and half mile events, but like the TK216 event we’ve talked about before the TI is a shorter run. I wasn’t able to find the exact length of the course but It’s said to be anywhere from 1320-1500 feet that’s timed and top speed clocked.
While the overall top speed was important the event was laid out as bracket style tournament so you still had to beat the guy next to you in order to move on to the next round. There were qualifying runs to determine who raced who during the main event. This year’s winner was very long time gearhead Bob Helms behind the wheel of his Underground Racing X Version Twin Turbo Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera LP570 that put out somewhere over 2,000whp. Not only is this thing mind-blowingly fast, but it looks and sounds fantastic while doing so.
I have so much respect for this guy Bob Helms, I mean while I couldn’t find exactly how old he was its fairly safe to say he’s a seasoned veteran, to say the least. It’s inspirational in a way to see a man of his age out dominating the competition at the highest level of this particular niche market. Now you might say well it can’t be that hard because most of these cars have highly upgraded automatic transmission so all the driver has to do is stomp on the gas and off they go. Now ok maybe that’s true, but at the same time, those people may not realize just how violent the acceleration is on these cars.
The highest trap speed of the event when to a twin turbo Audi R8 that hit 220mph. So if you think about reaching that speed in that short of a distance it might start to make sense. Now most of the cars there in stock form would be lucky to hit 120mph in the same distance. Though while some of them may appear to be stock from the outside, you soon realize they couldn’t be further from it once you look a little deeper. The roll cages and five-point harnesses are usually the first indicators.
Underground Racing has been one of the most dominant companies at this event, and most other like it actually. This year their cars finished in the top 4 positions, and it was the 7th time that a UGR car had won the event and became King of the Street. They’ve almost perfected the twin turbo system when applied to a wide variety of engines, but I’d say their bread and butter is that V10 that powers the Huracan, Gallardo, and Audi R8. They put out a video of the event and they did a fantastic job of showing just how powerful these cars really are by using the in-car footage. You get to see how hard the drivers are thrown into their seats and their forearms tense up as they hold on for one hell of a ride.
So again we congratulate Mr. Bob Helms for becoming this year’s King and also wanna thank him for showing the rest of us that we can one day do the same thing. Because he won this year Helm he will be featured on the cover of Street Race Mag who also provided a lot of coverage of the event.
I did manage to track down the age of Mr. Bob Helms, and if you can believe it the man is 71 years young. Talk about some inspiration. Here’s a video released from 1320video showing more details from the event and an interview with Mr. Helms himself. Congratulations on a job well-done sir.