Mid-States Conference, Formula Continental
Tex Arnold, of Parker, Colo., secured his 2013 Mid-States Conference Formula Continental Championship by a narrow, one-point margin. The 80-year-old driver enjoyed his championship winning experience so much, it just may be worth delaying retirement for.
“I began 2013 thinking this could well be my last year of competition driving: it was time to hang up the helmet and Nomex,” Arnold said. “The season should be no better than recent ones: just go out and have a lot of fun. The Majors Championship is certainly a totally unanticipated bonus! Honestly, I never thought much about it. It kinda just fell in my lap!”
In the four races in which he took the green flag, he finished third in back-to-back races at Pikes Peak International Raceway and scored his lone win at High Plains Raceway to clinch the title. Arnold drove his old faithful No. 80 Van Diemen RF05 for most of the season, but became re-energized at High Plains.
“My race car and I both are getting a bit old and slow,” Arnold said. “I wondered what would happen if I took to the track in a much newer, competitive race car. For the Majors at High Plains Raceway I rented a car that was really quick in the hands of its owner. To my delight, as soon as I was comfortable in the car, I was turning laps more than two seconds quicker than I had ever done in my car!”
It was quite the season for the veteran, who was unexpectedly honored with an induction into the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame at midseason, and got to celebrate his 80th birthday just a few months later.
Racing seems to either keep its participants young, or help them age quickly – and in Arnold’s case, it’s clearly the latter. Though his first competition license came in 1962, a big SCCA announcement this summer caught his attention.
“When SCCA announced the location of the next three Runoffs, I quickly noted the 2015 date at Daytona,” the racer said. “I raced a G Modified Elva Mk 7 at the American Road Race of Champions at Daytona in 1965. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if I delayed hanging up the helmet and Nomex and took a shot at making Daytona in 2015!”