Safe Alternatives to Street Racing
Vividly portrayed in movies such as The Fast and The Furious series and Biker Boyz, street racing is as engaging and addictive as it is dangerous. Although street racing was already in existence prior to the release of such movies, both The Fast and The Furious and Biker Boyz have given street racing a boost in terms of popularity. More car and motorcycle owners have ridden with the fad and have customized their cars with neoprene seat covers, gas-guzzling engines, and have added other accessories outside the standard custom seat covers and car floor mats.
Due to the nature of the race and its venues (occurring mostly on highways and city roads), street racing is deemed an illegal activity and banned in most states. It is difficult, however, to completely deter people from participating in this activity, especially if they have the need for speed and have high-powered sports cars with nitro tanks hidden underneath the car floor mats.
Indeed, despite the danger presented in street racing events, hundreds still flock and race through the city streets with cars that have race-themed neoprene seat covers and sporty exterior details. Some states, in an effort to regulate street racing, provided safe alternatives to street racing in coordination with several racing clubs. In Hawaii, where drifting is a popular racing event, car owners now race under the supervision of the appropriate agencies in a controlled and safe environment at the Aloha Stadium.
The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), an organization of street racers that have addressed the problem of street racing since the 1950s, promotes safe racing by promoting the Street Legal Program, a series of racing events in dry lakebeds and deserted runways. RaceLegal.com in San Diego holds events such as 1/8-mile drag races at the Qualcomm Stadium, the site of Padre and Charger games.
Several other racetracks that cater to amateur events include:The Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio;The Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Venango County;The GingerMan Raceway in Chicago.Depending on the body build, engine type, and the number of passengers a car can hold, there are a lot of categories amateur racers can compete in. Among the popular choice is drag racing. In the United States, there are five popular categories in drag racing:Top Fuel Dragster – the fastest class of dragsters compete at this level, where they can use up to 90% of their nitromethane fuelTop Fuel Funny CarPro Modified – modified cars that can run on superchargersPro Stock – cars racing in this category must maintain stock appearance and can run only on limited amount of fuelSports compactStreet racing organizations across the country have been working together with the government to promote safe street racing and at the same time educate young people about the hazards of actual racing in streets and city roads. Racers Against Street Racing (RASR) is mainly an outreach program with professional drag racers serving as representatives. With a list of nearly 300 racetracks and/or organizations that sponsor recreational sport compact racing, they strive to educate young people on the dangers of street racing while staging sanctioned, organized race contests.
Owners of sports and stock cars who have modified their ride with custom seat covers, 20-inch rimmed wheels, and powerful engines can now race without fear of getting arrested. Aligning with legitimate street racing groups is fast becoming an option for people who love to race. Many people view street racing as a rite of passage, so banning street racing completely and spreading word about its adverse effects may just fall on deaf ears. Providing street racers guidelines and safe venues where they can burn their tires have helped in encouraging responsible driving and hopefully take street racing off the streets.