Street Racing: on the Inside

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  • Published : October 19, 2002
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For 19-year-old Jeff, weekends begin on a long strip of highway near Atlanta. rather than browsing the mall or going to the movies like others his age. Jeff joins a group of his comrades and spectators to witness a spectacular show of speed. As we pulled up to the meeting spot he looks over at me and says, "Welcome to the world of illegal street racing." "We have a cruising area where all the cars go and just chill. If someone wants to race," says Jeff, "they just ask...most of our races are with people you know pretty well...we don't have the major race nights like they have in other areas." The other areas Jeff refers to are about as common as can be and can probably be found on a straightaway near you. "Motorsports has made incredible progress as a legitimate sporting event in the last decade," says Editorial Director of NHRA Publications Phil Burgess. "Corporate America has taken a keen interest in motorsports, which has led to the proliferation of not just racing teams, but racing venues, where racers and fans can go to enjoy the fast-paced excitement that the varied forms of racing have to offer. Many sanctioning bodies offer grassroots-level racing, often where families can enter a race car literally off the street and compete against similar entries." Contrary to popular belief, street racing isn't only found on the fast moving streets of the major cities, its going on all over the country. Recent articles published on MSNBC.com report on street drag racing as an increasing problems in such out of the way places as Spokane, Washington and Forth Worth, Texas; other articles found on www.abc.com report on accidents and coverage of events in Washington D.C., Boston and New York City. Los Angeles County is a big street racing scene however, was recently given a $200,000 state grant to crack down on the illegal street racing activity. Penalties for racing vary from state to state and offense to offense, but can range from a slap on the wrist ticket to...
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