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Technician

Street Racing rant

So for months, and especially since the COVID pandemic, it seems that every time I turn on the news before work, I see clips of so called street racing in downtown Atlanta. What I ACTUALLY see is a bunch of idiots doing burnout contests in intersections, donuts, and the obligatory "lets see how many people can hang out of the window of my 4 door Charger while I annihilate my tires" with crowds of onlookers all cheering them on, recording vids on their phones to later put them up on social media. VERY little racing and a lot of defiance towards anything or anybody.

 

So this morning I turn on the news to see traffic cam video of two of these morons who decided to actually race. The result? An innocent young lady who was either trying to get to work or school was killed when the idiot who was in the oncoming side decided to swing out into oncoming traffic to pass the other idiot he was racing on a congested public road. The footage was terrible as the racer's Charger (I'm seeing a pattern in Metro Atlanta because they all seem to be in late model Mopars. I love Mopars, by the way having owned a '69 Sport Satellite) hit her head on and burst into flames. 

 

So what does anyone do about it? The police don't have the resources to catch HUNDREDS of people (yes the groups are that big). It seems crazy, but this all seemed to start a few years ago when what was probably the same groups used to ride four wheelers, dirt bikes, etc., around 285 doing wheelies, cutting off traffic etc. It seems they graduated to cars. I think the worst thing I saw was one of the "citizenry" from the area got in front of the news cameras and said, "I don't see what the big deal is. They "ain" hurtin' nobody". Of course it came out that her son was one of the crew that got arrested and his atv confiscated. 

 

I am REALLY getting sick of the lawlessness that is running rampant in this country and the refusal to do anything about it for fear of being labelled anything that might be the "sound byte of the day" claim that you aren't being fair.

 

 

38 REPLIES 38
Instructor

Street Racing is not really the issue. The trouble is the lower IQ of so many people anymore. 

Street Racing has been around for decades and seldom was it ever a major issue. Back in my day it was big time and there were some fast cars, one Corvette was doing street legal 8 second runs. 

The guys who raced generally did it late and went to a safe open area where there was no traffic. There was no accidents, no innocent people and even the cops were not a threat as the area was so isolated it was not causing any issues. 

In fact I was even told by a cop where to go if I ever wanted to make a run. There was some respect and some common sense used back then. Most fast cars were built by the owners and they had a lot tied up in them.

 

Today many people have so little respect for those around them. They are just idiots with large car payments as they can buy a fast car but could not build one. 

They do all this stuff in city areas and too often with crowds around. How many crashes have we seen leaving cars and coffee? 

Today too many lack common sense to know the when or where you can do things. They just do it and really do a lot of damage. 

Bikes are just as bad or worse. We had one group here that had a bad accident before they stopped. I still had one the other day doing a wheelie and almost ran into the back of me when I signaled a left turn. 

The reality is racing is always going to be around. The exhibition of speed is even more prevalent and no one will ever stop it. But we all need to self police and weed out the idiots and if needed work with the cops to take them out. 

They hurt the hobby and all of us. They also do more damage if they kill someone innocent. 

Let’s face it we all have done burn outs and other things we really should not be doing. The key is too look around and if it is unsafe then don’t do it. 

With age I got over it. The trouble is some never got old. 

I have one guy I went to school with. He got a 73 Z28 split bumper. He was a drinker. Most of us car guys did not drink. He wanted to be a car guy. 

He was set to go to the Air Force academy. He ran from the cops and lost it. He hit a  brick building. He survived.  After an extended coma and a broken leg he got out of the hospital. He just was never the same with a head injury. Just an example how it can go wrong. At least he only hurt himself. 

 

 

Technician

I think you hit the nail on the head. I did some illegal racing activities back in the day (although I have NEVER had an 8 second car). But OUR quarter mile was out in the middle of nowhere so the people at risk were the drivers. There were no blocking an entire street so large crowds could spectate while we destroyed our tires, etc. I think the I.Q. comment is dead on and I will go one step further by saying that so much of this is just pure defiance at the risk of everyone else. That and the willingness to have the "social media 15 minutes".

Advanced Driver

Guilty as charged. I've done my share of racing back in the day, (60's - 70's) but always in the middle of nowhere on isolated country roads with about a mile of straight line. Actually the area is still used for the same thing! We would draw a crowd but never put anyone at risk. It was more of a hang out for the motor heads and a social activity. Folk today do more harm than good for our hobby. The local cops knew what we were doing and some would actually participate. That was a different time. This new millennium(s) need to understand that there is a time and place. I'm with you guys on this. I'm not all that religious but I pray for everyone in the Metro Atlanta area. (land of the lost). Hang in there guys and have a happy new year!!

Detailer

Time and a place for everything street racing as us olde farts knew it was far from safe but as stated not in a area where the public was put at risk,it was a rite of passage in the 60,s early seventy's where I was from if you were a piston head. Fortunately there was and still is a local dragstrip near our area that most weekends catered to our primal instinct's we were free to run without the concerns of the local police it was truly the best of both worlds some of the fellas I knew went on to bigger and better things in the drag race world.Todays cars are truly amazing the HP numbers coming out of the car company's are staggering and scary fast cars can get into the hands anyone with the credit rating to do so todays busy streets and 700 hp + is a deadly mix.Cheers and Happy New Year.R

Instructor

We had a plaza we used to hang out at. It was in a high traffic area. We could fill it with a couple hundred cars. 

But we self policed. If you did something stupid some of the older tougher guys would give you a warning.. if not Yielded you often were confronted or turned over to the cops. 

They did not tolerate drinking either. 

I was 16 years old and new to all this but I was taught a coded of behavior. 

There were always a few that always tried to screw it up for the rest. 

Today there is few standards and little thinking. Too many trying to garner attention. 

To be honest the real racers never did burnouts if they could help it. The fast guys built their cars to hook up. If you were spinning tires you were losing. 

I think my generation was taught by the previous generation that learned the hard way about racing. Many of the younger guys today were never around to learn what we learned. They just don’t ever look around to see the folks around them they could hurt or destroy their families. 

Pit Crew

Amen, y'all! It wouldn't be a problem if they would go to the middle of nowhere to do it! (and if they were actually smart, which they're NOT) Multiple times we've been passed by those same kind of nuts on the freeway, going at least 120, weaving in and out of traffic in their annoying little Hondas or whatnot that they think are SO COOL because they hired someone to put on an aftermarket exhaust! Of course these are the same kind of people that have hubcap spikes sticking out about 1-2 feet from the car! I'm not kidding! I saw that on the freeway once, and we called the cops on him!

But besides the rampant high HP low IQ problem, I think the movies aren't helping. I only saw a little bit of the Fast & Furious 1, and it's not helpful. It just encourages and glamorizes what isn't really street racing but idiots going too fast.

 

My solution is to go kart racing to let out my leadfoot impulses!

Advanced Driver

I'm givin likes to these comments. This is a topic that needed to be addressed so thanks to Guitar74 for starting it. Way too many idiots starving for attention will eventually get some one, or themselves killed and put a bad name on performance cars and those who drive them. Again... Time and Place. I'm an old fart too.  JTSpeedy made a good point about the freeway/interstate.

Instructor

Not even "racers" for the most part, just common thug life idiots. More like the recent hoards of "spandex nazis" in NYC, surrounding vehicles and attacking them. Some problems cannot be fixed without belt fed weapons. 

Advanced Driver

Hey spoom, I know what you mean. We could go on and on about the "problem child syndrome". The problem shoulda been fixed at a younger age when the belt fed weapon was a 2" strap of leather across the A--. When I was growing up the scariest sound in the world was a leather belt being snatched through 7 belt loops.