News Flash: Street Racing is Back and It's Bad

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

CNN says it began with trash talking. It ended with Gavin Simcoe’s 1993 Civic EX leaving a straight, two-lane road at more than 100mph and crashing at the bottom of an embankment. As always, CNN portrays a bit of bad (if spectacular) news as part of a dangerous and growing trend. Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Kim Miller provides the requisite quote: "The last four years it's been out of control.” Worse than before? Bryan C. Harrison, president of Evo Street Racers, shrugs his media-friendly shoulders. And anyway, he says, nothing short of a million police officers– yes, a million– can stop street racing. “Everyone knows that won't happen.” Meanwhile, out in Pasadena, so-not-a-little-old-lady Johnny Wong (if racing you is right…) says car crushing has had a damping effect on street duels. But not much. "Making all these laws— to me it's pointless, because the more boundaries you put up, the more people want to race.” Police are betting that Mr. Wong is wrong about the inverse effect of reverse psychology. Ye Olde cat and mouse game continues.

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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  • Shortthrowsixspeed Shortthrowsixspeed on Jan 25, 2008

    Virtual Insanity: yup, you're right. this did not start because of The Fast and The Furious. but how many of those muscle cars of the 60s and 70s spinning their wheels in anger were driven by adults and how many by kids? the key words are "in anger." i bet those 30 somethings aren't running their 8 sec. cars from stop light to stoplight for free. they have accords they drive monday through friday to and from the office. also, there's more than seconds between those 30 somethings pushing 40 grand across a quarter and the 17 year old kids with an eclipse and a supercharger putting lives at risk on Sunset Blvd. the "racers" i'm talking about are not just the ones doing semi-organized drags for rolls of 20s. they're all the wannabes flashing their lights at each other and weaving in and out of traffic. and those wannabes are mostly kids.

  • Virtual Insanity Virtual Insanity on Jan 25, 2008

    So what your saying is there is a difference between the 30 something who wont even start his car for less than $1000 and having a flagger, and a 20 something using a stop light? And are you also saying that "back in the day", street racers were all well aged adults, and not a single one of those people street racing their muscle cars was under the age of 30? 25? If so, my dad must be about 110 right now, maybe 115. And when I said in anger, I meant in a race. Be it on the track or street. Not some pissed off teenager that drive like Ricky Bobby.

  • Shortthrowsixspeed Shortthrowsixspeed on Jan 26, 2008

    1. yes, i am saying there's a difference between the 30 somethings racing with flaggers and the 17 year olds racing between stop lights. the difference is in how and where they do it. that's not to say that one should be legal and the other not. the line between the two is too hard to draw. it would be like saying that "good drivers" can have one speed limit while "bad drivers" need a different one. the idea makes sense, but is too hard to implement practically. 2. no, i'm not saying all the racers "back in the day were old . . . what i'm saying is that your dad was a "kid" when he was racing around town in his mopar muscle. though the problem did not begin recently, the problem has always involved an inordinately large percentage of young people. btw, talladega nights was one of the funniest movies i've seen in a while . . . "will you be my Katie Couric?" / "I wake up in the morning and i piss excellence."

  • Cal_Subaru Cal_Subaru on Jul 25, 2008

    Point of clarification: Your poorly written article incorrectly utilizes grammar to where a pronoun misleads the readers into believing FALSE information. Your Article: "Bryan C. Harrison, president of Evo Street Racers, shrugs his media-friendly shoulders. And anyway, HE says, nothing short of a million police officers– yes, a million– can stop street racing. “Everyone knows that won't happen.”" CNN article: "Simcoe says nothing short of a million police officers can stop street racing. Everyone knows that won't happen." “He” implies Bryan C. Harrison said it when he DID NOT, rather Simcoe did. Please address this inaccuracy as it’s obvious from a few comments that the readers of your article are interpreting the writing correctly, but as it is written wrong are leading them to believe false information. I would highly recommend a proof reader for future attempts.