Tucson Dragway prepares for new races

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – The Tucson Dragway does its part to keep racers off the streets. This happens when police officers crack down on illegal street racing.

Matt Deyoung, Tucson Dragway track manager, says that on February 27th, around 100 road racers will finally get a safe spot to race on the track for “street night”.

“When the track was built 20 years ago, it was built to get the racers off the streets,” he told KGUN9.

DeYoung says this hasn’t happened lately because of the pandemic.

The people on the track want to change that.

“We have a group of racing drivers who normally race on the road. Racers between Tucson and Phoenix will come and drive at the top of the track, ”he added.

They will continue efforts to keep racers on the road through two programs.

“With the Take It To The Track program, you’ll get the road racers off the streets and bring them here. When you go to tucsondragway.com you are making a phone call, so I want to compete against you, you are officially making your call, ”DeYoung said.

Racers must have an entry ticket known as a tech card to get on the track.

“Larry H. Miller, Dodge Ram from Tucson, is going to pay half of their tech card, so their tech card goes from $ 40.00 to $ 20.00. If they drive this race here on the track and win, we’ll give them a free tech card, ”he told KGUN9.

The dealership is doing this to support the initiative to get racing drivers onto the track.

In January, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department arrested 48 people during an illegal street race. DeYoung says racers can have the same experience on the track, only safer.

RELATED: PCSD, TPD attacks street races in the Tucson area

“And you already have our fire brigade and our medical team here. That way, instead of potentially bumping into a tree or power line, or potentially hitting another car, in an accident, you’ll find yourself between two walls, ”DeYoung said.

Next Saturday, racers can take to the track during the Tucson Dragway Beyond 1320 race. Deyoung says it’s the alternative to the street.

“Same type of race surface, same type of starting line … everything.”

Racers do their burnouts, they go to the line that was just painted over, then someone hits a flashlight to start and they go down an eighth mile.

Racing driver Joseph Yslas says he’s grateful for this opportunity.

“The importance of this event is only to get them off the streets. Get it on the track. Be a little smarter. Avoid hassle with it, ”he told KGUN9.

“It’s really cool to have the joint venture owners and law enforcement behind this,” added DeYoung.

Ultimately, the people at Tucson Dragway want people to be trained and provide a safe space for racing drivers. Fred Bilbrey does track prep & is the head of staging at the Tucson Dragway. He says people of all skill levels can come and learn on the track, adding that the Tucson Dragway is “one big family.”

“If you have a question, ask. I am more than ready to help anyone. I want everyone to have a good time, ”said Bilbrey.

“We want them to feel that we want them here and encourage them to come here and do it instead of on the streets where something worse could happen,” DeYoung told KGUN9.

More information about Street Night can be found here.

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