Notices
Street/Strip Raced a guy from a light? Had that ride of yours on the timed track? Tell your story here...

Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

  #1  
Old 07-11-2007, 07:01 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 2,105
Default Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

I sort of got up on my high-horse on another thread about public safety and street racing, and I thought it might be interesting to see how others on this forum feel about the issue, so I'll go first. I love high performance cars and, as far as I can remember, always have (one of the oldest memories of my dad is him taking care of me as he worked on his 413 hemi Dodge in '52). And since I have posted some stories (the three way race with the ZO6, the 192 mph top speed, the close but ultimately losing drag against the turbo Supra) I thought I'd go first.

In my mind there are three types of "driving."
Driving daily. How you drive every day, to work, etc. or cursing on weekends, Sunday drives, etc.
Soloperformance test. By this I mean checking out the speed of your car or just exercising it for fun. No other car involved, just you and the road or the track.
Racing. Which means there is another car(s) involved and it is a contest of "who is fastest."

Now, in daily driving, I'm actually a pretty slow, conservative driver. I obey the speed limits or stay within 10%, and make a real effort to be courteous (really) -- mostly because it keeps me out of trouble and it's become habit. My friends and sons all kid me: "You drive fast cars but you don't drive fast." True. But I haven't had a traffic ticket in, oh, twenty years or more. Or an accident -- even a minor one no matter whose fault -- in forty years. And I never get into "road rage" incidents, etc. Fun as it is, daily driving is about getting there in one piece. And yes, I do floor the car once and a while from a light etc., but overall, you simply don't go extreme, on the street, when there even might be other cars around.

For either solo performance or outright racing there are several "levels" of legitimacy, safety and responsibility, and lines I won't cross (and others I will).
I seethis progression from safe and legal to unsafe and insane
- Santioned NHRA track
- Unsancioned track
- Closed or verified empty public road
- Public highway or interstate
- City streets
My own rules, never violated since I was 22 (35 years of driving since), are given below. My personal safety is not the primary rule-maker, responsibility to those not involved is what draws the lines in my book:
I only race off of public roads. On rare occasions I have used a closed "public road" -- there was a great section of I540 here in NC that was nearly complete but not open to the publicfor about three months two years ago, etc. But only I do really intense races -- usually the money races against cars I'm not confident I can beat soundly -- only at a track, because racing is legal and safe there (at least it's safefor those not racing). I strongly prefer unsantioned tracks, actually, because the safety rules are looser: in fact the vette can't run on NHRA tracks -- it would need a roll cage,and in its speed class, one with non-removeable side bars, and its a street car/daily driver and will never have one. The Camaro runs on santioned tracks too butI still prefer the unsantioned.
I make no exceptions: -- street race just a bit and the adrenalyn kicks in and pretty soon . . . you're doing dumb things. I discovered that 22 years ago, and like an alcoholic swearing off even a sip, have never ever deviated.
I sometimesdo solo performance tests onroads I know are empty. There is a three miles stretch of a US highway near here thatis flat, has wide hard shoulders, and1.4 miles between entrances. You can see the whole thing fromeither end. On an earlySunday morning I drive the "the course" to make sure it is empty, then have a friend or a son watching (walki talkie), check that the road is completely empty again, then do a test run or too. But that's it on public roads.
Racing on public roads or interstates is just crazy. First, you are endangering others -- you can don't know who or what is ahead and cars like 'vettes and turboed pony cars, etc., can get up to prodigious speeds very quickly.
Racing on city street is pure insanity: a stock vette can reach 100 mph in 12 seconds, a modified one in 7 seconds. You can't see whats ahead or who might pull out even a block away. "Recipe for disaster" as they say.

So, that's my play-book's rules. What are yours, guys?
 
  #2  
Old 07-11-2007, 07:51 AM
C3 Starship's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Reno, Nv.
Posts: 5,244
Default RE: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

Very well put, and I highly agree.
I hav'nt gone speed crazy since I had my '70 Road Runner, around '73. Then only late at night and on a deserted mountain/valley roads. Ya, 150 + and bent for Hell. LOL But, I was lucky not to have skipped off a turn, I used ta get real close to "The Edge" back then. One night, goin' too fast, not hav'ing a clear view ahead, I took out 5 deer inone fatal swoop. Scared the crap out of me and tore the car up pretty bad. Since I've had the "Starship", I've taken down several modes of transportaion, but never goin' over the speed limit, she hangs really well in the twisties.
 
  #3  
Old 07-11-2007, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Panama City Florida
Posts: 209
Default RE: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

Very well put. I think everbody will agree
 
  #4  
Old 07-11-2007, 08:41 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 241
Default RE: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

I'm going to agree with you there Lee, with a couple of exceptions:

I'll often floor it from a light if I'm the first one and there is no traffic ahead and I'm out in the country. I do this for two reasons. 1) I love the acceleration. That's one of the reasons that I got the car. 2) I want to get away from the crowd. I don't trust others drivers. My daily commute is mostly down a flat, straight, dual lane highway out in the country. Many of the other drivers are inattentive (on the phone etc) on this stretch of road. I don't want to be beside them when they wander into my lane (and they do wander).

I'll also run another car from the light. Again, only out in the country with no one in front etc. And I'll only run up to the speed limit (which is 60). I may over shoot by 10mph but I let off. If he keeps going, well then he wins. I'm not going to be going 100mph in a speed contest. Cops are everywhere. Oh, and I keep the traction control/active handling on.

I may have run up to a number that may have been over the limit a couple of times. I'm not going to confess to a crime on a public forum. But if I did exceed the limit it was by myself on a flat, straight stretch of highway out in the country with no other traffic around. Oh and it would have been in the daylight. We have these creatures around here called deer, and lots of them. They're big, dumb, run in herds and do stupid unpredictable things.

Daily driving in town: If I'm in the vette, then I'll play with it sometimes. Again, with traction control on. I may get a little tire slippage going away from a light. Never anything really dramatic. I have, accidentally, put it into a slide a couple of times on big left hand turns. Nothing that I (with the help of the computer) couldn't recover from. Having said that, I'm also always thinking about safety. I'm not at all interested in wrecking my vette... or someone else's car. I do not want to be the recipient of legal action. Loosing my drivers license would be a disaster for my family. Loosing a big $ law suit would be just as devastating.

Daily driving on the highway: I stick with the accepted speed limit. By that I mean what is tolerated by law enforcement. Like I said, most of my commute is down a dual lane US highway with a speed limit of 60. 65 is normally tolerated. Some cops will let up to 70 go by. I stick with 65 (or 64) unless a large group of cars has just passed me going 70, then I may notch the cruise up to 68.
I try to stay out of traffic, but sometimes that is not easy. When in traffic I try to keep my distance. Occasionally I'll find myself in the left lane following a car doing 60.5 that is trying to pass a car that is doing 60. I can get impatient, but I really do try not to be an a$$hole (one of my pet peeves is people who get in the left lane at a stop light and then accelerate at the same speed as the people in the right lane, including semis.) Sometimes I push, but I'm trying really hard to be nice. And like I said above, if I'm first in line when the light goes green, I'm gone (after I look left and right for people running the red of course).

My Z06 could get me into a race almost every time that I drive it. There is a local speed shop specializing Mustangs. There's punks in 13 second GTs everywhere. There's also lots of 10 second GTs around too. Speed is just money. "How fast can you afford to go?"
 
  #5  
Old 07-11-2007, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Crappy Cold Colorado
Posts: 884
Default RE: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

I do get into a street race every now and then but they all seem to end around 80 mph or so.I don't want to go faster than that because if you double the speed limit and get caught your in deep ****. I would also say most of the street races are Highway races on a road that has 5-6 lanes on each side. I think if your safe and know how to control yourself in the right situation on the right road why not make a run or two.
 
  #6  
Old 07-11-2007, 12:09 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Central North Carolina
Posts: 2,105
Default RE: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

I understand and as I said in another post, you seem to be pretty level headed about it. And I agree for the most -- I occasionally let the car really run on a stretch of road I know is open, safe, and unpopulated. For me, responsibility to other drivers is more important than the personal safety issue: I think is is irresonsible to hazard anyone else even a bit -- as to me, I'll take my chances when I think there is no hazard to anyone else -- at least normally, see below.

That said, the reason I'd never accept any street race, even if I knew the highway ahead was empty and I wouldn't hazard other drivers, is because of the other guy. He's just some guy who drove up alongside me. I don't know him, never met him, have no idea if he's level headed and a cool driver, if his car is maintained well, and I don't even know if he's sober (late at night, you know there is a good chance he's not). Not going to let the guy alongside me at 160 mph.

I've cut back on anything, though. Here, they are having a crackdown here in NC on speeding. Local newspaper ran this series of articles on how the cops and the judges were easy on speeders and it was "killing people," so now everyone is a hard *** about speeding. If you go over 100, evenon an interstate,they impound your car and throw your sorrybutt in jail.
 
  #7  
Old 07-11-2007, 01:12 PM
pewter2000's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Valley, California
Posts: 129
Default RE: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

I think I'll throw in my loose change too! Back whenI was young, dumb, and full of...*ahem* you get the idea, safety was not an issue I even considered. Back then I had a modded (all bolt-on's) Nissan 240SX with a 100 shot of NOS (how I never blew the engine I'll never know). I still have the car btw...completely stock now but still running on the original motor and tranny at 180,000 miles! I street raced every chance I had...midnight drag races...stoplights...freeways...everywhere! I especially loved racing the high displacement cars like the vettes, mustangs, TransAms, Firebirds, Cameros, etc. My win ratio was maybe 1:8...probably because either the person didn't know how to drive or what I hoped was a V8 really turned out to be a V6. I still remember racing a viper from a stoplight...1st and2nd gear were all mine by about 3-4 lengths...but once he FINALLY hooked up...it was over for me! I can now honestly say he did not yetknow how to drive that car...but back then I swore I was hot $#!^...

Anyway....now that I'm older, although still only 27 (most of you guys on here really helped me get over my "getting older" complex with your stories from back before I was even thought of...hehe...), I now consider safety a foremost issue on the streets. But as they say, "Old habits are hard to break."

I still love the stoplight races when conditions allowand the occassional freeway run never past the century mark. I try to keep safety in mind but it can be hard at times...especially when having a vette to do with as I please!

Overall, I agree with Lee 110%. I may not post much here but I'm always reading and I've come to respect what Lee says on all issues; I have yet to disagree with him on anything he's posted, this included. In fact, just to butter the bread a little more, I look forward to his replys to mytrival little posts because I know they're backed by what seems to be an innate knowledge.
 
  #8  
Old 07-11-2007, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Crappy Cold Colorado
Posts: 884
Default RE: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

ORIGINAL: pewter2000

I think I'll throw in my loose change too! Back whenI was young, dumb, and full of...*ahem* you get the idea, safety was not an issue I even considered. Back then I had a modded (all bolt-on's) Nissan 240SX with a 100 shot of NOS (how I never blew the engine I'll never know). I still have the car btw...completely stock now but still running on the original motor and tranny at 180,000 miles! I street raced every chance I had...midnight drag races...stoplights...freeways...everywhere! I especially loved racing the high displacement cars like the vettes, mustangs, TransAms, Firebirds, Cameros, etc. My win ratio was maybe 1:8...probably because either the person didn't know how to drive or what I hoped was a V8 really turned out to be a V6. I still remember racing a viper from a stoplight...1st and2nd gear were all mine by about 3-4 lengths...but once he FINALLY hooked up...it was over for me! I can now honestly say he did not yetknow how to drive that car...but back then I swore I was hot $#!^...

Anyway....now that I'm older, although still only 27 (most of you guys on here really helped me get over my "getting older" complex with your stories from back before I was even thought of...hehe...), I now consider safety a foremost issue on the streets. But as they say, "Old habits are hard to break."

I still love the stoplight races when conditions allowand the occassional freeway run never past the century mark. I try to keep safety in mind but it can be hard at times...especially when having a vette to do with as I please!

Overall, I agree with Lee 110%. I may not post much here but I'm always reading and I've come to respect what Lee says on all issues; I have yet to disagree with him on anything he's posted, this included. In fact, just to butter the bread a little more, I look forward to his replys to mytrival little posts because I know they're backed by what seems to be an innate knowledge.
OFF TOPIC: my 93 240sx was the best car I have ever owned!
 
  #9  
Old 07-11-2007, 02:35 PM
pewter2000's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Valley, California
Posts: 129
Default RE: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

OFF TOPIC: I agree! No major problems at all for 11 years of ownership! The vette on the otherhand...that's for a different thread...but I love the hell out of it anyway...
 
  #10  
Old 07-11-2007, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Crappy Cold Colorado
Posts: 884
Default RE: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing

ORIGINAL: pewter2000

OFF TOPIC: I agree! No major problems at all for 11 years of ownership! The vette on the otherhand...that's for a different thread...but I love the hell out of it anyway...
Exactly, we had the 240sx since brand new so 14 years. The biggest repair we ever had to do was change the fuel injectors.Orignal clutch, trans and so on. As you said the vette is another story but I wouldn't trade it for another 240sx.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Safety, Respnsibility, and Street Racing


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.