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Houston’s “Texas 2K” is a wild weekend of drag racing held at Houston Raceway, formerly known as Royal Purple Raceway, in Baytown, Texas. It’s a drag race but, unfortunately, this year it also became a haven for street racing. In some cases, street racers fled, leading to highway chases with the police

How many arrests were for street racing?

Street racing
Street racing at night | Getty

We all love drag racing, and it’s partly due to the safety aspects that keep it fun. It can get serious, but both participants and fans know there is such a small likelihood of injuries due to strict rules and car safety inspections. That can’t be said for street racing. And in some cases, it is the spectators of street racing that pay the ultimate price.

The police arrested over 100 people for street racing around the Texas 2K event. It also arrested about the same amount for “related crimes like DUI and deadly conduct,” according to ABC 13. It said some street racers chose to flee, which resulted in around 50 crashes. 

Why are communities seeing more street racing?

Street racing
Two cars line up for a street race | Getty

While we can never know what motivates some drivers to take chances in a street race, we can point to one possibility, closed drag strips. Texas has seen its fair share of track closures in the past few years. Last year, one of its biggest and best, Houston Raceway Park, closed for good. 

Before that, it was Texas Raceway, San Antonio Raceway, and North Star Dragway. And a staple of drag racing, the brackets, have seen its races eliminated from other Texas drag racing venues. Both Wichita Raceway Park and Lubbock Dragway host mostly heads-up drag races, according to DragCoverage. Texas’ largest drag racing facility, the Texas Motorplex, hasn’t hosted any bracket racing since 2018. 

Aren’t there plenty of drag strips?

Texas Motor Speedway
Texas Motor Speedway drag races | Getty

The point is, as in most other parts of the country, drag strips are going the way of the dodo bird. They’re flying into oblivion. But the desire for drivers to challenge each other side-by-side is innate. It has been going on for over 100 years. 

Some of the pressure is relieved by takeovers, with drivers taking over an intersection and doing donuts. It’s a brief rush, and also just as dangerous as street racing. Local police and elders wring hands over how they can control and stop both illegal activities, from an enforcement perspective. 

Is there a solution for street racing?

Young driver drifting
Young driver drifting in wet parking lot | Getty

But they never consider how there is a correlation between the loss of drag strips and increased street racing. So rather than trying to set up temporary tracks, which we’ll admit, poses its own problems, it’s enforcement and stricter laws that are their solutions. 

Texas has a number of IHRA-sanctioned tracks that do offer both heads-up and bracket racing. But the end for some of them is on the horizon. There are still wide open, flat areas that could host a temporary drag race, just as NASCAR has done the past two years at the Los Angeles Coliseum. 

Street racing
Street racing at night | Getty

 A temporary venue wouldn’t need around-the-clock events to remain profitable. And the resources can be used in another area after a year or two, to help spread the love. And the same can work for sanctioned, safe drifting. A closed-down mall or commercial parking lot could work as a temporary drift facility. Or, if you’ve got a better idea, we’d love to hear it. 


Drag Strips Closing Across U.S. Phoenix, Houston, Arizona Wild Horse, Atlanta, Palm Beach, Memphis