SAN DIEGO STREET DRAGS – by brad
The street-racing scene in San Diego has evolved over the years. Faster cars, more participation by enthusiasts, and more law enforcement trying to combat what the city is calling a growing problem with no solution in site. Efforts to combat the problems have resulted in harsher punishments for those caught at the races, to attempts to having legal racing events available for people to participate in. The results have been good and bad. It seems that no matter how much the local law enforcement trys, there is still a large number of people attending these illegal events, and the local racing has left a lot of people with something to yet be desired. Lately the hardcore street racers have labeled the San Diego scene as a joke. Most of the people that attend seem to be more into watching than actually racing, and has turned these events into more of a social event than what it used to be. Those that are actually racing seem to be running stock or mildly modified vehicles and make themselves look more like wannabes trying to be part of the latest craze. Which is somewhat true; if you are not a street racer yourself you probably know someone that is. It was time to find a new spot to run. The local law was rolling all the popular places a lot more often than before and making it difficult for people to get some good runs in. It came down through the rumor mill that up in the Long Beach/Compton area the street races were filled with cars with no police enforcement in site, which made for some killer racing. Long Beach is where a lot of the professional drivers in the IDRC and NIRA drag racing circuits came from way back when this craze got started.
A month ago fifteen local enthusiasts including the gang from SDStreetRacing.com made a drive up to the Long Beach/Compton area to see what things were like. The group had arrived a bit early not knowing what to expect. While sitting around there was a lot of what looked to be street racers going past where we were sitting, but no body was stopping. After about an hour of waiting, the other people everyone was waiting for to show up had finally arrived, we all got back in our cars and headed for Compton. After getting lost twice and having the local law enforcement already showing their heavy presence, everyone re-grouped and headed back towards the freeway towards one of the other meeting spots that we were informed was going to be filling up with cars soon. After 20 minutes of more waiting, it seemed like every street racer in Long Beach was sitting around us, and the group from San Diego was sitting right in the middle taking it all in. Everyone started leaving where we were sitting and headed done not even a block to a very long strip, much longer than San Diegos famed Kearny Villa RD. Much to everyones surprise there was a huge difference in the way things were done. For one the locals race up there on Wednesday and Sunday nights instead of the normal Friday and Saturday nights that everyone in San Diego races on. There also seemed to be a lot more police enforcement in the area where everyone was at, but it wasnt to go after street racers. The attitude of the locals was also a lot different. It seemed like everyone at one point in time had made a few runs, and they werent afraid to do it. There were also a huge amount of cars and people present. I estimated about 400 cars at once not something you would see in San Diego on a Wednesday night. After forty-five minutes of racing a cop did show up only to get on his P.A. system and announce Get out of Compton, or I will find a way for your car to be put on the back of a tow truck. Not exactly something you would hear by the SDPD. After everything had broken up I lost most of the group I was with. On my way home, I remembered about another spot someone had mentioned to me earlier and headed in that direction only to get there just as the police had shown up to break everything up again. By now it was getting late, the group from San Diego was ready to call it a night. Everyone was in good spirits about the Long Beach experience except for the few that received fix-it-tickets by the local law. The drive was a bit long but well worth it to see some descent racing. Everyone that went up is already talking about going again, and possibly making the trip once a month. Hopefully next time there will be a bigger group of cars and more people to represent San Diego.
[Note: pr says: I thought the style and attitiude of the drivers and spectators in Long Beach was great, and its pretty obvious that this is where import racing started. On a side note, if you live in the area and frequent these eventsand are interested in contributing to Modern Fix, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh yeah, street racing is bad and illegal. Dont do it.]