Texas Motor Speedway's Friday Night Drags Presented by SCION begins Friday and newly-elected mayors Betsy Price (Fort Worth) and Beth Van Duyne (Irving) will be on deck to get the show started.
Both Price and Van Duyne have a long history of serving in politics in the area but this event will mark the first time that both women have met. The two mayors will square off in a best of three drag race to kick off the third season of Friday Night Drags presented by SCION.
Last month Fort Worth residents elected Price as its 44th mayor, as she defeated former city councilman Jim Lane. Price, who previously served as the Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector, will succeed Mayor Mike Moncrief. Price will be sworn in as Fort Worth’s mayor on Tuesday, July 12. Van Duyne will become Irving’s first woman to serve as mayor as she defeated incumbent Irving Mayor Herbert Gears during the June 18 election. Van Duyne previously served on the Irving City Council and will officially become the mayor of Irving on Thursday, July 7, when she is sworn in.
Friday Night Drags presented by SCION was created in 2009 to assist in curtailing illegal street racing in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex by providing a safer alternative at the speedway. Texas Motor Speedway converts its pit road into a 1/8-mile drag strip for the summer series. Friday Night Drags presented by SCION runs six consecutive weeks with champions crowned in five different divisions (ATI Mission Driven Tuner, Street Bandit, Sportsman, Street Outlaw, Black Smoke Warrior) during the season finale on Aug. 12.
Illegal street racing deaths and injuries have hit close to the Metroplex in 2011. In March a street sweeper was struck by two cars illegally street racing, killing one of the three workers inside during an accident on the 4000 block of Lake Forest Drive in McKinney. Both drivers sustained injuries and the two other workers in the street sweeper were taken to area hospitals. Late last month a street racing accident left three teenagers injured in Grand Prairie when one of the vehicles lost control and flipped over. All three teenagers in the vehicle were taken to area hospitals with one victim last reported in critical condition with a closed head injury.
“Street racing is not only illegal, it’s dangerous and deadly — both for drivers and by-standers as well,” Price said. “Racing should only been attempted on a closed course, and that’s why we’re so thankful for Texas Motor Speedway for hosting the Friday Night Drags series, and to SCION for sponsoring this worthwhile event. If you think you’re quick off the line, if you think you have a fast car, bring it to Texas Motor Speedway for the Friday Night Drags and keep the racing off of Fort Worth streets!”
The program has continued to gain momentum since it began in 2009 despite having rain wash out three of the six events last year. Friday Night Drags presented by SCION has seen 742 different drivers participate since it started and during the season finale in 2009, a record 227 drivers competed. Coupled with drag racing, Texas Motor Speedway also hosts a Show-n-Shine competition where car enthusiasts show off their prized possessions with a voting panel awarding trophies for Best of Show, Best Classic, Best Current Custom, Best SCION and Best Motorcycle. Each week practice begins at 6:15 p.m., while division competition starts at 9 p.m. Entry fee for drag racing and Show-n-Shine is $20 a piece while general admission is $7. Fans can pick up a special “2 for 1” coupon at participating Roanoke businesses.