FORT WORTH, Texas (June 22, 2012) – Mayors are used to races, but of the campaign variety. On Friday evening six Dallas/Fort Worth area mayors took to a different kind of race – a race to the finish line – during the Mayor’s Cup at Texas Motor Speedway which served as the kick off to the fourth season of Friday Night Drags presented by SCION.
Garland Mayor Ronald Jones, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller, Southlake Mayor John Terrell, Roanoke Mayor Scooter Gierisch, Westlake Mayor Pro Tem Carol Langdon and Justin Mayor Pro Tem David Speicher all put bragging rights on the line during the double elimination drag race competition. In the end Terrell, proved unbeatable as he won four consecutive races, including the championship match between he and Gierisch, to win the coveted Mayor’s Cup trophy.
“That’s fun, that’s fun,” Terrell said. “We love it in Southlake, we got the Texas Cup for sports, we’ve taken this one home too. What a great venue to bring those kids, if anything’s going to bring those kids off the streets, it’s a place like Texas Motor Speedway. It was a blast!”
Developed in 2009, Friday Night Drags presented by SCION has served as a program to help curtail illegal street racing in North Texas. Fans have responded to the program as 992 different drivers have participated and a record 227 racers competed during the season finale in 2009.
For the participating mayors, Friday Night Drags presented by SCION complements initiatives that their communities have instituted to help curb illegal street racing.
“In Garland we place the highest possible value on driving safety,” Jones said. “With the help of our Garland Youth Council and Garland ISD, we are reaching out to teen drivers to make sure they are aware of the key factors that put them at a higher risk of being injured or killed in automobile crashes: driving at night; driving over the speed limit; driving with distractions such as cell phones or too many other teens in the car; driving while sleepy; not using seatbelts; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”
For Loughmiller, the consequences of illegal street racing were felt in March of 2011 in McKinney. The driver of a street-sweeping truck was hit by a vehicle that was street racing, killing the driver of the street-sweeping truck and injuring four others.
The opportunity to participate in the Mayor’s Cup allowed Loughmiller to stress the importance of safe driving and encourage residents to participate in Friday Night Drags presented by SCION.
“What’s unique about McKinney, among other things, is that we have a very young population,” Loughmiller said. “We have over 21,000 residences under the age of 21 and a lot of those are teenagers that are just now starting to drive. So when you start talking about promoting people being aware about what happens to street racing and the dangers associated with that, it’s a really important cause. I think it’s great that Texas Motor Speedway provides this for people to come out in a safe environment and do this so they don’t get injured on the street.”
Friday Night Drags presented by SCION runs for six consecutive weeks with the season finale set for July 27. Racers accumulate points during the six weeks, competing in six different divisions (Tuner, Street Bandit, Sportsman, Super Cars, Street Outlaw, Black Smoke Warrior) with the driver that has tallied the most points in each division crowned the champion.