Teens race safely with Friday night drags

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- It's many a young man's dream, driving his car as fast as he wants without getting in trouble.

At 16 years old, Clay Armstrong has his first car, and it can reach 130 mph in just 12 seconds.

He took the Chevrolet Corvette out at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park for the first time Friday night.

It's something his mom wants him to experience.

"You've got to teach them respect for the car," Marcy Armstrong said. "They do have to be afraid of a car because it can hurt yourself and it can kill somebody."

On May 10, one person was killed in a suspected street racing crash at 48th Street and Broadway Road. In late March, two teenagers were charged with killing a gardener in the Arcadia area after an alleged street racing accident.

"When the kids are in high school, it's about who has the biggest, fastest car in school," Marcy Armstrong said.

Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park hopes that the Friday night drag races will satisfy the teens' need for speed without endangering the lives of others.

"I still love speed and I'm an old guy," said Bill Schneider with Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

The drag races are open to drivers ages 16 and up, and draw about 200 cars a night.

"For $30, which is probably less money than it would cost to go to a movie, they can come out here under controlled conditions," Schneider said. "They can probably actually get their car going faster than they could on the street."

The track will be open for drag races every other Friday night this summer and every Friday night in the fall.