Street racing has been a hot topic for decades as police and politicians seek ways to stamp it out. The practice has been portrayed in the media countless times, most famously in movies like American Graffiti and The Fast and the Furious. That’s about the extent of many people’s knowledge of the practice, so in the interest of educating readers we’re sharing a short documentary of a very organized street racing event held in Tulsa, Oklahoma a few years ago.

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We’re not sharing this to glamourize street racing. While these races are well-organized and it appears the organizers have some provisions to help ensure no innocent carloads of people accidently end up in the pathway of the racers, there’s still a risk innocent people who haven’t shown up to watch the race could be seriously hurt or worse. Closed tracks or events on private property are the only way to completely ensure regular traffic doesn’t happen upon a race.

At 20 cars with a buy-in of $140 per person, the pot is at about $3,000. That’s not huge money, indicating the cash is really just to add some flavor to the racing but isn’t the main motivator. After all, the cars used in the races have builds which run well into the thousands, probably into the tens of thousands.

If you’re still questioning why people street race illegally when the stakes are so high, you’re missing the point entirely. Some people get a real thrill out of beating the system, sliding past all the societal controls, showing they’re smarter than the cops, etc. Call it the Walter White effect if you will, there are those who love to win illegitimately.

Of course, the cops do make an effort to squash these events. During filming, police showed up three separate times. But the racers and fans just moved to new locations and there are too many of them for police to catch everyone. This is the challenge of breaking up illegal street races.

A lot of these cars most definitely could compete well enough on a sanctioned drag strip. It’s possible they do, but for obvious reasons the identity of the owners, etc. is obscured being that this event isn’t legal in the least.

Images via YouTube