Oahu drivers go dirty to race
Without a public drag strip on Oahu for years, drivers are taking their passion for racing private. There's a new place to race, but organizers had to resort to "dirty" tricks to build a track.
Without a public drag strip on Oahu for years, drivers are taking their passion for racing private.
There's a new place to race, but organizers had to resort to "dirty" tricks to build a track.
"These vehicles will do a 3-4 second run from point A to point B, it is full throttle then off the throttle," said long time racer Jimmy Souza.
Souza and other racers got together to build a dirt drag strip in Waianae. It is not very big, but it is all racers currently have on Oahu.
"We have been working on having a permanent race track facility, but it is hard...very, very hard," added Souza.
Hawaii Raceway Park closed in Kalaeloa more than a decade ago.
It has been several years since a sand track shut down.
So all that is left is the private land transformed into a little race track.
What is the difference between the regular quarter mile drag strip and this one?
"Just as loud, not quite as fast," stated Souza.
Drivers ONLY have 200 feet from the start to the finish line. Then just a little more than that to stop.
They don't reach the top speeds of other dragsters, but dirt racing still comes with danger.
"One of my biggest challenges is keeping these guys safe. Because the liability is so high, I want to make sure these guy are strapped in their vehicles and they are put together well. Everything is welded, tightened, there is nothing hanging. That is one of the biggest challenges," said Souza.
So far he said there has been nothing major to put the brakes on their races. The group will hold their third event of the year at the end of June.
Dozens of drivers in all different classes and different ages are expected to race in vehicles made for the mud, that includes motorbikes and quads.
So far, the day time drag races have drawn a crowd of several hundred.
Now Souza hopes they will also catch the eyes of lawmakers, so they can see the need for a permanent racetrack on the island.
"The main problem is we don't have a racetrack or facility for this, we got plenty golf courses, and other recreational activities but not this," stated Souza.
He expects they will hold a dirt drag race every other month
But after their next event, he also plans to turn the track into a mini-motor cross event, as a way to bring in even more racers.
"We got some plans for this track , we just hope people come out and support this. It is a small place, but everybody has fun."