Public drag racing program kicks off at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison

A legal outlet for drivers who feel the need for speed kicks off Wednesday at Bandimere Speedway, Take it to the Track allows drivers to legally speed and the longtime program aims to curtail dangerous street racing.

“We’re hoping that everyone who wants to participate will be there,” said Trooper Josh Lewis, a Colorado State Patrol spokesperson. “This is designed as an alternative to dangerous street racing. This is a way to do it safely, and with family and friends.”

Street racing in the Denver metro area has been problematic, with area police clocking multiple drivers topping 100 mph on area highways. The illegal act causes traffic back ups and dangerous situations for racing drivers, and dangers for the general public as well. Illegal street racing incurs costs to the public, law enforcement and private property owners.

Earlier this month police said that a woman, a mother of two, killed in a T-bone crash in lower downtown Denver was the victim of a street race. The driver who hit the victim has been charged with vehicular homicide in the case.

The program, co-sponsored by the state patrol and the speedway, is primarily aimed at drivers in the 15-21 age group, but drivers of all ages are invited. Colorado troopers, and other law enforcement officers, sometimes roll onto the track in patrol cars to drag race with the public.

“Where else are you going to be able to legally race a police car,” Lewis said. “We’ve been embarrassed many times. We’d much rather be embarrassed on the track then see the dangerous results of street racing on our roads.”

Gates at Bandimere on Wednesday open at 4 p.m. and time trials start at 4:30 p.m. Participating drivers pay $40, people attending and not racing pay a $17 entry fee. Children under 12 are admitted free. The weekly event, which runs on Wednesdays through the season, is staged weather permitting.

Drivers convicted of drag or street racing on public roadways risk losing their driver’s license with a 12-point traffic violation, fines up to $999 and having their vehicle impounded.

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