Discovery's Street Outlaws should take it to the strip
Discovery Channel’s show Street Outlaws glamorizes the unsafe practice of street racing and brings negativity to the sport of drag racing as a whole. Glorifying illegal racing also encourages others to believe it’s acceptable. Although some of the racing takes place on airport runways and other locations, with required permits, it does not take away from the fact it promotes illegal street racing. Some argue street racing related deaths are minimal in comparison to other auto accidents (http://www.examiner.com/article/illegal-street-racing-statistics); however, one life lost due to this activity is totally unacceptable and preventable. It not only jeopardizes the safety of the racers and onlookers, but the general public as well. This link provides some insightful illegal street racing statistics (http://evostreetracers.org).
The intent of this petition is not to cancel production of future Street Outlaws shows, but to encourage Discovery Channel to have all drag racing activity take place at safe, legal drag racing facilities. There are at least four known drag strips within 1 hour and 34 minutes of Oklahoma City, OK.
Thunder Valley Raceway Park (Noble, OK) 28 miles (36 mins)
Ardmore Dragway (Springer, OK) 87 miles (1 hour 20 mins)
LA Dragway (Geronimo, OK) 97 miles (1 hour 30 mins)
Tulsa Raceway Park (Tulsa, OK) (107 miles (1 hour 34 mins)
This would not change the premise of the show, “fastest street racers in the nation” nor dilute the ongoing rivalries between the racers involved. The show itself is great....drama, rivalries, etc. But they could very easily take the drag racing part of it 28 miles down the road to Thunder Valley Raceway Park and have the same results....without promoting street racing. Non-prepped track, timers off, no tree.....with walls and no other cars or people around. The bottom line…..drag racing should only take place within the confines of a safe environment and not promoted as a cool thing to do on the street!
Wally Parks, born in Goltry, OK, just 2 hours north of where Street Outlaws is filmed, founded drag racing’s most successful and influential sanctioning body in 1951. He formed the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to institute safety rules to get racing off the streets and into safer, organized venues. Over the years there have been other drag racing sanctioning bodies formed and many drag strips opened, yet, here we are 63 years later still fighting against what Wally Parks set out to do.