Midnight RunRunning & Racing the Streets of Orange County
It is safe to say that street racing is alive and well as the controversy that surrounds it continues to paint a bleak future. Is street racing dangerous, yes of course it is, but so is sky diving. As the debut continues to lock down the streets in the name of safety, watch dogs of the local community need to look at the argument of the original speed contest that dates back to the middle ages when men on horses completed to see who was the better rider, of more important who had the faster horse.
Flash to the modern day era where the horse has been replaced by the car and you can still trace the roots of street racing back to earliest days of the first automobile. Southern California has always been viewed as the birthplace of the Drag racing sport. To quote fact, the first contested drag racing event on a paved road was held just south of Los Angeles in Santa Ana, California; back in the late 1940’s. So its safe to assume that street racing is just as much a major part of the community of Santa Ana as its central art walk, or the even their 100 year old court house. Which most of the local street racers try to avoid.
Santa Ana is a city that was build for street racers, as most of the community is generally an industrial neighborhood. This allows for a perfect sanctuary of long deserted quite streets at night, with few residential homes that may become bothered by excessive noise from these staged speed contests that run into the early hours of the morning. More importantly, Santa Ana’s hard working blue collar character is bred in its people, and that is what drives their desire to race.
Street racing isn’t just about the race between two drivers as much as its about the rally of vehicles that caravan from multiple locations in search for a safe place to race. Gambling also plays a major role in the game, as bets can be made between the two participants involved in the race, or on the side between spectators of the race. Come to think of it people bet on just about anything that surrounds the night, take for example when people place odds on when and at what location will the cops show up at. Which brings us to the next element of street racing, law enforcement. Yes street racing is a crime, even watching it is a misdemeanor offense. Racing on the street holds many more consequences, as one can lose their drivers license, have their car impounded as well as destroyed, or even serve jail time. These laws have been set in place by our government in an effort to stop senseless high speed incidents, where the “drag race” has been the major component to many major accidents resulting in some cases loss of life by one of the racers, or even more tragic, by a spectator. So in the sake of keeping everyone safe, if you must race or watch on the street people, we urge you to be as safe and alert as possible. Remember speed kills, and it can happen to you.
For our journey into the underworld of Orange County street racing, our guide and confidant is a man that goes by the name of Beto, who knows the scene and is well aware of the good and the bad that makes up his favorite past time. For anonymity sake we won’t talk about his ride that is know to shake down the streets late at night, or the fact that it can travel more than 88 miles an hour in the mall parking lot, but the man does eat, live, and breathe, street racing. He makes it a point to know who’s up for a race that night, and looks for the modern day trojan horse who might look like a sheep on the outside, but is all wolf on the inside. Allow us to share with you a small portion of a night on the town starting in Santa Ana, and heads around Orange County, California.