2 Fast 2 Last

Street racing persists in St. Louis even though it's taken a wicked toll. No wonder: For some motorheads, it's better than sex.

He says he doesn't worry that his shop encourages kids to risk their lives by racing on the streets. There's nothing wrong with a fast car, he says, as long as you know how -- and when and where -- to handle it.

"It's for fun, not to race," he says. "You get your car fast, get it looking good, you'll have the potential to race. But you don't want to do that past 40 or 50 mph. You double the speed limit, that's not safe. You can have a badass fast car, but if somebody's going slower than you, they panic and then hit somebody else. That's not you, but you create it."

No one really knows what it would take to stop street racing. The rush is too great, the temptation to run from red light to red light too overpowering and too available, for reckless young guys to resist. The track is too safe for some racers -- on the streets, they have their own world. They may think it's safe, that they're in control -- but they're not.

Mark Gilliland
Hundreds of street-car drivers go to Gateway every Tuesday night to race on a real dragstrip. For some, the controlled environment is a turn-off. But many of them recognize that it’s much safer than racing on the streets.
Mark Gilliland
Hundreds of street-car drivers go to Gateway every Tuesday night to race on a real dragstrip. For some, the controlled environment is a turn-off. But many of them recognize that it’s much safer than racing on the streets.

"It's not safe when you just meet up together and race," Le says. "Street racing is dangerous. But you can't stop kids from hanging out and showing off their cars. You cannot stop that."

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