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Police group to host racing challenge

By Ashley B. Craig, Police Reporter

UPDATE: The Beat The Heat drag racing challenge will take place at 5 p.m. Friday, May 16, at the Kanawha Valley Motorsports Park in Southside, W.Va.

Sponsored by the St. Albans Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 88, the Beat the Heat program offers the opportunity to legally drag race a police car on a drag strip. The Beat the Heat racers are dedicated to end the unsafe practice of street racing and move them to a race track.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, May 17, the Tulsa County, Okla. Sheriff’s Department’s jet-powered funny car will make a couple of passes on the drag strip. For more information, visit www.kanrace.com.

Want to race a police car without getting a ticket? This weekend is your chance.

The Beat the Heat drag racing challenge, hosted by the St. Albans Fraternal Order of Police, is set for Friday and Saturday at the Kanawha Valley Drag Strip in Mason County. But before the racing begins, members of the FOP will hold a Police Vehicle Cruise-In at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at Mayberry’s restaurant.

Capt. James Agee said the Tulsa County (Oklahoma) Sheriff’s Office will have their “Heat Wave” jet car at the cruise-in and drag race challenge. Agee said Sam Ives, a Tulsa County reserve deputy, built the car and operates it. The car, which can reach speeds of more than 270 mph will be parked during the cruise-in.

Agee said area police departments have been asked to bring their patrol cars or other specialty vehicles to the event. He said several police dragsters from out of the area will be in attendance. It’s a likely bet the 1993 Corvette decorated with St. Albans police decals will be parked at the cruise-in as well.

The cruise-in is the lead up for the drag challenge this weekend. The goal of the challenge isn’t for bragging rights — well, not entirely, but rather to discourage street racing.

“Street racing is still a bit of a problem out there,” Agee said. “It’s not near as bad in the Kanawha Valley as it was.”

He said a good bit of street racing now is occurring in the hollows and that the racers aren’t gunning for pink slips but rather to boost their egos.

“They’re still placing themselves and others in danger,” he said.

Officers involved with the challenge are telling drivers that if they want to race they need to take it to the track.

Teens and young adults are typically given preference, but officers take on all challengers the first day. Officers give their challengers a quick lesson and safety talk on drag racing at a sanctioned track before heading to the line to start the race. Those who beat the heat get a t-shirt in addition to the pride that comes along with winning a race.

On the second day officers race each other to see whose ride reigns supreme. The winner walks away with the championship jacket and serious bragging rights.

The Kanawha Valley Motorsports Park is on U.S. 35/W.Va. 817 in the Southside area of Mason County.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.craig@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4850.


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