JOHN BISCI/GATEWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK
Metro area street racers take it to the track on select Fridays this summer.
Street racers can do it legally this Friday, March 29, during Midnight Madness at Gateway Motorsports Park (700 Raceway Blvd., Madison, Illinois)
. The track's NHRA-sanctioned, quarter-mile drag strip will be open for all challengers from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
A collaboration between Ranken Technical College, NOS Energy Drink and the race track, Midnight Madness is a safe alternative to illegal street racing. There are a few caveats: All participating cars and motorcycles must be street legal, and everybody has to pass a safety inspection prior to competition. Additionally, drivers ages sixteen and seventeen will need a signed parental consent form. But once the paperwork is done, it's on to the track and high speed burn-outs. (If you fancy yourself more of a drifter, have no fear; Gateway's drift pit will be open for all comers.)
If you really want to flash your balls-out speed, last year's Sharks of the Strip outlaw races are back as well. Cars are allowed to have any engine and transmission combinations, any fuel type (carb or fuel injection), any suspension and any tire size, with no minimum weight requirements. The Sharks race for glory and
cash, which tends to increase the tension as the heats wind down.
If your car isn't going to be ready by Friday, keep wrenching and don't worry. There are more Midnight Madness drag nights planned throughout the summer and early fall. Check the website (www.gatewaymsp.com
) for dates and details.
Admission is $15 for spectators, and $25 for racers and crew members, while kids 12 and younger get in free. Gateway will have food specials and DJs going during the event.