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Newsday readers: Racers need a local track

Two cars clocked on radar racing at more

Two cars clocked on radar racing at more than 140 mph on the Long Island Expressway crashed moments later into this Islandia gas station, officials said. (March 3, 2011) Photo Credit: Umit Ozdemir

Tricking out cars and street racing have become a popular subculture on Long Island, but a recent spate of major accidents have led local authorities to crack down on the illicit racing.

County officials say that stepping up police patrols and imposing stricter punishment on offenders will put a stop to would-be racers. But some Newsday readers say that the counties should be working with -- not against -- the niche community.

According to these readers, the best way to get racers off the street would be by creating and managing a local racing strip. What do you think?

Regarding "Keep hammer down on street racing" [Editorial, March 8], everyone knows we have a street-racing problem on Long Island. Here's the thing no politician will touch: We need a track on Long Island. If we had one, it would at least give the kids a safe place to go.

Long Island is one of the hottest spots in the nation for classic and custom cars. We all know that there are police officers who have classics and customs. We need to get the police and the car owners together. Locking people up is not the answer. --Christopher Pisoni / Medford

With the latest news, it won't be long before some lawmaker comes up with another no-good solution by creating a new law or making the penalties tougher. The real solution would be to make a portion of the Calverton property into a drag strip.

Having a place for drag racing in a controlled environment would cut down the illegal racing, not to mention that car clubs on Long Island could host events, and the National Hot Rod Association could bring in big-name drag racers. Take a look at Raceway Park and Island Dragway in New Jersey, and Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania.

This idea is a lot more feasible than that indoor snow mountain that never happened. --Mark Escorcia / West Babylon

Build a new drag strip! Drag racing has been around longer than most of us have been alive. It's time to crawl out from that yuppie, stuck-up Long Island rock that everyone lives under and find new ways to bring racers off the street.

If done right it has the potential to attract some big names in motor sports. Safety and revenue. It's a win-win for Long Island. Unless, of course, the politicians don't mind that we keep giving our money to New Jersey? -- Rob Kozik / Nesconset



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