MPD puts the brakes on illegal drag spot

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Among the cars parked in the city's impound lot are nearly two dozen vehicles seized during a weekend raid at a popular Memphis street racing spot.

"A lot of the people I interact with street race," said Joe Beegle of DynoSpeed Racing in Bartlett.

Beegle makes his living increasing the performance of factory cars.

"When you have a vehicle that's designed to run, you wanna run it," he said.

Beegle personally discourages his clients from "running it" in areas that are not regulated.

"There are unspoken rules people are supposed to follow," he said. "But there's nobody there to watch it and people do get hurt."

They also get rowdy.  We found empty beer cans and bottles along B.F. Goodrich Road.  It's a straight-away in the middle of an industrial area where business owners petitioned the city for assistance.

"When folks go to watch drag racing they don't take peppermint sticks and chocolate milk with them," Mayor A C Wharton said Monday during a news conference.  He said the make-shift drag strip on Goodrich was one of the worst.

"I went out and looked at it and got with the Director, and we're gonna do that all over this town," Wharton promised.

Police issued 18 misdemeanor citations Saturday night, recovered a stolen car, and towed 20 others.  But Joe Beegle believes some racers will never "shift gears."

"You're always gonna have that percentage of people," Beegle said. "No matter what you do, they're gonna street race."

Some believe the closure of Memphis Motorsports Park has prompted some racers to take to the streets.  That's something city leaders do not believe.

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