Drag racers accused of going 78 in a 40 MPH zone

Drag racers accused of going 78 in a 40 MPH zone

(WMC-TV) – Two men are accused of drag racing on Winchester Road. And according to police, one of the men said he had only hit 78 miles per hour – in the 40 mile per hour zone.

Memphis police were responding to an unrelated call at a Mapco when they saw two cars drag racing westbound.

Officers say it took them several blocks to catch up to George Riley and Darryl Banks.

When officers spoke with Riley, he told them he had only hit 78 miles per hour. That is 38 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

While nobody got hurt in this incident, drag racing on city streets is inherently dangerous.

"Everybody has a need for speed. But there is a place to do it and a place not to do it," said Pam Kendrick, Memphis International Raceway.

Darreontae Martin is an example of why drag racing is so dangerous.

The former Sheffield High School football star spent months in a hospital after two dragsters hit him and left him for dead.

The Memphis International Raceway even discourages illegal racing by opening its drag strip to the public on Thursday nights under a program called "Race on the track, not on the streets".

"We make sure all of the safety requirements are met. They go through a tech inspection, make sure there car is safe to race before we allow them even to go out on the drag strip," said Kendrick.

Visitors can race as often as possible. It costs $20 for four hours.

While business is one side of it, the raceway did produce a public service announcement in hopes of spreading a message.

"We don't wanna hear about a fatality because someone has done it in the wrong place," said Kendrick. "Bring it out here. Let us make sure you're safe. Give us the opportunity to show you the right way to do it."

When city streets become roads of racing, the finish line may hold a mugshot – or worse.

Riley posted a $250 bond. Banks is out of jail, too. Both are due in court Friday. The charges they face are misdemeanors.

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