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Drag Racing In LA: As Tracks Close, Racers Turn To The Streets (VIDEOS)

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Last Drag from KPCC on Vimeo.


Southern California is where hot rod racing began, but nowadays there are hardly any places left to rev your speedy wheels legally. Mae Ryan's video for KPCC ponders the slow death of drag racing culture through the eyes of its most passionate aficionados.

Since the 1960s, as Southern California has become more and more populated and property value has gone up, tracks have closed due to neighbors complaining about noise. Ryan's video shows that as tracks continue to close, racers won't stop racing -- they'll just take it to the streets.

Two tracks, the Irwindale Drag Strip and Fontana's Auto Club Dragway, both closed down last month, and there have been at least two fatal street race accidents in the Inland Empire since then, KPCC reports. Now, there are only three tracks left in Southern California.

Illegal street racing in Compton has recently been featured on the National Geographic show "Shock Mansion." The close-call race in the video below shows how dangerous street races can be.

With so few racing tracks left, we wonder if speed demons will turn to the go-to high-speed set for television and movies: the LA river. Greased lightning, anyone?

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