SEMA Member News - July/August 2010
A Program People Can Live With
The goal of RASR is to provide a professional, controlled environment in which today’s car, truck and powersports enthusiasts can participate in automotive-related events throughout the United States.
RASR. You’ve heard of the acronym, but what does it stand for? Racers Against Street Racing. The program was created by a coalition of auto manufacturers, aftermarket parts companies, retailers, distributors, professional drag racers, sanctioning bodies, race tracks and automotive magazines. Driven by a task force within the SEMA Street Performance Council (SPC), RASR is devoted to promoting safe and legal alternatives to illegal street racing on a national level.
The goal of RASR is to provide a professional, controlled environment in which today’s car, truck and powersports enthusiasts can participate in automotive-related events throughout the United States. RASR’s initial focus was on drag racing but has expanded to all forms of racing.
RASR is working hard to combat the problem of dangerous, illegal street racing. How? Through a grassroots enthusiast group that promotes legal alternatives to illegal street racing, taking the program to communities throughout the country via the new RASR website.
RASR addresses the realities of street racing, informs young drivers about local street-racing laws and provides information about legal alternatives. Community leaders and high-school teachers utilize the RASR website and messaging to enhance their educational efforts.
“RASR’s message against illegal street racing contends with hundreds of media messages that depict street racing as cool and okay,” said Chris Kersting, president and CEO of SEMA. “The reality is too often quite different with the unfortunate results of street racing. RASR strives hard to educate new drivers about the dangers of street racing and encourages those with a passion for speed and performance to take it to the track. There are organized racing events and facilities nearly everywhere, and RASR can help folks find them.”
New to the RASR program is The Pledge. By signing the RASR Pledge and promising to not participate in illegal drag racing, visitors toRASR.org acknowledge the dangers of illegal racing and safer alternatives.
Want to Get Involved in RASR? It’s as Easy as 1-2-3!
Classroom programs and The Pledge are only part of the RASR outreach. RASR also takes an active role in promoting alternatives to illegal street racing. Many professional racetracks across the country are instituting street-legal drags. These programs offer participants the thrill of intense competition while providing the crucial elements that are not available on the street: a controlled, professional race environment and official time slips to provide real proof of just how fast the competitors’ vehicles are.
Some racetracks are taking their street-legal programs to another level by adding other lifestyle attractions to their amateur racing events, such as car shows, climbing walls, live music performances and foam play pits. The racetracks have the support of local law enforcement authorities. In Southern California, for instance, the local police issue “tickets” to go racing at no charge at Irwindale Speedway. In the future, RASR will be launching a “track finder” function on the new site.
“Illegal street racing is so dangerous,” said RASR fan and professional drag race champion Lisa Kubo. “While you might win $5, you can also get a ticket that could cost you hundreds and hundreds of dollars and the possible loss of your license. The money that ticket costs you could be put to much better use—to improve your car, to support your team, to buy uniforms. Illegal street racing just isn’t worth it.”
More information about RASR and its programs to provide legal alternatives to street racing within controlled environments is available at www.RASR.org.