Just Pazzin’ Thru…with my opinions!

Just Call It What It Really Is!!!


One thing that always bugs the crap out of me is whenever I read a newspaper article, hear a radio report or see a TV story about motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s) caused by what the reporter refers to as “drag racing”.  Usually, these “accidents” end up causing serious injuries or even deaths.  In this context, “drag racing” becomes the convenient label slapped on the news report by the lazy, uninformed reporter who’d rather be getting a free lunch somewhere.  I wish I could just broadcast this next statement for all the world (or at least news outlets) to hear:  DRAG RACING is a legitmate sport; what happens on the streets is ILLEGAL STREET RACING.  PERIOD!!! 

What these wonderful folks don’t realize is that by applying the “drag racing” label where it doesn’t belong, it damages the real sport and its participants, fans and track owners.  All race fans should encourage these “speed demons” to do their racing ONLY at the tracks and not on the streets. 

Let’s do a quick comparison:  real drag racing vs. ILLEGAL STREET RACING.  The sport of drag racing is conducted at purpose-built facilities with safety rules and regulations already in place to protect participants and spectators alike.  There are always barriers (steel rails or concrete or both) separating the racing surface from the fans.  Tech inspection by trained officials is REQUIRED before any vehicle goes down the race track.  Most dragstrips have insurance policies in place in case something bad happens.  They are also required to have medical personnel on property whenever racing takes place.  It’s a legitmate business, with real expenses.  

Now let’s go to ILLEGAL STREET RACING:  no tech inspection (any piece of junk with any mechanical problem can and does race, no double-checking of the participants safety equipment, etc), no safety barriers of any kind protecting innocent bystanders, no medical staff on hand, no insurance, no rules, etc.  PLUS it’s against the law!!! How many more differences do you want between the two? 

I have actually tried to get these media people to get their act together.  In one instance, I was told by a member of the Rochester radio media that “everybody knows what we’re talking about when we say ‘drag racing’”.  I told him in no uncertain terms “BS!!!” and said “ILLEGAL STREET RACING” is more descriptive and gets right to the point.  Just recently, I responded to an article in a Charlotte NC newspaper website story about this very topic.  Amazingly, I received a very courteous reply to my concerns from both the editor and reporter.  They said they only got their info from the police (no other source or research was done). They indicated that’s what was on the report but they also said they would stop referring to these incidents as “drag racing”.  Interestingly, the police report said the arrests made charged the participants with an “ILLEGAL SPEED CONTEST”.  Go figure!!!

The ultimate irony:  the sport of drag racing, especially at the local tracks, is the SOLUTION to these tragic events, not the cause.   Whenever you hear someone brag that they won a ”race” on the streets, tell them to do some REAL drag racing and see how they do.  Support your local dragstrip!!!   

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer




Welcome to my first attempt at “blogging”.  Hopefully, I can get and keep your interest.  We can talk about anything in the world of motorsports.  I am based in upstate NY.  I am the PA track announcer for Daytona International Speedway, Watkins Glen International, Richmond International Raceway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, MRN Radio pit reporter and the Grand Am Road Racing Series webcast announcer.  Locally, I can be heard Wednesdays at NY International Raceway Park, Lancaster Raceway Park Dragway on selected Fridays, Holland Speedway on some Saturdays and special events at Lebanon Valley Dragway and Speedway Park in Lockport NY.  In addition, I handle the PA during the week for the IL Rochester Red Wings baseball team. During the “off-season”, I also do the AHL Rochester Americans hockey team PA  as well as the Section V Boys/Girls for  Basketball Tournament for over 20 tears.  Make sure you chime in here with your comments and information!

Mike Paz, Motorsports Announcer