WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Do you want to drag race the Wichita Police Department? You will now have your chance this Friday night.
Wichita police and Mel Hambelton are teaming up to provide the race opportunity in a controlled and safe environment at the Kansas International Dragway.
“I think that’s great. Car culture is near and dear to my heart, obviously,” said Rodney Horton with Shift Automotive in downtown Wichita. “And to see the cops get involved is really, really cool.”
WPD says drag racing has become a problem both here and nationwide. Officer Paul Cruz said so far in 2021, two deaths in Wichita have been related to street racing.
“We understand the need for speed,” said Cruz. “We understand that our community is interested in this, but we are also interested in doing it in a safe way.”
“We are excited to bring this together. As much as the street racing is an issue, we want to bring this community back together where the street racers are at the track doing it in a safe environment,” said Phil Nightingale, Mel Hambelton general manager
Police plan to have three officers racing a patrol car.
“Leave us in the smoke. Now is your opportunity,” said officer Cruz. “We want to grow this into something bigger.”
The idea for the event came from the Colorado State Patrol and their long-standing “Take It To The Track” nights.
“We saw a great opportunity for young people and police officers to interact in a fun way right here in our community,” said Lisa Hambelton, Mel Hambelton’s owner.
Horton says this is a great chance to show off your car and have some safe fun with speed.
“And we’ve got a lot of great men and women in our community that are able to pull that off,” said Horton. “It’s really a pretty awesome environment to have a car in, honestly.”
The dragway is located a 7800 W. 61st Street North. The event will run from 6 p.m. to midnight and feature food vendors, a police booth, and prizes by Mel Hambleton. Admission is $8 for adults. Law Enforcement and kids 12 and under get in free. For more, click here.