The Fast & Furious Drag Races in Town

There's nothing like the smell of gasoline and the roar of an engine chomping at the proverbial bit to get your heart pumping. When it comes to Las Vegas, we are definitely not foreigners to the adrenaline chase and some high risk situations. In fact, we've come to make a business out of it. That's why the subject of drag racing has been a recurring conversation in our city and not yet realized to its full potential.

There have been many efforts to bring official and regulated drag races to the Vegas Strip. I mean, can you imagine the city shut down for an epic race with all eyes (and bets) on those vehicles? It's what we live for. Formula One Racing and their CEO Bernie Ecclestone have had their eye on our brightly lit drag for decades, fighting for the speedy cause with permits, bids, concepts presented to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and more political waltzing. At one point, from 1981-84, the dream was realized in what was called The Caesars Palace Grand Prix. The race was eventually scrubbed after a poorly designed counterclockwise track strained drivers' necks combined with the desert heat contributing to heat exhaustion.

The desire for a Vegas grand prix is still burning, though, with F1 recently sending out F1 track designer Hermann Tilke to attempt mapping a course through Sin City just a few weeks ago. The real question is - will it ever come to fruition? Or just circulate across the desks of city officials who have seen the proposal so many times that it's a known pig that will never fly?

In one way, the yearning for a Vegas drag race has come to life in the form of the Mopar Midnight Mayhem held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The program for amateur racers and speed enthusiasts holds an opportunity for drag racers to bring their skills (and souped-up cars) to the table on one of the best race tracks in the country, and only for $15 per car and $5 per spectator ticket. Offering this event discourages racing on public streets and endangering themselves and others. The National Hot Rod Association estimates that 135 people die each year in street racing crashes, so by providing a safer outlet for drag races they can avoid contributing to that depressing statistic.

For the rest of us average Joe's who don't have our own super-charged vehicle or the ear of Formula One Racing, there are still options to get an adrenaline kick. We can jump in a Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8 V10 or Nissan GT-R at the snap of our fingers with our friends over at Exotic Racing, or even get the Dream Racing Experience for 5 (or 20) laps in a non-street-legal Ferrari F430 GT, also at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Whatever you decide, rest assured that if the city finally moves forward on a full-fledged Formula One drag race down the Vegas Strip, we'll make sure you're the first to know about it!