GIRA to host drag races Saturday in Mana park

MANA – It’s back to the Mana track for the Garden Isle Racing Association.

The GIRA will host the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) championship drag race Saturday night (Sept.14) at Kaua’i Raceway Park in Mana. The racer’s gate opens at noon, time trials begin at 1 p.m. and competition begins at 6 p.m.

This race will feature Top Gun Competition with Miles Togioka and Tyler Taba running 200 mph, 6 second dragsters. Pro ET competition will include race cars competing at more than 160 MPH. Saturday’s event will include racing open to all street legal cars and licensed drivers in Street ET and Super Street ET with speeds up to 120 MPH.

Saturday’s Jr. ET competition will include a special “Safe Racing Not Street Racing” award presented by Lt. Governor Mazie Hirono.

The NHRA was founded in 1951 to get racing off the city streets and highways and into safe, organized venues. Now in its fifth decade, the NHRA is the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body with more than 85,000 members, 144 tracks and nearly 4,000 member-track events.

The NHRA prides itself on safety. They provide safe grounds for drivers so that they can avoid what is popularly known as street racing: a flagrantly excessive speed on public road. The NHRA says street racing is the bane of all motorsports supporters and gives them all a bad name.

Mayoral candidate Ron Kouchi says: “The GIRA shows how people from all backgrounds within the Kaua’i community can come together to achieve common goals. It is an all volunteer, community-based, non-profit organization. GIRA also pledges its goal to provide its members with a safe, legal and fun outlet for young people with fast cars – for both members and non-members. They provide a family activity – many of the racing teams include several generations.”

Charlie King of King Auto Center also supports the GIRA’s efforts.

“We decided to support GIRA because a member of our team [treasurer Mark Perales] is actively involved,” King said. “Also, we fell that the GIRA is all about people with a passion for speed, but speed with safety – we like that. We want to see racing on the track and not on the streets.”

Over 100 members on Kaua’i, including its officers, President Walt Barnes and Vice President Glenn Montemayor, among others.

Additional races for the 2002 season will be held Sunday, October 6th, Sat. Night, Nov.9th Major sponsorships for drag racing on Kaua’i are provided by PSD Napa, King Auto Center and Budweiser. For more information about GIRA and drag racing on Kauai call 808.823.6246.

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