Weekend races aim to end illegal street racing

The roads leading to the Westside are laden with rubber and Bobby Barros wants to change that.

Barros, president of the Garden Island Racing Association, is using this weekend’s Second Annual Rudy Ramos Interdependence Day Races at the Kaua‘i Raceway Park in Mana, in an effort to rid Kaua‘i of illegal street racing.

“Racing is a dangerous sport, especially for younger drivers,” Barros said. “We try to promote to not race on the road. Come bring your car to the track where it’s legal.”

Barros said that illegal street racing has been a problem, especially on the Westside. To combat it, this weekend’s races are open to anyone looking to compete.

“I think that a lot more of the younger guys are bringing their cars here. It’s much safer. We have paramedics and firefighters standing by,” Barros said.

Friday night featured a test and tune, where locals brought their own cars to have inspected and tuned in order to be fit for the track. All that was needed was a valid drivers licence and a helmet.

Although the test and tune was open to all, the cars that will be seen in this weekend’s races more than likely won’t feature any clunkers. Cars that end up qualifying for the races must past strict safety inspections, Barros said.

“Very rarely will you see a car that’s in pretty bad shape,” he said. “We can’t let them run those out there.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Barros said to expect top-of-the-line cars in which owners have invested thousands of dollars. Barros said there will be nearly 200 different racers competing over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, with some cars hitting the track with speeds close to 180 miles per hour.

For the fans who enjoy a little more glitz and glamour compared to the heart-pumping and ear-shattering horsepower of the dragsters, Barros said they’ll be many vintage cars on display from owners who have been coming to the races for nearly 30 years.

“It really is just a big family event,” Barros said. “We live on a small island and are very limited in the things we do. Why not make a change? Come see the loud cars and all of the people out here.”

The Junior Dragster Challenge will highlight Saturday’s calendar when gates open at 11 a.m. Timed trials will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. followed by a dinner break until 7 p.m. when all class bracket racing competition will unfold.

The King of the Track and Rudy Ramos Tribute parade will highlight Sunday’s calendar when gates open at 11 a.m.

Timed trials will highlight the afternoon from 1 to 6 p.m. with a dinner break until 7 p.m.

The Rudy Ramos Tribute parade will open the track at 7:30 p.m. followed by all classes bracket racing competition.

Admission to the three-day event is $12 per person per day with children 12 and under admitted free.

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