Sheriff Bill Young and Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller to drag race tonight at Thursday Night Street Wars at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway


            Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Bill Young and Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller will participate in tonight's Thursday Night Street Wars at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 8 p.m.  Both Young and Heller will compete in street-legal cars and will race each other, as well as local drivers and members of the media.

Thursday Night Street Wars was launched by The Strip at LVMS to combat illegal street racing - also referred to as "the illegals" - on March 17.  Like The Strip's popular BFGoodrich Midnight Mayhem program, Thursday Night Street Wars is open to any licensed driver with proof of insurance.  All cars and motorcycles must be street legal, driven to the track and pass a safety inspection.  As an added incentive, Thursday Night Street Wars will award $100 and a trophy to the drivers turning in the fastest speed and lowest elapsed time (E.T.).

Thursday Night Street Wars appeals to experienced Midnight Mayhem participants and illegal street racers who want an additional challenge.  Racers compete on a fully-prepped track, just like the NHRA professional drag racers are used to.

"Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been a true community partner with Metro," said Sheriff Bill Young of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, during the March 10 press conference to introduce Thursday Night Street Wars. "And they continue to step up, spending their time, effort and money to assist us in preventing this serious crime.  Over the past few years we've had several deaths and some very serious accidents -- not to mention the havoc it creates for the innocent motorists that get caught up in this.  You can cite, you can arrest, you can incarcerate.  We've done that.  We've tried

infiltrating the (street racing) groups to figure out where they're going to race and try to prevent it.  All of those tactics do have some success, but they are a big expense to the taxpayers and prevent us from going out and fighting crime.

"I think this program is a great idea.  It allows them the opportunity to race, but in a much safer environment with medical and safety personnel.  It's a controlled environment with a much more professional and realistic setting.

"It's not just kids.  We have stopped and cited young adults and people in their 30s and older.  Common sense just tells you it's a much better environment out here at the drag strip.  We strongly encourage and endorse this program."

Thursday Night Street Wars are conducted from 8 p.m.-1 a.m.  Gates open at 7 p.m.  Entry fee is $20 to race. Spectator admission is $5.  Alcohol is not allowed at the events.

The Thursday Night Street Wars schedule has been expanded due to popular demand.  Thursday Night Street Wars will be held on June 23, July 14, August 11, Sept. 1, Sept. 8, Sept. 15 and Nov. 11.