Boys and their cars. The display of testosterone and souped-up engines has been a yearly thing for over a decade here in Houston. It's all thanks to the TX2K auto racing event at the Lone Star Motorsports Park in Sealy.
The event draws racing nerds with fast and furious ambitions who talk smack to each other in online forums dedicated to modified engines and most of them look nothing like Vin Diesel.
How do we know? Because Harris County Sheriff's Deputies this weekend were looking for the TX2K spill over, as they do every year and caught nine speed racers.
It's not a big secret that these night-time racers hit the local roads trying to prove something, or win money during this annual event. One racing website hinted at it two years ago.
Heavily modified Supras have been descending on the South Coast to battle for supremacy on the road course, dyno, and the dragstrip (not to mention the late-night clandestine high speed runs which allegedly take place on the highways that snake around the suburbs of Houston).
While a Harris County Sheriff's spokeswoman wouldn't give the breakdown on all the wild rides that were caught in the sting, she only said a Corvette (What is it with racing Corvettes?, a Ford (we're thinking Mustang here) and some other modified vehicles were spotted racing.
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A misdemeanor, street racing carries a maximum fine of $20,000, 180 days locked up and loss of driver license. You face 20 years in the clink if you're a racing addict and repeat offender. And to really make it unattractive, the sheriff's office says that spectators and speed car passengers can also be fined and punished.
Callouts in online forums attached to racing enthusiats websites, especially the site for TX2K feature some chatter about racing on the street. Authorities wouldn't say if they monitor online racing forums when they go after this type of activity, but one thing's for certain, when a big racing even comes to town, they've got their eyes peeled.
And although authorities that focus falls on spectators who attend TX2K and then move the racing to the streets, the event's president Peter Blach told ABC News that his business doesn't condone that. "We create a safe environment on a sanctioned race track. We don't endorse street racing. We can't control it. We would love to help with law enforcement," he said in a statement.
This is definitely a thing in Houston, as the sheriff's office points out the west side of Harris County is a notorious street racing zone in the area near Westheimer Road, Highway 6, and Interstate 10. Complaints from residents are usually the kinds of tips police rely on.