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Story | Phillip Pratt
Photos | Phillip Pratt & Gerry Burke
On a perfect weather night where we saw the return of Rob and his thousand-plus horsepower Supra to Street Racing Made Safe, MPI’s GTR making a 195 MPH pass and Frustrate running something close to eight seconds in his AWD EG hatch; you’d think it was a night the racers and spectators won… but no. With well over 15 broken axels on both front wheel and rear wheel drive cars, the biggest winner was Palm Beach International Raceway’s freshly paved, professionally prepped (perhaps a bit over-prepped?) track. It conquered both the amateur and the experienced, built and daily-driven, leaving some to load up their trailers earlier or call for a tow truck. We all love the action, but racers, seriously… if you drove to the park from a great distance, perhaps it’s best not to dig in the car that got you there? Despite the spattering of hold-ups due to having to push crippled cars off the track, it was still a great night of power. While they weren’t able to get too much into the Dig List Top Ten, I think everyone in attendance did learn a valuable lesson; while building your racecar, don’t neglect your axels.
Story | Phillip Pratt
Before we start, we’d like to set something straight about what we’re about here at Street Racing Illustrated and subsequently SRMS. We do not condone, promote, or try to justify, illegal street racing of any kind. Our primary focus is and always has been to journalize our culture in its many facets including the drivers, builders, tuners, cars, bikes and legit events where our talents and passion can be safely put on display.
TX2K is an annual event that is currently held at the Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas, a city that resides in both Harris and Chambers Counties. The massive event draws in racers for hundreds and even thousands of miles away. Like other events of its ilk, TX2K provides enthusiasts with a safe outlet where they can go W.O.T. (wide open throttle) without worrying about something or someone getting in between them and the finish line. The latest iteration of the event was held this past weekend from the 15th through the 18th of March. It’s also the same weekend that law enforcement in the area decided to launch an operation which netted at least 42 arrests of people participating in illegal street racing activities of various degrees.
Now, this isn’t an article defending anyone that found themselves in trouble. If you got roped, you know what you were doing. It comes with the territory. The larger issue with this is the connotation some choose to pin to the entire culture. Prosecutors involved with the cases claim; “the TX2K drag racing at Royal Purple Raceway brings in an unsavory crowd into our area…” This is what we call throwing the baby out with the bath water. Instead of praising TX2K for attempting to provide an option, they are demonized and accused of creating the problem.
In the Channel 13 report that broke this story, it’s said that the event attracts participants from “as far as Ohio”. Something I do not doubt. But to say TX2K “brings in an unsavory crowd into our area” infers that this crowd doesn’t exist year-round (I’m not calling our kind “unsavory”, chill). Let’s be honest, even if a track was open every day and every night of the week, there would still be some form of racing happening in our streets. It’s an activity that’s been around since people began using engines instead of horses to get around. Despite what doomsday screeching, Fast and Furious watching, news anchors would have you believe, it’s not some kind of new fad that started in the early 2000’s.
This is the official response from Peter of TX2K Enterprises:
Royal Purple Raceway and TX2K have always been committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment [for] racers and fans alike. TX2K is a track-focused event that gives racers a chance to race one another at the most premier race track in the country. Neither the track nor the event condone street racing and plan to continue to offer a street car event in the [safest] place possible…the race track.
Problem is; tracks are disappearing around the country. Most drag strips are built miles away from residential areas. Even then, they have strict ordinances placed on them in terms of what hours and days they can be in operation. More often than not, what gets tracks shut down isn’t the street racing that happens around the area, as we saw in Texas this past weekend, but the noise it creates for nearby residents… which is the reason they are built so far into the sticks, to begin with. This problem only presents itself once developers start to buy up land near these establishments, and then build multi-million-dollar homes for people with deep pockets that have the resources to apply pressure to officials to have the nearby noise machine closed for what they eventually cite as, “safety reasons” (yeah… right).
Allowing words such as unsavory to be associated with racers and legitimate, structured, events like TX2K, damage the entire culture and makes it easier for lawmakers to take away the very tools that help prevent what they claim to be fighting. While there were 2 deaths attributed to street racing in 2016 (unrelated to TX2K), there has never been a death on the streets during a TX2K event. A simple Google search of DUI deaths in the same area and you’ll wonder why lawmakers are not more concerned about that statistic.
In fact, in 2015 Harris County ranked among the highest in the state for substance-related deaths while driving (149). This is not to diminish someone losing a loved one to street racing, but it puts in perspective what this is truly about; quite frankly, it’s about noise, not public safety. Which leads one to wonder why officials don’t just partner with TX2K and present a united front instead of threatening to shut it down. There’s nothing wrong with shining a light on something that is a legitimate concern, not just in Texas but across the country, but to denigrate something that is actually helping to stem the tide is short-sighted and ultimately, irresponsible.
Photo taken by Cody Carey for TX2K and 1320 Video
Street Racing Illustrated would like to thank TX2k for sharing their thoughts with us and 1320 Video and all their gifted contributors.
Story & Photos | Phillip Pratt
Nothing like perfect weather to drive a great night of grudge racing. Despite an unfortunate setback with a Mustang spilling its guts halfway down the track, creating an hour and a half long “wait and see” situation, we were treated to a plethora exciting races from some of South Florida’s fastest cars. Atop of a night where we saw local tuning guru, Javi Bastista of “Javituned”, and his wicked fast, turbocharged RSX move from the 7th position to the 3rd in a single night on the 40mph roll list, Daniel “Frustrate” Rodriguez debuted his AWD set-up on his K-powered EG hatch (also tuned by Javi). Javi was able to defeat Frustrate in the tuner vs builder clash, but time will tell if he’ll be able to hold on as I suspect Frustrate is only going to get faster as he gets used to his new set-up. Due to the aforementioned Mustang evacuation, the Dig list wasn’t able to pop off, however, those that stuck around while the track got cleaned up got to see Frustrate take on Dig-King, Eddie Miller, in his 73’ Plymouth Duster with a pro-tree. Frustrate was able to pull out a victory as Eddie let off the throttle quarter of the way down the track giving up at least a car length’s lead and ultimately the race. If you missed it, I wouldn’t worry. They’ll do it again, soon.
On Saturday 2/10/18 during our event at Palm Beach International Raceway we were featured as the solution to illegal street on CBS Channel 12!!!
See the link below for footage and the Article on Street Racing Made Safe!!!
EVOLUTION OF THE BEAST
Fr8train’s journey from contender to king and back.
Story | Phillip Pratt
Photos | Phillip Pratt / Gerry Burke
When the word “evolution” is mentioned, at least in the circles we run in any way, most immediately relate it to other words like “Mitsubishi”, “Lancer”, the engine code “4G63”, or, if you’re a die-hard Subie driver, “@#$% you!”. But to the rest of the sane world, the word “evolution”, derived from the word “evolve”, is the gradual development of something, especially from a simple form to a more complex one. It’s typically a slow process that begins to help an organism survive in whatever ecosystem it lives within, as the environment or other organisms around it change. Some develop rock-hard shells or the ability to change their color, maybe even to secrete venomous slim from their skin; it’s all done to better their chances in a world that’s out to kill and probably consume them.
Carlos, owner of the Trans Am named “Fr8train”, and the former king of the SRMS (Street Racing Made Safe) Top 10 List down in South Florida, knows this process all too well. Anyone familiar with the SRMS program in SoFlo knows his tenuous rise the top of the pack. The low-profile Firebird went from contender to top dog defeating every challenger put in its way. Having anywhere between 700 to 850-wheel horsepower, provided by a twin-turbo LS powerplant would generally make this a reality. That power combined with a rock-solid transmission built to necessity, in-house, by C&S (Carlos’ transmission shop) in Miramar, led to several run-ins with the ever-popular Danny “Frustrate” Rodriguez and his then B-Series powered, EG Civic. Losing to Frustrate during that friendly rivalry was enough to trigger Fr8train’s growth, but it most definitely wouldn’t be the last.
The car wasn’t purchased as we see it. It was acquired by Carlos’ father as a mere shell. From there, they decided to drop in the 5.7L LS V8 that’d you’d typically find in a WS6 but built it out with forged internals stroking it out to a healthy 393. Instead of going down the familiar avenue of a bottle nitrous (something they were used to) and calling it a day, they decided to go turbo. And not just a single snail either, two big boys. Utilizing the stock ECU (yes, the stock computer) and manual boost controller, they tuned it out to a ripe 711-wheel horsepower on only 3lbs of boost! That was enough to get him into the top five, and on the way, set up dances with several impressive contenders including a couple ridiculous Fox Body Mustangs, big power Supras and a wicked Evo or two. By the time Carlos was ready to challenge for a top-three spot, he’d turned up Trans Am to about 8lbs making more than 900-wheel horsepower. Finally, he was set to face-off with his target; Frustrate, and his boosted EG, who much like him had fought his way up the list over the last few months and wasn’t interested in letting go his crown. It was a close race, but Frustrate held on and did so for several months and just as many races. It forced Carlos to take his Firebird back into the lab.
The next time we saw Carlos, a couple things had changed. At a Super Chevy show, he snapped the timing chain on the Trans Am. It turned out to be a blessing-in-disguise as it led him to switch from a hydraulic to a solid roller which allowed the car to shift at higher RPMs and make a little more than 150 extra horsepower. This pushed the Trans Am well into the 1k+ club. That, combined with some needed track testing, was enough to dethrone the “People’s Champ”, Frustrate, at the next event and hold onto the #1 spot for quite some time. He even took the show on the road with a trip to Orlando Speed World. After some heated back-and-forths and the changing of the day (the race happened several minutes past midnight, in front of a handful of people), Carlos and Fr8train walked a local LS-powered Fox-body, with no more than two wheels on the ground for half of the 1320.
Carlos’ success didn’t go noticed, however. There were several groups from around the area that wanted a shot at him. Even Frustrate returned with a new set-up. This time utilizing a fully-built turbo-charged K-series motor. He was most certainly faster than before, but it still wasn’t enough to dethrone Carlos, who since their last meeting, had pushed the Trans Am to hold more than 1200 horsepower, converted to an automatic tranny and by then was consistently popping up on two wheels… and still had A/C. It wasn’t until weeks later, when Miami Performance Inc. and Fabshop Miami (no relation) showed up with their frighteningly fast GTRs, was anybody able to contend for Carlos’ crown. Ultimately, the younger, more advanced cars proved too much for the Trans Am and both, at one time or another, bested Carlos, controversy on roll-speeds and jumps notwithstanding, mind you.
With all that behind them, the boys at C&S are looking forward. They hadn’t originally built the Trans Am to be a “world-beater”. It was a passion project. Something to play around with on the weekends. Even after the big pressure contests, he endured against his friend Frustrate, it was just always just about fun at the end of the day. Now it’s a little different. During Carlos’ bouts against the MPI (Miami Performance Inc.) GTR there were a couple of dust-ups between the two crews. Ok, maybe more than a couple. Just about every time these guys got near each other there were most certainly words and always the chance of an altercation or two. I don’t want to claim it’s “personal” but I’m also not going to assume it’s just about going fast anymore.
With the intention of making a comeback, C&S have completely torn down the Trans Am; A stiffened-up chassis, a completely new rear-end, and a more advanced, substantially larger engine that will put out more than 2000-wheel horsepower (shhh…). The only thing that will remain from the previous power/drivetrain is the tranny because you know… C&S is a tranny shop. Carlos doesn’t plan to be present at the beginning of the new season of races in West Palm Beach. However, he does plan to be offer takers both rolls and digs, and promises “When I do come, they’ll know.”
The beginning of Season 2 for the Street Racing Made Safe Top Ten List was very competitive with plenty of surprises amongst the competitors!!! Now with 2 seperate classes for the Top Ten List there are different oppurtunites and different competitors we’ve never seen before.
Below are the standings for the 40MPH Top Ten List Class which had more than 20 challengers:
The Dig List brought cars weve never seen before and racers that were and are pre-paring their cars for the list moving forward. The Dig List is done via a 4/10 Pro-Tree with standard 7 second delay as well as a waterbox. We will be adding crew member tickets to the POS system at the track for Dig List crew members only moving forward.
Below are current standings of the Dig List class:
We return to the regular ladder style format of our Top Ten List on October 21st at Palm Beach International Raceway. Good Luck to our current list members We will see you in October and we are sure the list will be much more competitive as vehicles begin to climb to the top!!
Now you can save 20% on all your Turbo Wax orders for all our Street Racing Made Safe Supporters!!!
Use the Coupon Code: SRMS to get your discount!!
A chat with Rey on life, racing, and her DC2 Integra
Interviewer | Phillip Pratt
Photos | Rafael Gabaldon
Name: Reyana Lobban
Car: 1997 LS Acura Integra
Nationality: Jamaican American
City of Residence: Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Age: Finally 16 lol
Engine Mods: B20Vtec (B16 head, B20B block), B16 Transmission, Type R Cams, Blox Intake Manifold, Mugen Headers, Forza Exhaust, AEM Fuel Rail, 40 shot of Nitrous
Suspension: Function and Form Type 2
Wheels, Tires: USDM Integra Type R wheels with Falken Ziex ze950 tires
Street Racing Illustrated: When did you get into cars?
Rey: I’ve been around cars my whole life being that my dad was a mechanic and is a car enthusiast but I wouldn’t say I was always like this lol. I’d go to the race track with my dad all the time but it wasn’t until we went one evening and I saw a Supra on the way back home. It was the first time I’d ever actually paid attention to a car like that, I was about 9 or 10. I’ll never forget the sound of the car, hearing the blow-off valve oh my gosh, and the cleanliness of it. From then on, I knew what I wanted to do.
SRI: How long have you had your Integra?
Rey: The Integra and I have been through a lot. Back in 2014, I got my first car; a white GSR in which I had the B20V originally. Then I sold the GSR shell and decided to start over, so I got a Red LS Integra with a Jap front so I could go LSVtec. However, In the end, I just decided to put on the Type R wheels, Brakes, Valences, Side Skirts, put in some Sparco seats that were given to me as a gift, drop the B20 back in it and call it a day lol. To put it shortly, a very long 3 years.
SRI: What’s your favorite upgrade you’ve done to it thus far?
Rey: Honestly the favorite upgrade I have done to the car, is putting it on Nitrous lol. It’s like Vtec x2!
SRI: Outside of cars, got any hobbies?
Rey: When I’m not working on my Teggy or at the shop, I enjoy doing things other girls do pretty much lol. I like having sleepovers, doing my nails, shopping in expensive stores, etc. I also enjoy reading and competing in medical competitions.
SRI: If you didn’t have your Integra, you’d be driving a…?
Rey: This is honestly my favorite question because everyone always assumes I’ve been about Hondas since the beginning lol! If I did not have my Integra, I would definitely be driving an all-black 1998 S14 240sx with a 2JZ.
SRI: Track or show?
Rey: Track. I’ve got the need for speed.
SRI: Describe the feeling of your first race at PBIR.
Rey: My first race at PBIR was definitely nerve wrecking. I raced a Yaris… and I missed 3rd gear and lost! LOL, I cried when I got back to the stands. But then I realized that I’m not going to always win and I got over it.
SRI: Day meet or night meet?
Rey: Being that I’m still under my parent’s supervision, no night meets for me, haha. But I like day meets, that way I can actually see the cars. Artificial light does no justice.
SRI: How important is your date’s car?
Rey: As long as it’s clean and low, I’m good with it.
SRI: What would be your last meal?
Rey: Fried Chicken and gravy from Barbican Square. It’s all I ever want.
SRI: Who is the biggest influence in your life, right now?
Rey: Roger Lobban, my dad, my old man, the real papa bear lol. I would be nothing that I am today without the guidance of him. I wouldn’t even have the amazing opportunity of answering these questions with you guys.
SRI: You get one superpower, what is it?
Rey: To remember everything I read, I’d pass my exams with flying colors.
SRI: Favorite TV show?
Rey: Adventure Time
SRI: One thing you couldn’t live without is…?
Rey: My Cell Phone. I go crazy even when it’s only dead.
SRI: Favorite cruising song?
Rey: Fake Love- Drake
SRI: Last movie you watched?
Rey: I watched “Sing” with my best friend.
Don’t get too comfortable with this set-up. Rey and her pops have something cooking on the horizon. Expect her Teggy to be a whole new animal the next time you see it at the track! Big thanks to Rey for making time with us.
Street Racing Made Safe is looking for you to join our Team!!!! We are hiring event staff, operations directors, and a social media manager in different areas!!
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