Street racing is a problem in Colorado Springs, but some groups are working toward solutions

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– If you live in the Pikes Peak region, there’s a good chance you’ve heard revving engines and loud mufflers cruising around at night.

The Colorado Springs Police Department says street racing has become a big problem over the past few years.

“I believe it’s a bigger problem than most people realize,” Sgt. Richard DuVall said.

Under the cover of darkness, some people are setting up street races, and you’d be surprised how organized this crime has become.

“There are times when we would have upwards of 200 to 300 cars gathering in the parking lot for events,” DuVall said.

He said there are several hot spots around Colorado Springs, mostly on the east side of town.

In just one area near Wooten Road and Geiger Boulevard, there have been multiple crashes involving street racers.

That’s where FOX21’s Macy Egeland was involved in an accident with a street racer this past August.

She walked away without any serious injuries, but her car was totaled.

She isn’t the only person this has happened to.

“We’ve had numerous accidents through this summer where individuals were involved in this activity and it resulted in either very significant damage to property and significant injury, and in a few cases, loss of life,” DuVall said.

Just this year, Colorado Springs police have received nearly 700 calls about racing.

In that same time, only around 50 tickets have been issued to those dangerous drivers.

“We make it known to our officers to be aware to look for these activities and try to interdict them when they can, but has been in the news lately, we are very busy. There’s a lot of calls, and so this would fall into the category of officer-initiated activity where officers are asked when they’re out there to watch for this activity and interdict it when they are available. But that’s the key word is when they are available,” DuVall said.

He said officers are going call to call, and even though they know where it’s happening, they don’t have time to specifically patrol for street racers.

That’s why other groups are stepping up to help.

“I was out here in ’75 and cut the weeds down so that we could pave this [drag strip],” Lanier Henry with the Pueblo Motorsports Park said.

“I might be 70 years old, but in six seconds and 200 miles an hour, I’m pretty spry,” he said.

Last year, Henry and his team re-opened the Pueblo Motorsports Park to get racers off the streets.

The track is now powered by The Racing Community of Southern Colorado, and throughout the summer they hold events to encourage drivers to take it to the track.

“Once we have them safely out here and they’ve raced safely, they’ll never go back to the street because they’re not going to lose their license. They’re not going to hurt someone,” Henry said.

This track sees all types behind the wheel, from registered nurses to lawyers.

“They do it responsibly and safely and they’re competitive to the ground. They’ll race for a pair of socks,” Henry said.

One of those racers is Chelsey Fossceco.

“I’ve been drag racing for almost 10 years now. My husband got me involved in it,” she said.

Oh, and guess where she met him?

“I actually used to work out here,” Chelsey said.

“When I was racing in high school, she actually took our money and it all went from there,” Chelsey’s husband Clinton Fossceco said.

Now the two race together, along with their extended family and even Chelsey’s twin sister.

“I’m very fortunate because my wife loves this as much as I do,” Clinton said. “You can go as fast as you want out here. You can go as many times as you want. It’s very cheap. It’s safe.”

These racers obviously understand the need for speed, but say it’s just not worth the risk on the streets: a risk that could go way beyond just a fine.

“I think most of us as police officers, we can understand the attraction,” DuVall said. “But if you engage in this activity and heaven forbid you are involved in a very serious accident that causes significant damage or in worst case scenario a loss of life, you’re looking at a lot more than just losing your license. You have to be reasonable and you have to be responsible.”

The Pueblo Motorsports Park hosts events throughout the year. Anyone who has a drivers license can come and race. You do not have to drive a race car; you can bring your street car. It just has to pass a safety inspection.

As far as the driver who collided with Macy is concerned, he is facing several charges, including driving under the influence and reckless driving.

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