He engaged in an illegal street race with his brother which resulted in the death of his friend. Now Emmanuel Duran is serving a 120 day sentence for intoxicated manslaughter in the 2001 car crash. Police say Duran and his brother, Isaias were racing down University when one car veered out of control and crashed into a house. The car flipped, killing passenger Damien Rodriguez. Isaias Duran is still awaiting trial for manslaughter.
It's tragic cases like these that have Lubbock police issuing a zero tolerance warning to anyone who street races. Now there is a safe alternative for those with the need for speed.
"I admit I've actually done some street racing," says Texas Tech student Justin Archer. Now, Justin is trading the streets for the Lubbock Dragway. He says, "I like the tracks better because they're safer and you don't have to worry about anyone coming out in front of you." Justin can now legally burn out and race his friends with No-Hassle Legal Street Racing.
"We're trying to get young people off the streets and have a place to come and have a good time," says Dennis Barnard. Dennis, owner of Lubbock Dragway created the No-Hassle Street Program to provide a safer alternative to street racing. Dennis says, "They can run their buddies, girlfriends or whatever they want. They can take a passenger with them and show them how it's done and really have a good safe time."
The Lubbock Dragway takes traffic out of the equation. No one can pull out in front of you and there are no stop lights. Just the signal to go! Dennis says, "The kids used to have flashlights and do like on the streets, fast and furious style but they wanted more."
After each race, you're given your time to see exactly how fast you're going. "I did pretty good. My best was 14.1," says newcomer Crystall Allen. Crystall is getting the andrenlin rush, veteran Josie Cavazos enjoys every time she races. Josie says, "It's just a thrill." But it's the safety of the dragway she prefers for her sixteen year old daughter Laura.
Josie says, "She loves to race and I don't want her street racing so I told her if you want to race, I'll take you out there to the dragway and you can race out there." Laura finds revving up at the tracks a safer way to race. Laura says "It's safer and you know you're not going to get a ticket."
If you're caught street racing, it will cost you more than a ticket. In 2003, new regulations went into effect making street racing a class B misdemeanor. You won't get a ticket. You'll go straight to jail.
The next No-Hassle Legal Street night at the Lubbock Dragway will be Friday, April 29th. Racing starts at 8 p.m. After that, the event will be held every first and third Friday of the month. It costs $15 to race, $10 to watch from the pits and $3 to watch on the spectator side. All vehicles must be street legal. They must be properly registered and insured. All vehicles must also pass all NHRA safety regulations. Anyone with a valid driver's license can participate as long as they follow all safety regulations.
The Lubbock Dragway is located two and a half miles south of Idalou on Farm Road 400. For more information on No-Hassle Street Racing and other events at the Lubbock Dragway, ( click here ).