Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Photo Of The Week

photo by Malcom Luna

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Imagine “Fast and Furious” but with less glamour, more teenagers and a constant surveillance for the police. Recreationally, many teens race at high speeds and higher risks.

These drivers are made up of our own fellow classmates. Across the Kansas City area high school students race and drive.

Jamie Miller* began street racing as a sophomore when she first got her car.

“Then I started hanging out with this group of guys that loved cars. They took me to state line, and that’s how I got started,” Miller said.

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Miller found that she was one of the younger ones at the street races.

“It wasn’t normally high schoolers. It was mostly college students, and a lot were older people, which was kind of awkward,” Miller said.

Along with being younger, she was one of the few women there.

“They were all guys. I never really raced with many girls,” Miller said.

Daniel Baker* got involved with recreational driving because he’d already had an interest in cars and mechanics.

“I work on my car and other peoples’ cars as much as possible. I love it,” Baker said. “I jumped at the opportunity to start driving when it came up.”

Baker looks for, what he considers, the most adventurous roads to drive on.

“Usually when I drive I’m looking for twisty roads and open parking lots, but the real purpose of driving, for me, is just to drive,” Baker said.

Many of the drivers race at high speeds, not competitively, but for enjoyment.

“I think the fastest I’ve gone is 130. But we don’t go that fast [when we race on stateline],” Miller said.

The fastest Baker’s driven is 115, what he says is “faster than what I should have gone.”

“I know the limits of my car. So, I’d say I’m a pretty good driver,” Baker said.

Accidents are a concern for the drivers, but they don’t deter the racers from driving.

“It’s probably a little risky. Cars in general are kind of dangerous. I mean, anything could happen,” Miller said. “But I’ve never felt at extreme risk.”

Despite being pulled over three times and being put on diversion, Miller doesn’t think the stateline racing she does is that fatal.

“We race on a straightaway. Some of my friends go drifting through roundabouts. They fly through those, and I feel like that’s dangerous,” Miller said.

The racers have kept their weekly gatherings pretty low-key, with few spectators. Miller said she’s pretty sure that it will never get too hard to control.

“Mostly just friends will watch. As far as I know they [the police] don’t know about it.”

Photo (cc): Flickr user Zanthia – “Mustang

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