Street Car Takeover
Location: World Wide Technology Raceway, St. Louis, MO | Date: 9/17–9/18
THE GATEWAY TO SPEED
Written by: Rex Roy
It would be fair to describe many PRI Road Tour 2021 stops as “the greatest racing you’ve never heard of.” This summer, we’ve covered people who raced ATVs, beater hot rods, ingenious road racers, streetable Pro Mods, and even tractors… some fitted with twin World War II vintage aircraft engines.
So too are the people who race at Street Car Takeover (SCT), a series of events held across the country in Atlanta, GA; Bristol, TN; Bradenton, FL; Tulsa, OK; Mechanicsville, MD; and many points in between. The group has already held 15 events in 2021.
The Street Car Takeovers are affordable, open-to-all, and family-friendly events that combine Show n’ Shines, drifting, a burnout competition, straight-up drag racing, and an exciting drag racing variant called Roll Racing. Many events have waiting lists. The excitement is even more understandable when you factor in the big purses offered across classes.
SCT was founded in 2013 by Justin Keith and Chase Lautenbach, both industry veterans who saw an opportunity to create more welcoming, inclusive, and laid-back events. “Racing kept me out of trouble as a kid,” said Keith. “We wanted a platform for that kid that’s 17–18 years old, maybe just getting into racing, and he may only run 12s. So we have a class for him, and the payouts are good. That kid could leave with two grand in his pocket. That will last in his mind forever, and every time Street Car Takeover comes around, he’ll be there.”
Although aimed at affordable racing, SCT events often host built Nissan GT-Rs, Lamborghinis, high-performance Audis, Porsches, Mopar Hellcats, modified Mustangs, and many cars capable of running mid-7s with traps eclipsing 200 mph. This is serious racing presented with a street racing community vibe.
As the Street Car Takeover name clearly defines, these events are aimed at street cars, the small-tire door-slammer crowd. The duo figured there were plenty of series that were already focused on pure race cars. The success of SCT events proved the founders’ hunch was correct. Of course, the success didn’t come overnight, but their years of hard work paid off.
Crowds love the shows, the burnout competition, the pre-event test and tune time, and the unique Roll Racing, a style of competition that starts in the staging lanes with a manual green flag drop. When they hit the lights, cars get up to 40 mph, and it’s WOT (wide open throttle) from there.
Held on SCT Saturdays, the Roll Racers are going for the top prize of King of the Bakery. You claim the title by winning your Rolls, and the person with the most wins!
Another secret to SCT’s success is its class structure. Classes range from the “Unlimited” cars in King of the Bakery down through Modified Street (150 mph), Mild Street (140 mph) down through truck and Truck/SUV and Heavyweights. To prevent sandbagging, if cars exceed their class’s trap mile per hour limit, they’re disqualified.
Over the years, the series focused on details that make the events more exciting. Track prep specialist Jimmy Bradshaw recently joined the team, and his work has made a notable difference in the performance of the cars and the quality of the racing.
Even during the pandemic, the drag racing community stuck with Street Car Takeover. Keith noted that participation and attendance is actually up compared to pre-pandemic levels. There was a good crowd on hand when the PRI Road Tour visited SCT at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis, Missouri, where over $15,000 cash was up for grabs.
“Racing is essential,” said Keith, and the PRI Road Tour couldn’t agree more. When we caught up with SCT in St. Louis, the crowds were into the action. The vibe was all positive. The racing was great.
Excitement makes SCT possible, but the very essence of an event like this is threatened by the current actions of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While we didn’t look at engine block serial numbers, the reality is that every single car and truck participating in SCT has an OEM powertrain. Therefore, the shops that built these cars and the suppliers that provided the parts could be at the crosshairs of EPA enforcement actions. If the EPA is left unchallenged, those participating in events like this could face EPA regulatory action like that, which has already impacted many who supply the drag racing community.
To help ensure that motorsports competitions like Street Car Takeover continue to thrive in the US, become a member of PRI. Check out PRI’s new membership options for individuals and businesses here. Plan to attend the 2021 PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis on December 9–11 to catch up with the latest products and services. To register as an attendee for the 2021 PRI Trade Show, visit here.