Drag racers renew call for Oahu raceway - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Drag racers renew call for Oahu raceway

Gov. Ige recognizing drag racer Bryan Gomes Gov. Ige recognizing drag racer Bryan Gomes
John DeSoto John DeSoto
Wayne Rhoden Wayne Rhoden
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Drag racer Bryan Gomes meets his need for speed by racing off-island. To race legally, Oahu drivers ship their wheels to Kauai, Maui or the Big Island. It's an expensive hobby.

"To ship my car, my truck, my trailer, and my Yukon, which is my tow car, It costs me about $5,200 to ship to Maui. This past year I went twice," Gomes said.

Ten years after Hawaii Raceway Park held its last race, there's a new push for a racing track to open on Oahu.

Past campaigns for a new track failed. But racers are again asking city and state lawmakers for help, hoping this effort will be the one that gets them to the finish line.

Wayne Rhoden, of Ohana Gates, said Oahu racers want a venue with an oval and a quarter-mile straightaway that can handle multiple motorsports.

"There are a couple good viable spots that make sense," he said. "On an average you would probably want anywhere from about 100 acres minimum, anywhere up to 300 acres."

Motocross champion and former City Councilman John DeSoto said a track bolsters safety, especially for kids.

"With that you can let the kids know that there's an area that if you want to let loose, let everything go out," he said.

Gov. David Ige stopped short of saying the state will get involved in opening a track on Oahu, but he is concerned with the danger of street racing.

"It would definitely be better to have a raceway where citizens could legally race rather than doing it illegally on our streets," he said.

At a special meeting Friday, Ige recognized Gomes for his devotion to drag racing despite the lack of a track.

Rhoden estimates up to 200 racers live on Oahu, and have to go off-island to race legally.

"It's good if they do it inter-island because it supports our economy on other islands, but the reality of it is is not everybody can do that," he said.

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