Downstate high school program lets students drag race - FOX 10 News |

Downstate high school program lets students drag race

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Behind the screeching tires and roaring engines are some baby-faced drag racers. They're speeding off in a safe and controlled environment because Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison Illinois sponsors high school bracket racing every Wednesday night.

Coordinator Paul Hagen says the students are catching on really fast.

"So we race other high school kids, their all on an even playing field. Start them out teach them all the same. There some of the kids they could race with the professionals already, there good!" said Paul Hagen.

Jennifer Harris says the need for speed runs in her family, starting with her grandmother!

"My sister did it, my two older brothers, my oldest brother was track champion twice so…and my grandma," Harris says. "My dad, my grandma. I'm not doing it for attention or anything like that, I'm doing it cause I like to do it."

Shawn Eckman is just 16 years old and he says hitting the race track is empowering.

"I've been loving racing every since I was a little kid, my family does it and it's something I've always been interested In. You learn when to launch your car, you learn everything about tire pressure and dial ins and everything." said Shaun.

On this night, the winner was not your typical drag racer.

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