Monday, February 18, 2008

Reader upset we called it a "drag" race

Regarding "Car hits Md. street-race crowd; 8 killed, "2-17-08; the error, which is mentioned numerous times, is this isn't a drag race! The story is about a illegal street race and "drag race" should never have been mentioned. I've been involved in motorsports most of my life and we've worked hard in many cities to gets kids off the street, such as the ones who were involved in the illegal street race in Maryland.You do a great disservice to the community and those that actually help.When you have an erroneous story such as this where you help to destroy everything we do, it is simply and totally irresponsible to SPREAD this garbage. DO NOT call illegal street racing, drag racing. Drag racing is a LEGAL sport run at drag strips throughout the U.S. The fact is, drag racing is the largest organized motorsport in the world. PLEASE, do not continue to hurt our efforts to get kids off the street - WHICH YOU DID.
_ Daryle W. Hier, Paso Robles

In my reply to Mr. Hier, I explained that we ran a story on the incident supplied by one of our wire services; we did not originate the story, which was published in Sunday's edition. We are of course responsible for everything we put into our paper, but we do rely on wire services for coverage of news events outside of our county.
I told Mr. Hier that our readers grasped the difference between a drag, or illegal street race, and formal drag racing at a track. The picture and headlining with our story surely would have shown to the readers that this was something on a public roadway, thus illegal and dangerous, and not a professional race track. So, I do not believe we harmed the sport, nor do I feel our coverage was "garbage."
_ Tad Weber

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