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Fast Cop program lets teens race cars in Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Retired Minnesota State Trooper Larry White was tired of seeing the injuries and deaths of teenagers in car crashes. So with the help of his friends in law enforcement and emergency medical services, Fast Cop Inc. was born. In ...

Shaun White rolls up to the line last week at the Wednesday Night Drags with the Fast Cop Mustang. The program created in 2003, the program reaches out to young people who have a desire for racing and speed to come to Brainerd International Raceway and experience the sport in a safe environment. (Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls) Video and Gallery
Shaun White rolls up to the line last week at the Wednesday Night Drags with the Fast Cop Mustang. The program created in 2003, the program reaches out to young people who have a desire for racing and speed to come to Brainerd International Raceway and experience the sport in a safe environment. (Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls) Video and Gallery

BRAINERD, Minn. - Retired Minnesota State Trooper Larry White was tired of seeing the injuries and deaths of teenagers in car crashes.

So with the help of his friends in law enforcement and emergency medical services, Fast Cop Inc. was born.

In 2003, Fast Cop and the Wednesday Night Street Drags at Brainerd International Raceway began their efforts to keep teenagers safe behind the wheel and provide a controlled environment for people to race their cars.

"We meet and talk to about 1,000 people every year at the drags," said Fast Cop President Larry White. "People who began are now bringing their parents to race and compete for fun and learn how to experience the thrill of drag racing in a safe and legal manner."

On July 1, 150 cars ran until dark with car enthusiasts filling the spectator area.

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"With the help of www.fastcop.com and Mielke Oil company in Little Falls we are reaching about 2,500 people a month off the track," White said.

Brainerd International Raceway features the racing for a fee of $25 for unlimited racing with professional timing and $5 for spectators so the family can watch all evening.

Those younger than 18 need parental consent to race.

"We promote the Wednesday night drags and BIR promotes our program," White said.

NAPA Auto Parts stores is sponsoring a reaction time contest at every Wednesday Night Street drag event providing the winners with a certificate for their accomplishment.

The next time to see the Fast Cop Mustang in action begins at 4 p.m., July 15, at BIR.

Fast car

A 1993 Mustang LX started its life with Fast Cop Inc. in the fall of 2003. With the start of the Fast Cop program, the car was bought from a junk yard in southern Minnesota. The goal was to have a mascot of sorts, a way to attract the attention of people who could appreciate the attributes of a fast car.

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The Fast Cop crew started building the car as donations allowed. It took the winter of 2003 to get the car to a rolling chassis state. After bodywork and painting, the former squad car took on a new role. It now serves as an ambassador for the program.

The Fast Cop car has 15-inch-by-9-inch Hoosier drag radials in the rear and a 1970, 351 Cleveland motor. The power plant puts out 651 horsepower at 7,200 rpm. Time in the quarter mile, as of the last race, was 9.66 in the quarter mile reaching 142 mph.

Racing requirements

Requirements include:

  • All vehicles must be a street legal car, truck or motorcycle that is currently registered for street use.
  • Helmets are required by all racers.
  • All drivers must have a valid driver's license. Must be 16 years old to race, and 16- and 17-year-old drivers must have a waiver signed at the front gate by parent(s) and must be accompanied by a parent.
  • No shorts, nylon wind pants, bare Legs, tank tops or bare torsos are permitted while racing.
  • All cars cannot be faster then 14.99 seconds in the quarter mile with a rider.
  • Quarter-mile elapsed times that are quicker than 11.49 seconds require specialized racing equipment or licenses. If drivers suspect they may be going faster than 11.49 seconds, they're asked to consult the National Hot Rod Association rule book, NHRA Technical Department.

1846082+070715.N.BD_.FastCop1.jpg
Shaun White sits behind the wheel of the Fast Cop Mustang last week while his dad, Larry White talks to him about the upcoming race at Brainerd International Raceway. The supercharged Ford is part of the Fast Cop Inc. program, which promotes safe driving among teenagers. (Brained Dispatch/Steve Kohls) Video and Gallery

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