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Alien City Dragway offers need for speed

Adam Sanchez of Ruidoso gets ready to take the wheel of his 1981 Z-28 Camaro during Saturday’s Town versus Town race at Alien City Dragway in Roswell. (Mike Smith Photo)

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Speed demons from southeastern New Mexico gathered Saturday in Roswell at the Alien City Dragway for the Town versus Town street race.

Two drag racers waiting for the green light during Saturday’s Town versus Town race at Alien City Dragway. (Mike Smith Photo)

Track manager Rick Callaway said the idea for the race came from a television show.

“The Discovery Channel has “Street Outlaws” where they showed these guys from Oklahoma City challenging other people to come in from other parts of Oklahoma and race them,” said Callaway. “But, that put a sour taste in the mouth of the National Hot Rod Association, because it makes it look like on TV they’re racing on the street.”

Callaway said Alien City followed the model of “Street Outlaws,” just in a different direction.

“Each of these surrounding cities puts a team together of ten and they compete against one each other for points,” said Callaway.

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At one during Saturday’s action, the racers were participating in a “call out.”

“It’s like a challenge and what we do is those scoreboards are normally lit up telling people how fast they go,” Callaway said. “But, its kind of the old adage that if you’re a fast car, you don’t want everybody to know you’re a fast car because it’s hard to get someone to race you if they already know you’re faster.”

Callaway offers a hypothetical situation of racers betting $5 against each other.

“It’s kind of a sportsmen type thing and it keeps them working together and not so much animosity and it really builds team spirit,” Callaway said.

Jay Archibeque from Roswell was one of the participants. He was driving a 1993 Toyota Supra.

“It’s pretty fun to get with other towns and fast cars so we’re not racing out on the highways and stuff and it gives us an event to get out of our system and see who’s really the fastest out of all us here in all these towns,” Archibeque said.

Archibeque admits he’s not a hard core drag racer. Although, he’s been participating at Alien City Dragway events for most of his adult life.

“I’ve been coming to this track since I was 18 years old,” said Archibeque, who is 38 years old.

Alien City Dragway isn’t the only place where you can find Archibeque’s ride.

“You can still drive it all over town,” Archibeque said. “It has AC, heater and the same options as a regular car.”

Besides building a bond with other drag racers in the region, Callaway said there’s another mission regarding Town versus Town.

“Our efforts out here at Alien City Dragway is to keep young people off the streets from racing,” Callaway said. “So we view this as a safe opportunity to come out here and race in a safe controlled environment with an EMT always sitting there on stand by in case something happens and they can race safely without breaking the law or hurting somebody.”

Callaway said one more Town versus Town event is set for later this year and more street races are on the docket as well. He feels those races are another safe alternative.

“We give the youth and some of us older youths a chance to come out and play and they’ll race until 11 p.m.,” Callaway said. “We cut them off at 11 because we think that is long enough and we don’t want to keep them (from) driving home after a long night and we do that twice a month and then we have some race cars that come once a month.”

Semi truck races are set for May 26 and Sept. 1.

“Semi truck races are kind of cool,” Callaway said. “We tried it last year and it turned out to be huge. Everybody wants to see something they have never seen before and we actually had full sized semis and we had to take the overhead (lane) numbers because the semis were so tall.”

Along with the semi track races, Callaway said race fans should commit the dates of July 7 and Sept. 28 to memory as diesel truck races will be making a stop.

“People don’t realize what all they are doing to those diesel trucks now a days,” Callaway said. “They are super fast.”

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