Street drifters seeking another safe legal pit after the other closes in Detroit

Detroit police say the pit was closed due people not staying in the approved area, unable to accommodate massive crowd

Detroit's street racing dliemma
Detroit's street racing dliemma

DETROIT – The area that was legally sanctioned for the popular slide show event, Sunday Funday, is now gone.

Drivers and spectators who used the facility are saying they have nowhere to go.

“I’m sorry it’s in the neighborhood but they’re leaving people with no choice,” said Tommie Mahone.

Mahone and Russel Marshall enjoyed the once crowded “legal pit” on Detroit’s west side. However, since it closed down shortly after launching, the sliding community has had no where to go.

READ: Detroit residents fed up with street racing, dangerous stunts in neighborhood

“When we realized they were gonna close it down, we started to tell them that these people are gonna go straight back to the streets,” Marshall said.

As a result, drivers have started preforming donuts in neighborhoods. Some even shut down traffic to practice the maneuvers on busy intersections, creating a major headaches for homeowners and drivers alike.

“It’s an adrenaline rush. Anybody that got these fast cars out here adrenaline junkies,” Mahone said.

But what happened to the legal pit?

Todd Bettison, assistant police chief with the Detroit Police Department, said it had to go away because those involved wouldn’t stay in the approved area and the location couldn’t accommodate the massive crowds.

“It was drawing people from Ohio. It was drawing individuals from Illinois. Like I said, the crowds were just too large,” Bettison said.

READ: Southwest Detroit neighbors push for action to stop street racing

There is hope on finding another location in the future.

“You kind of need an area the size of a stadium because it draws the same type of crowd that one of your stadiums would draw,” Bettison said.

“We have to have a sanctioned place for these people, these kids, grown folks, whoever has these cars,” Mahone said.

Mahone and Marshall said they’ve been playing it by the book while trying to get the younger generation of drivers to stop the activity.

In the meantime, DPD is cracking down on drivers with their illegal drifting and drag racing detail. They’re impounding cars involved in drifting on the streets.

Local 4 learned that the department recently had a Lamborghini forfeited over.

READ: Detroit police create ‘Drifting and Drag Racing Task Force’ in an effort to stop dangerous stunts


About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.