FORT WORTH -- Rarely does a mayor's race draw a field of six.But that's what happened Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway.Southlake Mayor John Terrell won a trophy and most importantly bragging rights with his victory in the 2012 Mayor's Cup drag race.The event kicked off the fourth season of Friday Night Drags, a six-week summer series created to offer a safer alternative to illegal street racing."It's a fantastic venue," Terrell said after his win. "Southlake doesn't have a serious drag-racing problem, but some of our residents could be going to other cities. This event raised awareness about the dangers of illegal drag racing in all our communities."And, he added: "It was a lot of fun."In the inaugural Mayor's Cup last year, Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne defeated Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price -- then mayor-elect -- who had to drop out of this year's competition after she was injured riding her bike.This year's racers were Garland Mayor Ronald Jones, Justin Mayor Pro Tem David Speicher, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller, Roanoke Mayor Scooter Gierisch and Westlake Mayor Pro Tem Carol Langdon. Van Duyne had a scheduling conflict and could not attend, organizers said.The competitors went head-to-head in Scion's FR-S and tC models in a special double-elimination drag race.Joanne Terrell said her husband loves cars -- he drives a Jaguar -- and really wanted to win."He was here for a good time and a good cause, but it was a competition," the Southlake mayor's wife said.Loughmiller joked it up after the race, claiming his loss was due to "technical issues" and that he was going to fire his pit crew."On top of that, I lost my sponsor and I'm going to need another one," he said, drawing laughs from the other racers.The real Friday Night Drags racers accumulate points during six consecutive weeks, competing in six different divisions -- Black Smoke Warrier, Sportsman, Street Bandit, Street Outlaw, Super Cars and Tuner. The champion is the driver who tallies the most points in each division. The season finale is July 27.TMS converts its pit road into an eighth-mile drag strip for the series, which is sponsored by Scion.TMS spokesman Louis Mora said the event was born out of concern over the impact of street racing in the area.On New Year's Day, 43-year-old Elias Silva-Gonzales was killed when his vehicle was struck by one of two cars drag racing in Dallas. In November, 16-year-old Colin Stone died after his vehicle lost control as he reached speeds of 100 mph while street racing in Dallas, police said.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 20. An average of 135 people die in the United States annually in street racing-related wrecks.Fifty-one of every 1,000 illegal street racers are injured on a national level, and the highest fatality rate (58 percent) of that group is between the ages of 15 and 29.In 2003, Texas passed stricter penalties for those caught street racing. It's now a class B misdemeanor. If a death occurs, the offense can become a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Spectators can be cited and fined up to $500.
Friday Night Drags
6:15 p.m.: Practice begins
9:15 p.m.: Division competition starts.
Entry fee is $20; general admission is $7.