And these tires are going to burn, baby, burn.

The Race Is On 

And these tires are going to burn, baby, burn.

SUN 6/6
A few years ago, Alex Torres of Kansas City, Kansas, found himself where no street racer wants to be: pursued by the cops and losing control of his car. "I was going over 115 and almost wrecked my car. I got away, but after that, I quit." With 140 horsepower under the hood and nowhere else to squeal his tires, Torres headed for the Kansas City International Raceway (8201 South Noland Road). This weekend, the KCIR is hosting the Fourth Annual Sport Compact Challenge, where racers in eight classes compete for dominance in between hydraulic hop-offs, car-stereo contests and tire-burnout competitions. Chris Parish, member of the coordinating Imprimus Car Club, says the reason for the race is simple: "There's nowhere in town to go fast. We get harassed and profiled for having these cars, and we're trying to give people a place to drive and not get in trouble."

For Torres, who has been racing his Honda Civic hatchback for the past five years, respect is its own reward. "When you line up with one of those big, V8 Camaros and beat them, the respect you get is huge." Anyone can compete -- from the drag race to the hydraulics to the bikini contest. Registration is at 9 a.m. Sunday; all drivers need is a car that passes track inspection and $40 for the entry fee.

Although the race is safe -- "The only thing I worry about is blowing my motor," Torres says -- the SCC also hosts a car show as a calmer venue to show off your pride and joy. "We're taking everything from exotics to bikes," Parish says. Spectators pay $12 for an all-day orgy of cars, shredded tires and automotive merchandise. But for die-hards like Alex Torres, racing isn't just a weekend thing. "My son is almost 5, and he already knows what a Honda is. If I can find a way to do it, I'll keep doing it." Call 816-358-6700 for details.-- Chris Sebela

Run for the hills

SAT 6/5
Would we be selling out if we ran in this weekend's 31st Annual Hospital Hill Run? We made a pact with ourselves back in high school that, after quitting the cross-country team, we'd never run again unless our lives depended on it. So far, that plan has worked for us, but summer is coming and we need some new short shorts. It just so happens that the entry fee for the Hospital Hill run includes a pair of testicle-ventilating running shorts -- that and a ticket to the pancake breakfast after the race. Consider us sold (out). Racers can register at www.hospitalhillrun.com or at the Crown Center Shops (2450 Grand Boulevard) on Thursday and Friday.-- Michael Vennard

Muddy Waters

SAT 6/5
Some filth-phobes are terrified of getting a little sand in their shorts. But for those of you who revel in getting down and dirty with your volleyball, we offer Mud Mania 2004. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Little Platte Swimming Beach on Smithville Lake, teams of six to nine players compete in a double-elimination volleyball tournament for first-, second- or third-place prizes. The registration fee is $10 a player, and all proceeds benefit Youth With Vision, an organization composed of Kansas City high school students dedicated to preventing alcohol and drug abuse. For more information, call 816-468-0400, ext. 196. -- Annie Fischer

A Day at the Beach

SAT 6/5
For our readers who mistakenly think that summer is not just a time for lying by the pool reading Jackie Collins novels, we've dug around to find something suitably active to recommend. The Bud Light Beach Volleyball Tournament Series 2004 (19800 Johnson Drive in Shawnee), held at an 8-acre facility that boasts 18 sand volleyball courts, begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. On two Saturdays each month until September, teams of two, four or six vie for bragging rights and prizes such as Bud Light beach towels, coolers and dartboards. The cost is $15 a person in advance, $20 the day of the tournament. Call 913-226-5027 or see www.smbv.com for more information. -- Fischer

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