Video of downtown drag race on Lower Wacker shows ring of fire, burning rubber as officials vow to clamp down

CHICAGO (WLS) — City leaders say drag racing on Lower Wacker Drive isn’t a new problem, but it’s a problem that’s only getting worse.

Overnight, the video shared by CWB Chicago captured on Lower Wacker unfolds like a scene from an action movie. Dozens of onlookers seemed in awe of the stuntmen burning rubber and gasoline into Chicago’s underbelly.

“This is a real threat to public safety,” said 2nd Ward Councilman Brian Hopkins.

The scene escalated after a ring of fire was lit. The conductors made donuts around the rising flames.

But it was not an action movie.

“They’re stepping up,” Ald. said Hopkins. “Now we have rings of fire, where an innocent vehicle could potentially catch fire and lives could be lost due to this type of activity.”

Moments later, some surrounded by flames were seen jumping to escape the cloud of smoke.

“Someone is going to get hurt. Someone is going to be hospitalized or worse, so we want to do more to keep Lower Wacker safe,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Hopkins said the city’s work to stop those gatherings is underway. The Chicago City Council approved an order from Alderman Pat Dowell empowering the Chicago Police Department to seize motor vehicles accused of drifting and drag racing. Hopkins was one of the co-sponsors, who also requested special towing vehicles to help with the application last year.

“It provides us with a means to do mass seizures if we catch people engaged in this type of activity,” he said. “We’re trying to draw a line in the sand and just say we can’t tolerate this anymore. This is not a victimless crime. People are hurting for it.”

CPD Superintendent David Brown said the night’s incident was also captured by the city’s POD cameras and echoed the need for more resources downtown, especially at night.

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.

David H. Henry