Police agencies around the area were kept busy Friday night as the TX2K23 is in town at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown. Thousands of racers and their muscle cars and motorcycles descended on the area for the event. With that, the illegal parking lot takeovers started mostly in Harris County. Most are from out of town. Attendance at the event is thought to be over 40,000. Early Friday a parking lot at I-10 in west Harris County was taken over. Racers participating in street racing, defacing parking lots doing doughnuts, and getting on the main road impeding traffic. Thursday night there were several vehicles towed and several arrests for illegal street racing. Friday night also brought a group to Montgomery County. At one point close to 100 moved into the Kroger parking lot at Northpark and I-69. They then moved north. At about midnight, a Montgomery County Precinct 4 Deputy observed several racers near Roman Forest and I-69 who appeared ready to race. A Corvette was one but stopped before he even started as his GO-PRO blew off the vehicle. The deputy then spotted a BMW motorcycle with no license plate. The deputy attempted to stop him with the intention to give him a warning. However, 24-year-old David Portwood of Morris, Illinois decided he wasn’t about to stop. A pursuit started traveling north on I-69. At one point the bike was clocked at 160mph. As he approached Fostoria Road he exited. He then continued through the intersection, through the construction barriers, and back onto the freeway. Splendora Police were able to assist as the chase exited Montgomery County, traveled through Liberty County, and entered San Jacinto County. As the driver approached FM 223 in Shepherd he saw that the police were not giving up and stopped. Later he told officers the real reason he stopped was his handlebars were shaking excessively. With temperatures at 40 degrees last night, the wind chill factor on this driver was close to 10 degrees. He was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail on a charge of felony evading arrest with a vehicle. A third-degree felony. This is punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Not long after the arrest close to 100 cars entered I-69 southbound at Roman Forest. They blocked all lanes of traffic and began traveling close to 20 mph. In groups of two or three, they would take off at high speed racing each other. They all then returned to the Kroger parking lot. During that event, one Mustang was pulled to the shoulder of the freeway. A Deputy Constable stopped to check on him as his windshield, sunroof, and back window were all shattered. The vehicle also had no hood. The driver told the deputy he was traveling at 65mph when the hood pins gave way and the hood came off the vehicle hitting the glass. The racing continues at the Houston Raceway Park until Sunday. It was suspended on Friday night which may have been some of the reasons for additional racers on the streets. The suspension was due to track conditions from the rains and temperatures. Officials put in a press release that the track would have to be rebuilt from the ground up which involved scraping the track and applying new rubber and glue. They also gave three-day ticket holders the option for a refund. Racing started again this morning. This could be the last year for the event as the raceway park was sold and will soon become an industrial complex.
VIDEO ABOVE FROM THE EVENT SHOWING SOME OF THE CRASHES INCLUDING THE CRASH AT THE 6:45 MARK