‘Memphis slide’ drag race drivers ask city leaders, police for venue to perform legally

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13 Investigates talked exclusively with the people behind what is known as the “Memphis slide.” They are the drivers who block intersections to perform stunts. They said they are happy to stop performing on the streets if city leaders will work with them.

FOX13 Investigates reached out to drivers using social media and waited for them to message back. We heard back from someone who said he knew the drivers, but they were reluctant to meet in person.

FOX13 Investigates agreed to allow them to shoot their own videos, answering questions provided.

To the people behind the wheels of the cars, in the passenger seats, and recording the videos, it is known as “sliding,” and for the first time, FOX13 Investigates shared exclusive interviews and recordings from drivers.

“I do what I do because it’s a thrill; it’s fun; it’s freedom,” said a man whose face was not shown on-camera in a video provided to FOX13 Investigates. They chose not to show their face on camera or reveal their identities, fearing repercussions from the police.

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Shot using their own equipment, the recordings came to FOX13 Investigates in their entirety, already colored black and white.

“Slide show started around 2 ½ (to) 3 years ago, and it’s grown tremendously. We’re out there to have fun, give people a show, and (then) everybody goes home. Nobody gets hurt,” said another person FOX13 Investigates was told is a driver.

Both law enforcement in Memphis and its top politicians have marked what is called a hobby for those participating as dangerous and a priority for prosecution.

“There are better problems that the police should be out trying to figure out about murders and homicides and kidnapping,” a driver said.

“You never hear the news say somebody got shot or killed while cars were drag racing or sliding or stunt driving,” another driver said.

The drivers told FOX13 Investigates they’re aware shutting down intersections comes with inherent danger but ask city leaders and police for a venue where sliding is sanctioned and without police interference, gladly taking their performances there and off city streets.

“We wish you guys would give us a legal pit so we don’t have problems with the police,” a driver said, addressing city leaders.

FOX13 Investigates asked Memphis City Hall and Memphis Police to respond to our reporting and claims from drivers they would leave city streets if they had a legally sanctioned place to gather.

We also asked if police and city leaders have talked about similar options. They had not responded by press time. This story will be updated when they do.