High school students and Bay Area law enforcement officers will once again square off on the Infineon Raceway quarter-mile drag strip, as the popular Top the Cops™ program returns on April 6. 

The Top the Cops™ program, which enters its 17th season in 2011, offers an alternative to illegal street racing and gives teens the chance to race against law enforcement officers, who compete in full uniform in their official vehicles. The program also provides a unique environment for the officers to talk with teens about safe driving and the rules of the road.

“This program allows teen drivers to see Law Enforcement Officers from the Bay Area in a different light,” said Sergeant T.J. Van Bebber of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, who has participated in the program since its inception. “I enjoy talking with the students about their interests, and I still maintain contact with some of them after they graduate from college. Some have even entered into the public safety field."

Top the Cops™ will run in conjunction with the Wednesday Night Drags program, April 6-Aug. 31. Participants must have a current high school identification card and driver’s license, and a car that passes a simple technical inspection.  Students are given practice runs, which then lead to head-to-head competition against an officer in his/her patrol car. 

The nine participating law enforcement agencies are:  

  • California Highway Patrol                                       
  • Fairfield Police Department
  • Fremont Police Department
  • Napa Police Department                                          
  • Novato Police Department
  • Petaluma Police Department
  • Sebastopol Peace Officers Association
  • Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department                                                
  • Sonoma Police Department
  • Windsor Police Department

Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with racing spanning from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Cost is $15 for students (with high school ID card) and $10 for spectators.  For more information about the Top the Cops™ or Wednesday Night Drags program, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit www.infineonraceway.com/youcanrace.