BROWARD COUNTY (CBSMiami) – Along US Highway 27, just north of I-595 in Broward County, there is a slice of concrete where boat owners can pull off the highway and back their vessels into the canal that runs north toward Lake Okeechobee.
That patch of pavement also serves another purpose.
It has become a place for men with fast cars to gather. They compare engines and tires, revving and squealing them, respectively, before pulling back onto US-27 to race.
Lamborghinis. Teslas. McLarens. Ferraris. They all make their way to “The Spot” as some of the dragsters call it. And their illegal races, on public roads, hit speeds of 140 mph or better.
Drag racing along this stretch of highway is so brazen, racers employ multiple cameras, specially designed microphones and even drones so they can post videos of themselves breaking the law.
CBS4 News was alerted to the activity by a viewer, who saw the racing first hand and was concerned. He found the videos posted on a website, DragTimes.com, which is operated by a 44-year-old Broward resident, Brooks Weisblat.
Weisblat is also the star of the videos.
“Hey everybody Brooks from Drag Times here we’ve got an awesome race here – Huracan versus Ferrari 488,” he began on one of the videos. “We have not seen a lot of these two race. It’s going to be an interesting matchup.”
He offers insight into the characteristics of the cars slated to race and then gets things started.
“Okay next up, we’re going to get the cameras rolling and we’re going to do some races,” he said. In some videos he is seen behind the wheel racing. In others he attempts to blur the face of the driver, but even through the blur it bears a striking resemblance to him, right on down to the hat he is wearing.
Weisblat’s website has more than 113 thousand subscribers. Most of the videos on his site are from legal races on actual tracks – but he also prominently features the races along US 27. He even has his own YouTube page.
The videos often include multiple races. In some, they take off from a rolling start. In others they come to a complete stop on the highway and then take off.
“When you look at the videos and you see the locations and the time of the day it’s shocking,” said Lt. Alvaro Feola, a spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol.
While US-27 is in a fairly rural stretch of Broward, the dangers become obvious when watching the videos. There is no concrete median separating north and southbound lanes.
“If you get a flat tire, if you hit debris on the road and you get involved in a crash, [or] you rollover, you go into the median you’re probably going to end up on the other side of the highway and you might get in a head-on collision,” Feola noted.
At 160 mph, those cars are essentially missiles,” Feola said..
Feola said FHP recently received its own complaint about the drag racing on US-27.
“We are aware, our bureau of criminal investigative intelligence is aware,” he said.
He said FHP has been touch with the Broward and Palm Beach Sheriff’s offices and a task force was being formed to try and catch those responsible in the act.
“It is difficult, it’s not impossible,” Feola said.
Of course they don’t need to look far to find a key player.
High-speed car owners come from across the state to race Weisblat and be in his videos. One video even shows a race with a motorcycle.
Weisblat hung up on CBS4 News when the topic of illegal drag racing came up. And he refused to respond to subsequent emails. Shortly after being contacted by CBS4 News, Weisblat removed some of the videos showing the illegal drag racing from his website.
The married father of two lives not far from U-S 27 in an upscale home in western Broward. His car collection includes a $331,000 McLaren, a $290,000 Huracan Lamborghini and a $130,000 Tesla.
He earns $119,000 as the vice president of technology for a local non-profit but in an interview with the website Mashable, when asked how he can afford all of the cars he drives – his replied: “I have like 40 businesses – they all contribute.”
Drag Times is one of those businesses – it features ads from major car manufacturers, local dealerships and an insurance company.
He even posts product reviews. One video shows him explaining the value of a gadget called “The Dragy,” which documents engine performance during drag races. To show its value, he filmed himself on U-S 27 with his Lamborghini. The Dragy recorded how he hit 140 mph in just a few seconds.
“Wow, love this car,” he told his viewers. “That felt pretty good.”
While he was out, he even picked up a race.
“Alright I just ran into a bunch of guys at the spot,” he said. “One of them wants to race in this blue BMW.”
He blows away the Beemer. A series of Weisblat’s videos went viral a couple of years ago as he showed how fast he could get a Tesla to run – using what Tesla calls “insane mode” on its car.
Weisblat recorded the reactions of friends and relatives as he went from zero to 60 on a residential street in just three seconds.
The videos were such a hit that Tesla founder Elon Musk congratulated Weisblat on Twitter.
Feola at the Florida Highway Patrol doesn’t find Weisblat’s actions worth celebrating.
“I’m not against buying a fast car or buying a car that you like that is going to go very fast,” he said. “Do it in a place where you’re legal to do so.”
Feola said Weisblat’s videos promote the culture of illegal street racing.
“Our job is to save lives,” he added, “and we want to make sure these people stop doing drag races on our streets.”