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#627770 Something great that has nothing to do with results

Posted by wicked01 on 15 February 2016 - 08:05 PM

Some of you on Slotblog may know me; some may not, but I have been racing slot cars since the early '90s. I have traveled all over the south racing with my friends.


So a couple years ago after being out of slot cars for about five years I got my son into the hobby and he has developed a passion for slot cars more than I ever had. Recently i have really focused on building and showing him how to solder, how to adjust Retro and flexi cars, and the maintenance of the cars. He has been getting better every time we race and just loving slot cars, which is rare in our day and age of computers and gaming.


We attended a race this past weekend. We built him a brand new Can-Am car that my son was so proud of because it was the first one that he ever helped build. So he starts out by qualifying with the fastest time he ever turned and the car is really good. He starts the race so I go over to work on some other cars while he is running. I never looked at where he was running but he had told me he was running really good, so after the second or third heat someone came over and said your son is flying so I looked at the monitor and he was ahead by three or four laps! Then I started watching him and he continued to pull away, just driving the wheels off of the car.


The next heat I pitted the car, put it back on the track, and the heat started – all was well. My son made it about three or four laps when the magic smoke came trailing out of the car then quit. My son was devastated and I could not get him to calm down. I went to change the motor, because we had back-ups, but he still was really upset.


Then this is the part I wanted to share with everyone. A man I had never met him before (still do not no who he is) walked up, leaned over to my son, and said to him, "You were running a great race and i want you to have this brand new motor to replace the one you blew up." instantly my son was OK.


I got more pleasure from that one moment than I did the whole rest of the day and it really showed me one act of kindness at a slot car race made more of a impression on my son than if he would have won the race.


I want to thank that man, whoever you are, and just to let you know that's all he talks about since the race. You have made a lasting impression on my son...


Slot car racers are really great people.

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#626052 This will not help slot car racing

Posted by tonyp on 05 February 2016 - 10:39 AM

First off most big event slot car races(other than slot drag) have in the past not had cash awards. Doing so only will bring out the worst attitude and behavior.

Precisely the reason IRRA® was set up with no cash prizes and you will never see this happen at any off the major IRRA® Premier events. Several on the IRRA® Board lived through the money racing era and it was the most cutthroat, dirtiest racing. Get in my lane and you were walled. Anything for the evil bucks. We did not want to have racing for money, we rather want to have good racing between friends.

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#625790 Wing racer gone Retro! :)

Posted by Chubby on 04 February 2016 - 01:06 AM

So first off I want to say that I'm enjoying Retro racing so much. I never imagined it would be like it is and what it has become. I have had tons of help from everyone getting me some wins here and there and for that I'm very thankful.
I want to talk about some subjects that I catch on here and Facebook from time to time.  
I want to talk about the JK Retro Hawk. I see people talk good and bad about these motors, some things I have seen is you need 10 to get one good one. When I first read that from multiple people, I was kind of shocked. Are some motors better than others? Sure, every time, even when you custom-build $700 Group 7 motors that have identical specs.  
Now some of you may believe me or may not believe me, I'm not here to judge, I'm just here to tell you my experience with these motors. When I go to a race and, for example, I race two classes that day, I will buy two motors and put them in my cars, and break them in, in the car itself. I have yet to be underpowered IMO to a point where I lost a race, at least that I think.  
I honestly think that how you break them in is everything! I race these motors every week at my local shop (PJ Raceway) in three different classes and i cannot tell you how close racing is on a weekly basis. I'm not here to argue with anyone, I enjoy racing Retro very much and tend to get along with everyone and want to keep it that way.
But I cannot express myself any better when I say 8 out of 10 JK Retro Hawk motors can win a Premier Event. I'm totally shocked actually on how consistent they are from one another because how they're made and where they're made. These are motors that are nothing special spec-wise, which I'm sure we all can agree on.  
I think you need to be patient enough while breaking these motors in. I have had motors that in 10 laps are where I want them to be, and I have motors that take 100+ laps to be where I want them to be. Don't give up on the motors that don't run after 100+ laps; I've been in that situation a lot.  
Well, I think I'm done with this little rant, I feel better now.  :)
Thanks, guys 'n gals,
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#646936 Chicagoland Raceway has moved to Westmont

Posted by MSwiss on 26 July 2016 - 07:22 PM

I'm happy to report that my landlord and I agreed to terms on a lease extention, earlier today, that will keep me in my current location, at least until April, 2019.

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#632006 Born at the right time?

Posted by idare2bdul on 14 March 2016 - 10:39 PM

Rehabbing from a hip replacement has given me way too much time to reflect on things and get bored while enduring slot car withdrawal. I got to thinking about what it is like to grow up today with all the tech toys and comparing them to slot cars and the toys of my youth. I graduated high school in 1965 so I'm older than the 'name," racers of the late 60's. My need for speed started with Schuco wind up cars and progressed to screaming 049 powered tether cars until I walked into my first slot car track as a kid. My brain said I was hooked, my budget often disagreed. There was a simple joy in just driving around the track, beating others in impromptu races just added to the enjoyment. Full size cars, motorcycles and the fairer sex, contributed to a long hiatus from slots till I walked into Monty Ohren's Crash and Burn in late1975. I started racing in actual competitions and Monty talked me into trying USRA in 1976. Along the way I have met a wide variety of people who I enjoyed racing with and a few I really enjoyed racing against. I suspect most slotbloggers have similar stories adjusted for when they started, their level of success and how they enjoy our hobby today.


I'd like to thank the people that run the tracks, the distributors and manufacturers that let us continue to enjoy our hobby. Special thanks to Cheater for giving us this forum for our addiction.

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#533974 A sponsor clarification...

Posted by Matt Bruce on 09 March 2014 - 11:33 AM

The problem, like with so many other things in this world, is social media. Facebook, Internet, it's all the same. Things get out of control in cyberspace, people say things a lot of times out of context. I see it in business everyday, emails and texts instead of picking up the phone or setting a meeting. A Ping pong match of 20 emails that could have all been avoided with one phone call.


While I can't comment really on Ron, I have never hid behind the fact that I as well as others want everyone racing together. That's not to say I disagree with multiple organizations because I do not. I have had conversations with Ron on the PHONE and on social media. Maybe he is lying to me, I don't think so, but he wants the same. There is no reason why organizations can't get along as long as they sit down and come up with a solution for working together. Honestly, the majority of racers, myself included, would and do race in both.


Dividing Retro is just so silly. Believing the BS that goes on social media creates its own roadblocks which both sides seem to listen to. Airing dirty laundry never helps any situation. Each one exploits each other's rules like some presidential campaign to really what end? Ron is a very prideful person as are the BoD. It does not surprise me with what is said over social media that neither wanna move off their mountains. For the sake of argument, if I were Ron I would have felt I was not welcome to sponsor or race either.


But on the other hand, reading social media and the non-constructive comments of the minions I can see why no one would have asked him. Either way, I personally have found in both business and life to get back to the basics. Look both in the eye, get back to shaking hands and using today's technology as a tool and not as something to hide behind. I think the time is passed for who said what and who thinks they are right and who thinks who is wrong. Some people just wanna watch the world burn. It's very easy to see who those people are watching social media.


Are we really that different that no common ground can be had? I think not. I see both sides and I understand very clearly how we got to this point. In the end it's about I was right and you are wrong meanwhile racers are left in the middle just really wanting to race together. We have all been friends for a long time and know the slot car landscape.


History tends to repeat itself. Retro is a chance to change that.

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#527337 Breaking news - not really ;)

Posted by Matt Bruce on 06 February 2014 - 03:33 PM

It will never change. Just like some so-called National Retro Championship will never work or mean anything, win or not.
The reason that is, is because everyone doesn't race under one banner. Next, nobody gets titles like "The Best" cause they win a race or a series. You can call it whatever you want, doesn't make a difference. Over time is what earns those titles, and not because you win this or that, it comes from those you race against and race with.
Nobody nowadays will ever support a true national series, and I mean one that encompasses both coasts as well as the north, the south, and the midwest. It's too expensive and would literally turn into the last man standing to make every race. Let whomever run whatever they want to satisfy their desire to call whomever the best. In the end, there will always be another race, scheduled somewhere else, using some other format, raced on some different track, using some other rules. There are those that will never be satisfied no matter what.
Traveling to Retro races all these years I've seen no one run them all, or win them all, or have enough time and money to even get to them all. Hello, hear what I just said, get to them ALL. It wasn't that long ago that you didn't have any kind of organized racing to argue about. Nobody races for money, nobody is reimbursed for money spent, nobody has a contract, nobody CARES.
Just because you win a race, does that make you the best? If Horky loses the next five Worlds won't change the minds of 99% of scale racers out there he is the man. Same goes for Paul G, Beuf, Ron Hershman, Duran Trigillo, Greg Gilbert, Paul Pfeiffer, the late Jon Laster, Howie Ursaner, Sandy Gross, Jan Limpach, the list is endless. In the end you are judged by your peers, win, lose, or draw.
I have a side in this bullchit, and that is the side to see us all racing together again. I'll tell ya, you can knock the guys in Cali, but when it comes down to it, they don't keep score, they don't have the choice of tracks the rest of us have, or motors or tires or bodies but they sure have a lot of fun.
There is no winner in this deal, and it will all go away soon enough. It grew to this point for one reason, we all got along. Until we find a way back to that, it will stall and die. Manufacturers will lose, raceways will lose, and racers will lose. It wasn't broke, but it's broke now.
So to the powers that be, FIX IT.
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#611691 Sano Dave Fiedler memorial service

Posted by Howie Ursaner on 10 October 2015 - 05:42 PM

At the Memorial there was an amazing painting by Steve Koepp done for Dave. It shows Dave walking away, with box and controller. 





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#586363 Jay Kisling, 1960-2015

Posted by Matt Bruce on 16 March 2015 - 11:15 AM

Gone way too soon. My family and I will miss Jay very much. One of the best for sure.


Jay is the guy who pushed me to be better as a slot racer. He gave no quarter and he asked for none. Never one to mince words, Jay told you how it is, straight up, and expected the same back. He was always good to my son, and both Sharon and I loved him for that.


It tore me up to see him in pain and I'm thankful he is now at peace. The world lost a special man. He was a little rough around the edges, but he had a big heart. That was Jay. Thank you for being you. Thanks for all your help, your support, and friendship all these years. We miss you. Godspeed, my friend.

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#536728 IRRA® rules comments & discussion

Posted by Tex on 22 March 2014 - 06:16 PM

You guys are makin' too big a deal about this. It's nothing more than less than perfect manufacturing that yields some "out-of-spec" motors. I'll hazard the guess that most have 65 turns and some arms/poles have less and some arms/poles have more. Haven't you guys ever wondered why you'd sometimes get a really good motor? And why sometimes you get a dud? FK arms/poles with fewer/more than 65 winds has been going on as long as they've made the motors. Locals here have torn them down years ago(F7's) with the same results.... most have 65 turns, some fewer, some more. My GOD what do you people expect from a $12 motor originally used for such applications as sideview mirrors in cars? What DOES make a sideview mirror motor "out of spec"? Do you think it matters for such use if it has a few more/less winds? 65 turns may be the optimal spec as described on some order form, but a certain "variance" has to be expected when churning out tens of thousands of units so cheaply made. Do you think the Chinese factory owner cares if a few of the motors have a few more/less winds? Do you think the CEO's of Ford/Chrysler/Toyota/BMW, etc, etc, etc CARE if those motors have a few more/less winds? WE adopted motors perfectly acceptable for THEIR original use for our OWN use... a use not originally envisioned when the motor was designed. My GOD what bunch of prissy prima-donnas!


Roll the dice, pay yer $12 and have FUN. Burn it out, go get another one. If you run the ProSlot 4002's, what the @%$# do you care? I'm so tired of you guys that ain't got nuthin' better to do than bitch and moan and fret about somethin' that don't amount to a hill o' beans.


Gimme my yellow warning, Greg; I deserve it. BUT AT LEAST I GOT TO TELL THE PANTYWADS OFF! :diablo:

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#512755 Slotcars will be the new household word

Posted by momma on 12 November 2013 - 02:51 PM

Route 93 Raceways is going to the sky to advertise!!!


Route 93 Raceway Billboard.jpg

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#502321 The confessional

Posted by Matt Bruce on 08 September 2013 - 08:08 AM

A turd is a turd, but it may not be at another venue. The problem with most of you guys is that you think that because of your advanced knowledge and years of experience that you put in what you think is your best motor, that it will be. And if someone is god forbid faster than you, that guy is doin something he shouldn't be. 2 years ago at Retropalooza Port Jeff CanAm, I was practicing and changing motors. I had, believe me, cycled thru some of my best engines from past races, some with multiple wins. I had a engine which was one of the first I'd bought 5 years ago, never ran anywhere. Refurbed it twice over the years, still a turd and never put a race on it. But that day, that track, that power it was a missile. Dominated the race. Fast Ones seal, still had an oilite bearing in the can. Do not confuse the fact that a motor is a turd cause it isn't fast at a specific racetrack. Matching the motor to the conditions is. That's why most of us have lots of engines. These motors are great out of the bag. They are great after getting refurbed. Are they all great at every track, no. So when most of you guys whining on here about guys blue printing motors, how do you explain someone like myself, who has never blueprinted a PD but still wins races? Obviously due to the amount of races I've run I'm sure I've ran against a few blueprinted engines in my time by now. Result has been the same. As with most BS on this blog, the majority of guys should start listening more to what guys who travel alot, race alot, and win alot are saying. But you won't, and the same thing will come up again and again and the same hard headed guys who never seem to walk thru the doors of any racetrack will dictate to the rest of us what a bunch of idiots we all are. Sorry, but if you are gonna talk the talk you better walk the walk. Funny how most who do, never seem to post much on these subjects. Maybe that would be a better topic to waste time on.
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#645858 How to set up guide flag height

Posted by JerseyJohn on 14 July 2016 - 10:44 AM


Attached File  Setting proper guide height.pdf   251.58KB   84 downloads
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#637222 New world record Retro chassis

Posted by Noose on 22 April 2016 - 05:55 AM

Well, it's the fastest lap ever recorded on a King track with a Can-Am Retro car!!! So what else would you call it?

A track record.
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#636975 Gary Lum, 1970-2016

Posted by cookandbottlewasher on 19 April 2016 - 05:24 PM

Reading all the post on Slotblog and Facebook about Gary Lum I can only agree that he was a great guy and a joy to race with. He was a true friend of Buena Park Raceway and a personal friend of Debby and !. He will be missed every time we hold a race. Our prayers go out to his wife, daughter, and son.
Let his passing serve as a reminder to us all. Time is short and it is something you can't save up, extend or reclaim. So if there is a family member you haven't talked to for some time or aren't at peace with, seek them out and tell them you love them. If there is a friend or a fellow racer who you last talked harshly to, extend that hand of friendship and say, "Brother, I'm sorry.". Remember time is short and it's ticking away. To all I may have wronged, "I'm sorry."
Jim Watterson
owner, Buena Park Raceway
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#626536 This will not help slot car racing

Posted by Noose on 08 February 2016 - 09:13 AM

Yeah, kinda funny that out here in Retro East we have been racing for nine years with essentially the same rule set developed in 2007. It was the basis for the original IRRA® rules in which all groups at that time were inclusive.  It wasn't until D3 changed some things and splintered off.
So how have we done? Nine years, which is longer than a lot of guys ran back in the day from 1964 into 1971 when most stopped. We have seen the same guys race and have seen growth averaging 30 per class at each event. We have 70 different racers participating in our series. Some don't travel because all our raceways are not that close.  That's OK. The best thing is we are getting younger racers. The top guys in Can-Am this year are all under 30 years old! Imagine that.
Our raceways make money and we give plaques at every event to every main winner. Top three get get plaques, too. Everyone is celebrated for their efforts. At the end of the season we give away a ton of stuff. Last year we gave away $6,000 worth of goodies.
The best thing that happened to draw new racers in and keep guys racing was the Hawk Retro. Guys are not buying them by the hundreds out here. Most guys are running them for multiple races. We help one another. The racing is stupid close. 
Oh, and yeah about those frames. At our race this weekend, the top three in Can-Am were totally different types of frames. One in fact one was over four years old. In F1 we had the same thing as the winner used a frame that is perhaps older than that. Maybe five years old.
Our racers are treated fairly at tech and we all make sure the rules are followed. It has worked for nine years. 
Yeah, guess we should change it.

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#626409 This will not help slot car racing

Posted by MSwiss on 07 February 2016 - 01:23 PM

OK, Jeff, what part of the rules do we have wrong? LOL.

I'm sort of surprised the Retro Hawk can compete with the 4002FK. Maybe on Tracy's track, the superior brakes of the 4002FK don't mean anything.

Thinking about this race and Tracy's desire to do something different, I think instituting a mandatory teardown of the top three motors would be something 96% of the racers would appreciate.

Give Tracy a chance to showcase the fancy items he sells to check arm timing and resistance, and make sure no extra epoxy mysteriously found its way on to the arms.

Over the years, a lot of times racers (not just in Retro racing) have wanted to protest someone's motor, but didn't want to be (unfairly) labeled a poor loser. This would take the onus off the racer's back.
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#624399 '68 Hinsdale Arco concours car

Posted by MSwiss on 25 January 2016 - 03:02 PM

A local SCCA autocross club held their annual slot car event at my raceway yesterday. It's put together by ex-commercial racer and current club racer, Dave Vaccaro.

He brought a few of his cars he raced in the late '60s, in some top events in the Chicago area.

Shown is a Lancer Chaparral 2G (corrected from 2E) he said he won concours with at the famous Hinsdale Raceway's 1968 Arco race, beating Dave Bloom.

Dave V. mentioned Bloom was running a more conventional, serious race car, but it was still an impressive accomplishment for a high schooler.

He added, the car was a surprisingly good runner. But about three-quarters of the way through his Consi it let out a trail of smoke going down the straightaway and the Super NASCAR motor's endbell melted into a pool of plastic.




Shot of chassis with replacement motor and a newer era guide. He mentioned friend and fellow high schooler Chuck Gambo helped him hang the pans.

I'll posts pics later of another car he built approximately a year later - a serious race car with a square wire chassis.
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#622430 Observations by a traveling racer

Posted by Wizard16 on 11 January 2016 - 09:27 PM

I attended this year's Checkpoint following my attendance at Sano 9. I plan to head East for major events after the Caribbean Retro Championships in June. Although trips to Dallas will be made for their flat track.  I'm learning as I go along. These were my first two retro events ever as well as my first two flat tracks. Most of these observations are probably evident to the readers. I'm definitely no expert but I have learned a lot.


1) Buy chassis from established builders at each track. Stick with the same builder for all the classes. I've tried to copy the chassis from pictures on Slotblog. While I think my craftsmanship is good I obviously don't understand all the theories that went into the respective designs. One of the photos posted in the Checkpoint thread shows Sam Rackham holding my car at the driver's panel and explaining some issues my car and I had.


2) Test as many motors as you can before arrival. Testing motors at the location is way too time consuming when you should be practicing and learning how the tracks change during the day and as rubber accumulates. This last weekend for the F1 I practiced and got as fast as my experience justified and parked the car. When qualifying came around my car set up was waaaay off -  the track had really changed.


3) Tires, tires, tires. Use what the locals use. I've tried to translate the compounds used locally to the tires used for the out of town races. It doesn't work no matter what anyone says about the compounds being the same. Cut all the tires down to size shortly before departure. It's a lot of work but it'll save time once there.


4) Have multiple bodies for each chassis cut and fitted for testing. It was amazing to me how the same body from the same mfg acted differently with a small fore and aft change in mounting.


5) The locals will help but only as their time allows. They aren't hiding information but they have their own programs to run. So I will try and get as much detailed information before arrival.


6) Philosophical  - There are the same percentage of jerks in slot car racing as there are in the general population. I've let the jerks impact my weekends - no more.


Thanks to Bryan Warmack, John Cukras, Tim Neja, Mill Conroy, Sam Rackham, John Hegedus, Ben Cervantes, Sr and others who made me feel welcome and helped this poor driver improve. Also thanks to pit neighbor Captain Zombie - what a character! Finally, owners Jim and Debbie Watterson were very helpful and welcoming. Next year can't come too soon.



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#516574 The eternal "What's best for Retro" discussion

Posted by Matt Bruce on 07 December 2013 - 08:25 AM

There is no doubt that Retro has become a kit-based form of racing. It is what it is. The variations of frames that have come from said kits is just astonishing.

You will never please everyone 100% of the time. Having scratchbuilders talk smack on kit frames is all good. Without that, racing in any form never pushes forward. Pride or ego, whichever you prefer, keep things fresh and keep those engineering minds searching endlessly for the better mousetrap.

In reality we are talking about a guide hole, a piece to hold a front axle, a bracket to hold a rear axle, and something to pin the body too. That's it. However you come up with those things it's all good.

Nobody invented any of this stuff. Guys just arrange them differently. If a kit helps a guy do that quicker and cheaper so be it. Racing is close and that's the key. They all look the same on the line from the top. Retro is such a photocopy hobby anyway. People see a chassis win on Sunday and Monday morning there are 100 copies. And that is from scratch or a kit.

Just realize the big picture, in that there are 100 guys who care enough to spend the time to copy it. That's why it's popular and why you always have plenty of marshals in Retro. LOL.
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