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Nats and Worlds attendance


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#1 MG Brown

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 11:39 AM

Certain wing car Nats and Worlds events recently held in North America seem as if they drew very few "local" racers.

 

I'm puzzled why this happens.

 

If I am a wing car racer in the area where a major event will be held, you can bet that I will be working on my program so I can enter.

 

Are some people that afraid of getting beat? Don't they understand that racing against the best makes you a better racer and builder?

 

Apparently the days of wanting to race against and learn from the very best are behind us.

 

Is it better to have the USRA "Nats" every other year or perhaps not in the summer?


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That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.
 

 





#2 jimht

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 01:05 PM

Paying big bucks to get beaten may not be the optimal solution to having a good time.

 

Racing wing cars against the best on a punchbowl King certainly makes you a less wealthy racer.  :laugh2: 


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#3 Bill from NH

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 01:24 PM

I'm thinking there aren't many local wing racing programs that allow one to cut their teeth and drive more competitive.

 

The exception might be the Formula-F classes. At one time in the past, almost every raceway had a wing class that ran weekly or monthly. Those days are gone. Slot car racing today is mostly sealed motor racing.


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#4 Bill Seitz

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 04:14 PM

I'm acquainted with the folks from Mach 1 Raceway in rural Virginia that had great results at the Nats. With the exception of Ed Gibson who has represented Camen for many years, these people are your typical local/regional slot car enthusiasts that travel to a big event occasionally, mostly if it's close enough to not be a major expense, and not to every event because of the travel costs, etc. In Group F, they finished 1, 3, and 4. In HBB, a young female racer in this group with a few years experience, won from the B Main with a lap total that set a world record. Granted, she's won before in Boxstock, but these aren't deep-pocket wing car racers, just dedicated slot car enthusiasts. They have the support of Ed Gibson, but again, these aren't deep-pocket wing car racers. The race other classes of cars every week, like Indycar, LMP, GTP, DTM, and NASCAR Flexi. They also have bi-weekly Mercury RTR, Group F, and Boxstock wing car racing.

 

The argument that locals will be outclassed by the out of town people doesn't hold a full glass of water. I do know some people just don't like the idea that someone they don't race with regularly will come from out of town and beat them. They only want to race with their select local crowd that they know well. So, they don't win at the Nats because they didn't try, and some racers from another small, local race program took home the laurels to their country raceway.


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#5 MSwiss

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 04:24 PM

Paying big bucks to get beaten may not be the optimal solution to having a good time.

 

Racing wing cars against the best on a punchbowl King certainly makes you a less wealthy racer. laugh2.gif 

 

Of course, Jim is correct.

 

Full punch racing on a super-fast King is too big of a financial commitment. If one doesn't have the latest stuff they are in the way and feel guilty that they are.

 

It's not like a marathon where the elite runners run away from the amateurs and are never seen again. The slow guys are there to get passed again, and again, and again. And at 2 seconds a lap, it's more often.

 

Also, even if one makes the $$$ commitment to be fast, the cars are so flimsy, that one normal wreck usually takes them out of the race for good, and the chassis is ready for the garbage can.

 

Run a sturdy car, it's naturally heavier, slower, and in the way.


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Mike Swiss
 
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#6 gatormark

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 06:27 PM

It's the economy.


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#7 Larry Labounty

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Posted 27 August 2023 - 07:14 PM

It's a lot of effort for not a lot of reward. If you do not have the right people helping you're pretty much pissing in the wind!

 

Never got what made holding a controller full punch a great day of racing!


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#8 stoo23

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 12:16 AM

Never got what made holding a controller full punch a great day of racing!

 

:), You get to watch and see all the pretty colours and numbers change, whilst you watch the lap counter!!... LOL.

 

I'm convinced the new 'narrower' chassis are simply so there is even less chance of hitting other cars in the turns, so you don't actually have to watch your car and can keep your eye on the lap counter.

 

I ran some Grp F races on the Gerding 'speed bowl' track we had here before it closed and I honestly could (and perhaps should) have simply put a rubber band around the 'trigger' and Sat down with a cup of coffee to have watched my car.

 

There was nothing I could do to make it go any faster whilst holding the controller!!

 

Sad really, how the 'skill' of the pocketbook/bank balance has more to do with winning than the 'skill' with actual driving... but then I guess that is the 'lament' of all of us old dudes LOL.


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#9 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 09:39 AM

We saw the same thing in R/C racing. A decade ago we had a thriving outdoor on-road weekly racing series. 70 to 80 racers on average. When we scheduled our regional championship that drew 25+ racers from several states our entries actually fell into the mid 60s. Same reasoning as MSwiss and others have mentioned.


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#10 Sloter

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 10:32 AM

You want to get new racers and have them attend big events, you need to run RTR cars and even then you will struggle to get the locals to race the big events. RTR cars and IROC-style racing helps. Also need to attract home racers with the Carrera, SCX, Scalextric, Pioneer cars. Start holding events for these cars. Way more home racers than commercial racers! Need to promote to those racers, to grow the sport. Advertising and promoting is key but very expensive in most cases. 

 

Most new racers today have no mechanical ability's to tune or build cars and if you want to grow the sport, you need to change your mind on what your racing and who your new customers are. There are exceptions, but most racers want to race cars they can relate to, it's not all about speed!

 

Bob


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Bob Roberts

#11 Tampabay racer

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 11:34 AM

All yoo have to do is complain about other people or tracks. If you're not happy with the venue, build your own place so it's perfect.

 

Roger is the hardest working slotcar owner there is. The amount of hours he puts in to make sure everyone gets the same VIP service to all is crazy. It's funny how people talk crap about others and not to them, just about them.


Brian Ambrose


#12 MSwiss

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 12:20 PM

Brian,

 

Please quote where anyone complained about a venue or this year's venue.

 

The issue is the $$$ needed to run on a punched track.

 

The reality is as the tracks have gotten faster, the participation has gone down.

 

In 1995, at Lugnut, they had 96-98 G27 entries and big number entries in all the classes.

 

Those 98 guys didn't all walk in thinking they were going to win.

 

A lot of them knew they had zero chance of winning with their two or three-year old car and two motors, but they knew they would be racing with other guys of their $$ commitment and driving ability.

 

And if they ran well in their race, they would move up and get to race again.

 

Do you know how exciting it is to move up at a USRA Nats race, especially with 50-98 racers?

 

Now with the single race format, you spend big $$$ to make sure you have top HP and a top car, and then you get to race once in that class.


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Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 692 Citadel Drive, Westmont, Illinois 60559


#13 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 03:38 PM

I agree with what Mike just said above, but just to play devil's advocate...

 

If there were still big numbers of entries, you would still be racing against people at your level.

 

The cars are just too expensive, too fragile, and too fast. IMO.


Eddie Fleming

#14 Larry Labounty

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 04:16 PM

I never understood. Why you had to go faster to have a good time racing?

 

Like Mike said, the same problem in R/C. I had more fun with the old pan cars with 1/8 on road than with the four-wheel drive cars of today.

 

The only thing I got faster at was going to the ATM.


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#15 Cheater

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 07:02 PM

I'm not going to get deeply into this thread, but wanted to throw out this question.

What do you think motivates people to get involved in competitive activities like slot racing?

 

In golf, it's pretty obvious: the money. Viktor Hovland won $18 million yesterday at the FedEx Cup here in Atlanta.

 

In other competitive activities, where money is not involved, why do people decide to expend the time, energy, and money to compete? Disc golf, BMW racing, skateboarding, R/C planes, ice skating, skiing, whatever...

 

You tell me...


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#16 Mr. M

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 07:13 PM

For me, it was the competition. I could be competitive while in traditional sports I was not. However, when you look at the effort and cost to compete at the highest level today G7, G27, etc., you have to have enough satisfaction to justify the output.


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Chris McCarty

#17 Larry Labounty

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Posted 28 August 2023 - 09:24 PM

Good question, Greg. 

 

For whatever reason we all seem to find a interest in something that we get hook on. I always wonder why I got so into racing as a teenager and mot stick with ball games like most of my friends. I'm sure I wouldn't have been into slots and R/C if not so into racing.

 

When we started our R/C club, it was always amazing how many would get into involve and then be gone in a short pereiod. Was it the expense, the effort needed, skill that was needed, or just not sure what they wanted to do as model car racing look like the kool thing to do?

 

I think one has to be a real addict to do any type of racing for years.



#18 MG Brown

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Posted 29 August 2023 - 05:15 PM

I'm not going to get deeply into this thread, but wanted to throw out this questionI... n golf, it's pretty obvious: the money. Viktor Hovland won $18 million yesterday at the FedEx Cup here in Atlanta.

 

Yeah Terri and I won $4 (or was it $6?) in our Thursday couples golf league earlier in the year.

I'm fairly sure none of our league members are in it for the money. I'd wager it is to socialize mostly.


That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.
 

 


#19 Bill from NH

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Posted 29 August 2023 - 05:33 PM

I found it a way to feed a competitive spirit without breaking the bank. I had rather race 1:1 cars, but you don't always get what you want.


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Bill Fernald
 
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#20 Jeff Long

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Posted 20 September 2023 - 10:35 AM

Its been 20 years since I raced open cars. The punch bowl tracks played a large roll in me losing interest. It took a lot of the driver element out of the equation.
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#21 Dennis David

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Posted 20 September 2023 - 11:44 AM

Just a question. How much do you think it costs to have a winning car at the Nats? Let's say for the most popular class and how many entrants were there?


Dennis David
    
 


#22 Dennis David

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Posted 20 September 2023 - 12:05 PM

FYI, I am sharing this info just for people to consider. This is not meant to denigrate the Nats because I like all racing and I know this is comparing apples with oranges but here goes.

Electric Dreams recently held a Slot.it Festival at their wood flat track. The president of the company Maurizio Ferrari attended the race from Italy. The race was won by Ian Douglas beating around 65 other drivers. His car cost around $100 as is and his entire program (extra tires, motors, etc.) for the race was $250-300. These are 1/32 cars that many people run at home on plastic tracks.

Is one type of racing better than the other, NO that's not the point but rather if I could win a big race having spent $250-300 should I be happy? I would be over the moon. :D
 


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#23 Jeff Long

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Posted 20 September 2023 - 02:26 PM

When I went to an out of town race, I would have four-six motors, one new body, one-two frames, and a bag of tires. Once I found which tires were working I would purchase at least three more pair. That doesn't count rebuilding the motors before each race, rebalancing arms, braid, new gears, etc., etc.

But I enjoyed it at the time and loved racing against the best competition.


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