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The passing of the torch... B-A-R to Race Ya


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#1 nicky 65

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Posted 03 December 2023 - 08:04 PM

This is a little feel good story about slot car racing........................I grew up in Brooklyn a few blocks from Buzz A Rama............My father would take me there as a kid 4-7 years old.1969-1972

Then we moved out of the neighborhood and i never went back...........but I would often pass by on my way to my Grandmothers house often wondering what it would be like in there years later.

Well fast forward to 2007...........I have a nephew that was always trying to get me to play video games . Of which i had no interest in. I told him about slot car racing when i was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, and he wanted to give it a try. I found the Race Place in NJ and we took a trip down...........rented some cars and we were both hooked. I then found out that Buzz A Rama was still open .......I was beyond excited.I bought a few old cars on Ebay........we fixed em up and started going every weekend for about a year or so. My nephew started High School ............found a girlfriend and I was left high and dry.

I had gone a few times by myself ...................and then started racing weekly at Race Place in NJ.  On the weekends I would go to BAR and try to convince Buzzy to start a racing program. He was tired and not really into it. But after several attempts..............I convinced him , and we would have about 5 races a year. But the interest in Brooklyn just was not there. It was tough to try and get 7or 8 racers.

In 2021 Buzzy and Dolores both passed away from covid............10 days apart. I have to tell you I was devastated...............and I told my wife I was done and Im selling everything.

She says to me ..........."don't do it"...........I listened to her ........and a year and a half later ,john and Tara Vitale opened up RACE YA on Staten Island about 8 minutes from my house.

WOW .............what surprise . Its almost like the "GHOST OF BUZZY " has blessed me with another raceway.

 

John and Tara Vitale who opened Race Ya ..............were strictly thinking of parties...........and not organized racing. I started reaching out to a few guys  I knew from Staten Island and before you know it after a few months ..............we have over 38 guys racing with us. Our Tuesday night racing program is off the charts..............guys were digging out their old boxes and coming in left and right. 

it has been over a year now and still going strong.....................Tuesday nights are anywhere from 16 to 26 racers in 3 mains.  Its like a big family........a social club.......boys night out. 

Buzzy would be proud of the program I put together and best bunch of racers on the east coast. 

Come on down and check it ....................you wont be disappointed..........I   (and Buzzy) promise you..


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Nicholas Traina
 
Buzz-A-Rama forever in our hearts
RIP... Buzzy and Dolores




#2 slotcarone

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Posted 03 December 2023 - 09:16 PM

Great story Nick and good to hear there are still racers out there. Wish I was closer! :)


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Mike Katz

Scratchbuilts forever!!


#3 Martin

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Posted 04 December 2023 - 12:29 PM

The slot car world needs more Nicky's :good:


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Martin Windmill

#4 nicky 65

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Posted 04 December 2023 - 03:55 PM

The slot car world needs more Nicky's :good:

Thanx Martin................I owe you a phone call.


Nicholas Traina
 
Buzz-A-Rama forever in our hearts
RIP... Buzzy and Dolores

#5 Tim Neja

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Posted 04 December 2023 - 06:09 PM

Great to hear you were able to bring the old slot racing crew back together!! Congratulations and Merry Christmas to you all!! Boys night out is awsome!! 


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She's real fine, my 409!!!

#6 Bridgehampton66

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Posted 05 December 2023 - 08:56 AM

I've been lucky enough to visit Race Ya, and bring a couple of friends who live nearby on Staten Island.

 

The energy and care that John and Tara bring, and the way Nick is channeling this into race programs

and positivity... it is beautiful to behold.  Race Ya believes in both serving the legacy racers, and doing the work

to bring kids and parents into the fold.  Success lies in this approach to raceway leadership.

 

Spread the joy, tell the people.  More than half a century later, this is still a great hobby!  If every one of us

does just a little sharing of our enthusiasm, show folks what this is, we can maintain, even grow, what

we have.


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Rob Hayes

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#7 nicky 65

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 05:06 AM

I want to thank everyone for the kind words that they have expressed towards me  and the likes for my story...................I truly love this hobby and do everything to try and promote it. 

It is becoming a lost art ...................high rents , low income . taxes, and video games ........................but most of all a generation that has become lazy in doing anything for themselves. 

Here at Race Ya we try and do things a little different .................I start out with every single person that walks in the door and expresses interest ............I get their cell # and keep them informed.

I send out a group text to every racer in our program ..............letting them know EVERYTHING that is going on here at Race Ya.

We have a $5 raffle every race night............we also order pizza for another $5. 

We gave out awards for accomplishments for  various  performance ..........(Marshalling. building. Iron Man, nice guy, best driver . rookie of the year, .........etc.,) it works 

Every guy that cant make it that night to race.......... calls me to let me know they can't make it and feels bad about it...................We also celebrate everyone's birthday...............make them feel like they matter. ITS VERY IMPORTANT.

We have 38 guys that have  Raced with us on a Tuesday night...............they all get informed about what's going on .................Its has become a social club and it keeps on growing.

I teach a build class to kids on Sunday mornings ............they build , practice and then race ...............we have had over 30 kids in 3 weeks ...............and they come back to race on Sundays

Promote the hobby ...............don't let it get stagnant. I'm not the smartest guy in the hobby ..............but I learned a lot over the years over what works and what doesnt. 

But nobody has taught me more about slots than ....Buzzy Perri.............I owe a lot to him. RIP my friend.


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Nicholas Traina
 
Buzz-A-Rama forever in our hearts
RIP... Buzzy and Dolores

#8 Bill from NH

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 07:07 AM

The group text messages & the how to build class for kids are both great items Nicky.  :)


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Bill Fernald
 
I intend to live forever!  So far, so good.  :laugh2:  :laugh2: 

#9 Larry Labounty

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Posted 06 December 2023 - 10:21 PM

Nicky con grates on the success!!! Shows what one can accomplish with some hard work. Well done!!!    


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#10 Alchemist

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Posted 21 December 2023 - 01:04 PM

I feel the need to debate this statement Nicky!

 

This is a little feel good story about slot car racing

 

This IS a "Wonderfully great feeling story"  about slot car racing!

 

I know I needed to read this now, especially with the holidays approaching.

 

Thanks so much for sharing and congratulations on the success of your efforts to increase the interest in our hobby!

 

You're a "Rock Star" Nicky!

 

Ernie


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Ernie Layacan





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