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Econo and Vintage NASCAR at STR on 1/15/24

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#1 rvec


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Posted 16 January 2024 - 01:21 PM


Here in Douglas County, Oregon, we received our first real taste of winter this past week. The brunt of the storm hit a bit north of Roseburg where some vehicles were stuck in traffic or parked for up to eighteen hours while ice was cleared from the roads. Several service stations ran out of gas because fuel trucks could not reach them. What a mess it was. On Monday evening it was cold with light rain but this was not enough to deter a near full complement of locals from trekking to STR for the Econo and Vintage NASCAR race at STR. Unfortunately, a few potential racers from out of the North (Cottage Grove) thought it best to remain in front of a roaring fire instead of risking life and limb to attend.

In the end, nine Slot-heads showed up to race Econo and Vintage NASCAR at STR on 1/15/24. Both races were very tight and competitive. We welcome back Mike after his long hiatus. Always an enthusiastic racer, a bit of rust had accumulated in his brain, finger and controller. I am sure he will return to good form in short order.

  • In the Econo race it was Joe, Mark and Bob for first through third respectively.
  • In the Vintage NASCAR race it was Rich, Joe and Bob for first through third respectively.


The Econo class is typically very competitive because of the tight chassis specifications which allow only a rattle or side to side movement of the pans and no hinges.


  • Bob and Joe are favored to take the top two podium spots. Both have turned fast laps in the 5.1s more than .1 seconds/lap faster than others in the field
  • Mark, Ron and Rich will likely vie for the bottom step of the podium. All three have turned fast laps in the 5.2 to low 5.3 seconds/lap

Current Race
I was a bit surprised at the diversity of the field. No make or model dominated the race and several new rides rounded out the field. In addition to posting images of the top three finishers, I have included some of the new and unusual rides like Ron’s 59 Chevy, Mike’s Dodge and Scott’s Fairlane.

As predicted, the Econo race was a close contest with only a lap or so separating the top three finishers. Joe, driving his “Coke Machine”, pulled out the win even though his car was only third quickest. Consistency made the difference. For the most part, he managed to stay out of trouble while others; not so much. Mark and Bob battled for the bottom step of the podium. In the end, Mark edged out Bob by only a single section.




Vintage NASCAR is quite a competitive class featuring OSCAR based, sophisticated hinged chassis. Nearly all competitors have migrated to the 50 Olds body which seems to handle better than others.

  •  Best performances from the top five drivers are within about a lap of each other
  • Although Bob might be the favorite, Mark, Joe, Rich and Ron have a shot at the top spot and certainly the remaining spots on the podium. In fact, Mark won the last Vintage NASCAR race held on 8/21/23 at STR with Bob second and Rich third

Current Race
The 50 Olds was the weapon of choice, filling out all but one spot on the grid. A lone 51 Chevy rounded out the field. Talk about a competitive field, this week’s Vintage NASCAR race yielded the closest finish ever recorded at STR. The entire podium posted identical lap and section counts with only a few inches separating first and second. Third place finished only about a foot behind the leaders. Fourth place finished in the identical section, a single lap behind the leaders (see image below). Fifth place finisher (not shown) was a single section behind fourth.


The initial heat featured the top four finishers from the Econo race. Joe, Mark, and Bob all finished the heat with 21+ laps while Lowell posted 19+ laps. Lowell rotated out and Rich rotated in for heat #2. About halfway through the heat, Rich had an off in the lead-on. Before the car could be marshaled, Joe’s car hit Rich’s ride very hard. No serious damage was detected and the race continued. After the wreck, Rich’s Olds turned into a bunny, hopping all over the place. Between heats, it was determined the problem was a bent axle. Repairs were made and the race continued into heat #3.

Joe was first in the barn finishing with 85.6 laps and setting down a tough marker for the rest of the field. Rich entered his final heat oblivious to the fact that he was within striking distance of Joe and was surprised to finish his race only inches ahead of Joe.

Yet to finish were both Bob and Mark, both having a shot to knock Rich and/or Joe from a podium spot. It all came down to the final heat. Bob posted a fine 22 lap total in the final heat but it was not enough to overtake Rich or Joe but enough to relegate Mark to a fourh place finish. In all the excitement, none of us realized that Ron had posted a fine lap total of 84.5. In the end, Ron was fifth only a section behind fourth place Mark.


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Rich Vecchio

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