Jump to content




Photo

Racing at Sidewinder 8/31/16


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 rvec

rvec

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,571 posts
  • Joined: 08-April 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 08 September 2016 - 08:51 AM

Since my first visit to Sidewinder a few years ago, I have written extensively about the facility, its unique economic model and the friendly folks that own and race at the facility. Sidewinder Raceway is located in a strip mall in Rancho Cordova (a suburb of Sacramento, California). The business is owned and staffed by the Strange family. Although this is the first commercial slot car related venture for the family, they are not at all new to the hobby. The family has been active in club racing for years and decided to take the plunge into a commercial operation about four years ago. Bill and son Billy are most active in the business; however, other family members participate as well. Below are my observations.

  • Product knowledge and customer service are exemplary.
  • The two wood, custom build tracks are characterized by changes in elevation and relatively tight corners. The scenery, undulating terrain and custom wall hangings all add to the ambiance of the facility and create excitement and enthusiasm. The nature of the layouts with tight corners emphasizes driving skill.
  • The smaller tracks allow for a relatively small facility (2,400 square feet) resulting in relatively low lease payments and manageable utility expenses.
  • The focus is on scale, ready to run (RTR) 1/32nd scale racing with relatively few modifications. Some classes are even bone stock. As a result novice racers can get up to speed quickly at a modest cost. Races are held weekly and classes of cars rotate week to week.

Sidewinder is not the normal commercial slot car operation. The focus is on realism and fun more than speed. The 2,400 square-foot facility houses two 1/32nd scale, 4 lane tracks. The larger track, Atlanta Raceway Park, is approximately 84 running feet while the smaller track, Florence Road Circuit, is approximately 74 feet. The tracks were designed and built by the family and feature realistic changes in elevation and tight corners. Atlanta Raceway Park is adorned with great looking scenery including simulated grass, trees, buildings, guardrails etc. The Florence Road Circuit will be landscaped as time permits. The custom wall hangings add to the realistic ambiance. Cars are run without the benefit of magnets or glue. Below are images of the tracks.

P1030969.JPG

P1030972.JPG

P1040008.JPG

I understand why racers of all stripes keep coming back to Sidewinder. First, there is a sense of camaraderie among the participants. Second, the owners are very helpful in selecting and tuning cars. Third, the scenery and realism of the track provides a sort of Walter Mitty experience.

Sidewinder employs several different race formats depending on the number of classes run on a given race night, the particular class(s) in question and the number of participants. Races are expertly seeded by the Billy, the race director. On this particular evening we ran a Sprint format on the Atlanta Raceway Park circuit. Each heat was 10 laps in length and points were awarded by finishing order in a given heat (4 for first, 3 for second, 2 for third and 1 for fourth). Final standings were determined by the total number of points amassed by each racer.

This weeks event attracted about 15 racers. There were two main classes of racing; Carrera and Late Model Sports Cars. Each participant was allowed to field a car in each of the main classes. Furthermore each class had a subset of classes. Carrera participants had a choice of Spec. Carrera, DTM Carrera and Modified Carrera. For Late Model Sports Car, each participant had a choice of LM1, LM2 or LM3.

Michael Wright provided a competitive Ferrari 458 for the Spec. Carrera class for me and Vince Puleo was kind enough to provide a very fast Porsche GT1 Evo for the LM1 class (see image below). Both cars were potential winners. Unfortunately, the driver, me, was not. I could see by the lap times in practice that the level of expertise had improved dramatically since my last visit back in February. Even though I felt more comfortable on the track and turned some fast laps, I knew it was going to be a tough night and guess what, it was.

P1030978.JPG

For the most part, racing was close and competitive with three of five decided by a single point or less. The blowouts were the in the Modified Carrera where Vince


Puleo Jr. won by four points and the DTM race where Michael Wright won by five points. Below are a few images of the grids and some racing action.

P1030983.JPG

P1030986.JPG

P1030993.JPG

P1030998.JPG

P1040003.JPG

P1040004.JPG

P1040011.JPG


Rich Vecchio





#2 Dallas Jackson

Dallas Jackson

    On The Lead Lap

  • Member at Peace
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 323 posts
  • Joined: 07-May 08
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 September 2016 - 08:56 AM

Great looking tracks; vert nice cars' to run on


???-1/29/202
Requiescat in Pace

#3 Dennis David

Dennis David

    Posting Leader

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,387 posts
  • Joined: 05-April 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 08 September 2016 - 09:38 AM

I love going to Sidewinder

Dennis David
    
curb-line2.jpg
 
gph_sm.jpg
   


#4 Justin A. Porter

Justin A. Porter

    Race Leader

  • Full Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 848 posts
  • Joined: 08-August 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Ridgeville, OH

Posted 08 September 2016 - 10:51 AM

Awesome looking shop. Are they a non-mag shop and are they on rubber, silicone, or urethanes?



#5 rvec

rvec

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,571 posts
  • Joined: 08-April 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 08 September 2016 - 11:39 AM

Awesome looking shop. Are they a non-mag shop and are they on rubber, silicone, or urethanes?


no mags, no foams

Rich Vecchio


#6 Tim Neja

Tim Neja

    Grand Champion Poster

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,351 posts
  • Joined: 11-June 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Paso Robles

Posted 08 September 2016 - 03:28 PM

AWSOME looking tracks!! I LOVE the home racing 1/32 cars --- big fun--not a big investment and they LOOK like real cars!! What's not to like!?  Love those tracks you guys have too--very nice!!  :)


She's real fine, my 409!!!

#7 rvec

rvec

    Checkered Flag in Hand

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,571 posts
  • Joined: 08-April 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oregon

Posted 08 September 2016 - 04:03 PM

AWSOME looking tracks!! I LOVE the home racing 1/32 cars --- big fun--not a big investment and they LOOK like real cars!! What's not to like!?  Love those tracks you guys have too--very nice!!   :)


Tim,
I visit Sidewinder whenever I am in the Sacramento area. The owners are great,quite knowledgeable and very helpful. The tracks, especially the big track, Atlanta Raceway Park are really fun and challenging. The guys that race are there to win but more importantly to have fun. I see many of the same faces each visit. Some are modelers that enjoy painting and decaling white kits while some are experts at tuning. Some classes require extensive modification to be competitive including new running gear motor pods etc.

If I lived in the Sacramento area I would be a regular at Sidewinder

Rich Vecchio


#8 Dennis David

Dennis David

    Posting Leader

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,387 posts
  • Joined: 05-April 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 08 September 2016 - 05:27 PM

There are small numbers painted on the track. The surface has a texture and the tire of choice are is rubber. Foam won't work on this track.

These are wood tracks with regular braid, magnets won't work either so you can just leave them in if you sometimes race magnets. The voltage is set at 10 volts.

Dennis David
    
curb-line2.jpg
 
gph_sm.jpg
   


#9 eshorer

eshorer

    Race Leader

  • Subscriber
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 699 posts
  • Joined: 25-August 07

Posted 09 September 2016 - 11:12 PM

I like how the drivers' stations are spread out, so you have a very different driving vantage point of view depending one which lane you're running. Very fine design.

Eddie


Eddie (not so Fast anymore) Shorer
Team Boola (circa the '60s)





Electric Dreams Online Shop