How did this happen?
Well I will tell you how….. A week ago on a very nice Saturday afternoon I wandered out into the garage and began going through boxes to see what I could throw out or organize. Well two boxes in (yes I didn't get too far) I open a box that is filled with all my old RC stuff.
I stared into the box and drifted off into a world I had forgotten about.
Let me explain, you see many years ago (about 19 years to be exact) I went into a Hobby store and saw these way cool remote controlled electric off-road buggies. Well I had to have one so after spending I am sure too much money I had my very own… I played with it all over my backyard, jumping off of rocks and bumps and anything I could find… even chasing a cat or two!
It was a blast! But one day I broke me pretty little buggy and had to find a new hobby store to buy parts to fix it. I found a place not far from my house and after looking around the store I noticed that behind the counter was a large glass window and behind it was what looked like a tiny little version of a NASCAR oval track! (One-Stop Raceway)
WTF is that I asked??
The guy behind the counter (his name I later found out was "Mustang"... I can't make this stuff up) told me they race on the track on Friday nights…
Well that was all I needed to know and if you know Tim you know if I get to compete, I want to do it!
Fast-forward about 2 years and I am so entrenched in the RC world I can see nothing else. My best friend at the time works for a RC magazine writing articles and doing reviews of new products. I spend every extra moment I have working on cars talking to manufactures and traveling around going to races…
By this time I have sponsorship with a few manufactures and other then my food I get to travel and race for pretty much free!
Everything was good!
Let me note that there are maybe 5 people at the time in the world of RC that didn't have to work… I was Not one of them.
Well one evening I was sitting at home watching TV when my buddy Mike Ogle called me and said "Hey do you know where the city of Colton is?" yeah I think I can find it why? He tells me that I need to come out there because he is looking at the "Coolest Thing in RC he has ever seen!"
Ok that is all I needed to hear and about 45 minutes later I am smack dab in the middle of Colton California. I see Mike and I see what looks like…. No it can't be…… Yup… it's a 1/10 scale drag-strip!
I stand there dizzy and mesmerized by what is in front of me.
The sign reads.. "Welcome To Drag World...home of the worlds fastest RC cars"
It was the Coolest thing in RC I had ever seen, he was right.
There was a bleacher filled with what looked to be 50 -60 people (that's a lot for any RC race) and standing at the starting line is Mike. I walk over to him and he says.. "Wait Watch This!" Just then I see a guy (Roger Rose… of the Christian Rock band "Mad At The World") walk up holding a unbelievably cool 1/10 scale dragster.
Roger sets down this dragster on the starting line, stages the car and the next thing I see is the "Christmas Tree" light up and like a bullet this car is gone. The car went from a dead stop 132 feet in 1.95 seconds at just over 75 MPH…. On Battery's!
Holy Crap! That was the greatest thing I have ever seen in the World of remote controlled.
Well Mike and I look at each other and it's clear…. We will be racing here very soon…. So the next week I am there with Mike and we are racing…
Fast-forward about 3 years Mike and I are racing every week and traveling all over the country to race our Dragsters. We both hold many records both track and world records I signed an autograph here and there and life is good.
Well because life can make you do things you may not want to I ended my RC racing career about 12 years ago and other then trying remote controlled Helicopter for awhile I completely stop racing all together.
Now I stand here in my garage completely drunk off the joy of looking at two boxes filled with so many great memories of fun times with good friends from all around the country. I began looking through everything and other then lots of dust, everything on my Drag cars looks to be just as they were the day they came off the track.
God Bless the Internet!
Thanks to Google it only takes me a few minutes to find that a bunch of people still race RC dragsters and with a few more clicks I see that my long lost Buddy Mike Ogle now owns a RC drag shop (Grand MotorSports.. free plug Mike
)and has moved from sunny California to Illinois! Click, click, click What's this I see… a group of guys opened a track about 40 miles from my house not more then 6 months ago!!! Click, click, click I find the forums for this new track near my house… I began to read the threads and one by one I see name after name I remember from the old days, like a high school reunion the names and memories flood into my brain I am totally overjoyed!
I join the forums and post to see if anyone remembers me and to find out when the next race is so I can come out and watch.
The next day my phone begins to ring one by one they call in disbelieve that "Tim Smith" is still alive and wants to race again.
After a few days I have my cars ready to go, new motors on the way and Saturday is the day of truth, the day I will see how a 15 year layoff has affected me and what 15 years has done to RC drag racing.
Wish me luck. I will report back after Saturday with all the grisly details good or bad.