THE Cub Report, Version- Let’s Race
So it was my bad, I thought it would be a good idea to check out the ROAR 1/10th carpet nats over the weekend. Sure, the event was held in at a primo track. Sure it had a bunch of big name factory shoes in attendance. Sure there was all sorts of high-tech rc goodness there. But what it was lacking, was fun. Actually, if your idea of a good time is sitting around for hours at a time wrenching on an already perfect car and watching cars fly around a track with just one line 18″ wide, it would have been heaven for you. But I am not wired that way.
You see, it had been nearly a half decade since I had been to a ROAR carpet nat, and I have all but stopped racing indoor carpet locally. I stopped for a couple of reasons, and believe it or not, the biggest was tire sauce. When I was gnar-core indoor racing, the stuff never used to bother me, but I am no spring chicken anymore, so now days the fumes give me a raging headache in under an hour. The second reason I quit was because all my friends quit racing on-road. The rules got too strict, the tracks were always boring, and too much set-up/tuning was required to run up front on a weekly basis. When my friends bailed, so did I. Any which way, I was actually stoked to go hang at the carpet nats, I guess I was hoping that everything was different and better.
The race (what little I watched of it) was pretty much exactly the same as the last one I attended. Lots of people wrenching, very quiet in the pits, and yes, lots of tire sauce. There were no big manufacture displays, or music, or wacky “get the crowd involved” events, just lots and lots of laps being turned. So… I was disappointed. Races, whether they be F1, NASCAR, or rc, aren’t really there to find out who’s fastest, they exist to sell product. Unfortunately the way ROAR on-road racing is set-up, it just doesn’t do a very good job of that. Ok sure, the 100 or so racers at the event were buying lots of gear, but in the grand scheme of things, it needs to be thousands. And the racing powers that be know that on-road is essentially dead, yet they refuse to do anything to change it.
Sure, there absolutely needs to be an on-road champion crowned, it is great marketing, but the way they do it now days is completely burnt-out. On-road needs a huge breathe of fresh air to regain the public’s buying attention again. A national championship series (including races like Snowbirds) would be a great first step at the upper levels, as would be making the tracks more scale realistic with slight elevation changes and on/off camber corners. Sure, all the normal on-road racers are dialed on a perfectly flat 80 x 40 sprayed ozite track, but even they have got to be begging for something a little more interesting to race on. Combine that with RTR/Fun Classes to get more people in the door at local tracks, and on-road might actually make a comeback.
So congrats to all the hardcore guys that won over the weekend, they are super talented and extremely dedicated to their craft. Also congrats to the venue as it was in pristine condition and the races were going off silky smooth. But sadly, I wonder how many people really care which car or person won? I would bet that if I asked 100 Average Joes to name one car or person racing at the event that 95 could not. Heck, it might even be higher than that, it might be 99 or even all 100, and that needs to be fixed. The on-road nats should be really important, for both consumers and to help the manufacturers sell cars, yet the powers that be seem to be perfectly fine with the way things are. Sad… very sad…
That’s it ya bunch of lunatics… get out and support your local hobby shops and bash spots when ya can.
YOUR Cub Reporter