ASK Cubby – You Send In Questions, I Run For The Hills
“Make racing great again! We need help.
I’m looking for some racing advice from a different perspective. I help run the local dirt track. This summer we had pretty weak attendance. Our track is special, not because we power wash the pit barn out once a year or because we have the cleanest port-o-john in the city. Our track is made of a natural blend of bugs, rocks, and dirt that matches exactly what the average Iowan has in their front yard. In a world of carpet and clay we are the only track within a couple hours that still uses good old fashioned dirt AND has right turns.
Our group is mostly comprised of a dozen or so dedicated guys that refuse to see our track shut down. I feel that we are very welcoming to new guys but we just can’t seem to keep them coming back. I know that your #1 complaint about race tracks is the unwelcoming culture. Luckily our track is all about having fun and hanging out, points just an end of season bonus. Any guy who races with us on a regular basis would happily trade a few laps and a couple spare parts to make sure everybody makes the race. Our track is also a very level playing field. Bone stock Rustler XL5 can compete and have won against my Associated B5M (please don’t tell anyone about my weakness). Extra horsepower does nothing at our track and all tires slide equally well on our dirt. It seems to keep the cost under control and keep driver skill as the main ingredient. We also have a run what ya brung policy. We have had a bit of everything, big and small, noisy and quiet, slow and fast, come out and race. Races run smooth and nobody throws tantrums. People don’t have secret setups. We also have a novice class for the kids and offer constructive feedback when we can.
We have tried offering racing discounts to top finishers. We are abandoning that idea next year since the people who usually win are the same people every time. We are working with the LHS on getting a program going so anyone who buys a new car gets a free race. We are also gong to try Facebook advertising.
What does Cubby’s Book of Rules and Recommendations say we should to to boost attendance?
Cubby- Well hello there James, thanks for writing in.
The reason why you aren’t making any money is because your track is the complete opposite of what “modern racers” want. They want to race on fly paper, never once ever having to let off the throttle. Why? Because they don’t want to practice a lot, or really work hard to be the best driver that they can personally be. They just want to never let off the throttle so they can feel like they are just as fast as the “true” factory guys.
See, what you provide is a difficult track, that is your big mistake. Your track takes what most modern racers don’t have, throttle control. You have a track that also requires a great deal of thinking and race craft. A “normal” rc track has ONE line about 18″ wide, you pass when someone messes up. Yours probably has multiple lines, something a modern racer just can not compute. And sadly, your more difficult/looser track negates a whole lot of horsepower and tuning advantage, which ultimately boils the racing down to true skill. That is why you don’t have more “modern racers”, they want no part of a true skill competition.
Truth is, you don’t want bigger attendance. Modern racers would do nothing but complain how your track sucks and how stupid you are for even having loamy local soil. In the true “big leagues” of off road racing, the type where your life actually is on the line, racers cherish different soils at different tracks. That’s part of what makes each track special and different. That’s why full scale racers look forward to driving 6 hours to one track, but can dread another under an hour away. But, each track is respected for being what it is. In rc, we cater to the weak, the ones constantly asking for easier and easier race conditions and tracks.
So, carry on my friend, have FUN! Sleep well knowing how much fun you had, while all the “modern racers” are cursing each other and following a false dream…
What cars you driving now days? Aren’t you big into 1/8 buggy or truggy? I can’t remember to be honest. I am drag racing 5th scale, a stretched Baja if you know what I mean. You should come out, bring something fast to try and keep up. 🙂
Cubby- OK, for all you readers out there, I know Charles. He lives locally, and he should already know what I drive because I see him nearly every weekend, LOL. However, for whatever reason, I always get email begging to know exactly what I am driving, which transmitter I am using, batteries etc.
So, lately… I’ve been doing a lot more bashing than crawling. I’ve got a couple of friends that have been doing more large scale, so I’ve been on a large scale kick as well. The truck I’ve been driving the most the last few weeks is the almighty Traxxas X-Maxx. I have backed the power back down to stock 8S, which is super smooth and easy to drive on the track, while not being so fast that I break a ton of parts. Now, the goal with my X-Maxx (and SBR, more on that later) was to get as close to my lap times on a big 1/8th scale outdoor track with it, as I can drive with a 1/8 BL buggy. To be able to chase that goal, I had to put on some Pro-Line Badlands tires which work really well on our local dirt, plus I’ve upgraded that shocks a bunch with Pro-Line parts. I can’t/won’t be seen driving with a stock body, so a new Pro-Line lid was a must have. Between some careful tweaking of the shocks, ride-height, tires, etc, my X-Maxx can put in lap times that totally torque off the local fast 1/8th scale drivers.
Which brings me to my Losi Super Baja Rey. I have also been driving it a ton, and with the same goal as the X-Maxx, to dial it in for quick lap times. So far I’ve been dialing in the stock shocks and ride height, thus knocking over a second off my lap times. Right now, it is a set of proper tires away from really making the local fast guys mad.
However, then I break out the Traxxas UDR. 🙂 I’ve been tweaking on one of our first test trucks for a very long time now and it absolutely rips around the track. No, it doesn’t look all “scale” when being driven anymore, but man, I live to blow by 1/8 nitro/BL buggy guys with it. I shortened up the travel a bit, firmed the suspension up, and put on tires that work well on my local track. I don’t know why I love it so much, but blowing by a UFO looking 1/8 buggy with a totally scale looking truck, wow, now THAT is loads of fun to me.
So that is what I am driving now days. I run all of them off a Spektrum DX5 Rugged, which I dig for its gnarly look, as well as how I don’t have to worry when it starts to drizzle, I can just keep driving. I hate being seen with a RTR radio in my hands, and it also allows the use of AVC electronic stability control. I run AVC on most everything, and once the tuning mods run out, the AVC can go a long ways towards keeping my truck on all four tires, instead of crashing.
Have fun with your drag racing Charles, I may just head your way. It just might be time for a belted 8S Slash 4×4 (in no-prep dress) to see how fast that 5B of yours can really go. 🙂
Have a question? Need an answer? Have a rant that you just have to get off your chest? Email me- thecubreportrc at gmail dot com.
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