Super fast slot cars making a come back

The Wenatchee World

By Rick Steigmeyer
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Super fast slot cars making a come back

MONITOR — The battered, electric blue stock car speeds through the straightaway, brakes into a tight turn, then accelerates full throttle, its wide wobbling fishtail whisking the car boldly and unwisely attempting to pass on an outside lane off the track and SMACK! into the wall like a piece of loose gravel.

About slot car races

Races are held in 3-minute heats. A computer keeps tabs on time and laps. When a car finishes a heat on one lane, it’s moved to another.

The winner is the car and driver that completes the most laps during 3-minute heats on all eight lanes.

A smaller track built by Kim Jeffris was recently moved to the Go-Bent Recumbent Bikes and Hobbies shop, 1111 Walla Walla Ave., Wenatchee.

Races are held at either the Monitor or Wenatchee tracks nearly every night of the week. Go-Bent, owned by Jim Baxter, also has another track for a newer line of digital slotcars. There are about six tracks open for competition in the Northwest.

SCRAM memberships allow racers unlimited use of the Monitor track for $35 a month. Members can also participate in radio-controlled helicopter races held in another room. Go-Bent charges $15 a month to use its two smaller tracks. Both sites have parts and cars for sale. The cars run about $40 and up.

— Source: Slot Car Racing Association of Monitor

A concerted gasp rises from the group of shocked spectators as the car catapults, spins and bounces out of control. Suddenly a giant God-like hand appears from above to right the crashed car and send it zooming back into the race.

No, this isn’t NASCAR with a heavenly seatbelt. But people who love slot car racing say there are similar thrills in watching and driving the trigger-controlled electric vehicles at ridiculously rocket-fast speeds around a challenging track.

Traci McGivern said she loves the sound of the cars whizzing by. Watching the cars race offers some of the same feelings she gets when she goes to Wenatchee Valley’s Super Oval to see the real cars speed and crash.

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