Written by: Marty Roney
Slot car racing is alive and well in an Autauga County basement, some 40 years after its heyday.On the first Saturday of each month Billy and Minnie Watson open Dungeon Raceway in the basement of their Deatsville home. Billy Watson, a blacksmith and custom knife maker, built the track about seven years ago.
“We’ve been running slot cars since the 60s and 70s when we were younger, that’s why everybody up here is our age” he said. “Some of our people come from Mississippi, Mobile, Birmingham, Le Grange (Ga.) and then we have some local people. I can remember back when slot cars were really popular, every town had a slot car track.
“If you wanted to race on Saturday night, you had to call ahead a couple of days early and reserve a spot. People still run slot cars, but it’s nothing like what it once was.”Technology has taken hold in the hobby. A computer monitors the goings-on on the track and keeps up with who has the fastest lap times. It’s Billy’s job to run the computer, except when he is racing. Then the computer duty falls to Minnie. Not one to sit around and watch, she’s a racer herself.