In any given day I may talk to 2 dozen or more team drivers, fellow racers, local racers, and more customers than I can count on all my appendages. 90% of the time it’s good conversation discussing current products, future products, how to use those products, drivers looking to gain an edge on their fellow racers and of course a few having issues with their equipment. I can honestly tell you why I get up every day; grab my cup of coffee (Mad Monkey today, thanks honey) fire up my PC and login. I can tell you that I still look forward to going to the track to test, practice or race(sometimes all at the same time) knowing I’ll likely have to stop what I’m doing to help a fellow racer, a Tekin customer, or just someone in need. It’s in my nature, to help others to make sure they too can enjoy this hobby as much as I do.
However there’s that 10% during any given day that makes me question not why I’m doing this, but why others are. I got a message about a race series where guys were complaining that a few guys were able to make each and every round of the 6 race series where there were 2 throw outs. The guys complaining were whining about how the other guys had a better chance of winning since they could make every round and they couldn’t!? Wait are you seriously complaining about someone else being able to dedicate more time to race than you are? Guys if that’s really the case, then don’t race the series….or better yet go into the series knowing you’re able to tip the scales and affect the outcome. Flip this “problem” into a positive and shut up and race! If there are 2 throw outs that means you can win the series by winning 4 out of 6, drop the mic and walk off stage! Take the challenge, head on, and don’t ruin the race series by complaining.
Unfortunately I can’t count the times where a fun race was ruined by an individual or small group of guys who felt their needs or desires were more important than the 100+ other racers in attendance. We have all seen it. One guy complains about something or another and then his buddies start chiming in…..yada yada yada. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s time to step up and take our fun back.
I was lucky enough to race in what I like to refer to as the “good ‘ol days” when racers were racers, not whiners and snivelers. Yes they were a few back then too, but the masses often turned on those guys to set them straight as a whole…quickly and passionately. It wasn’t violent of even forceful, it was simply educating them as to what they were actually doing, ruining everyone else’s fun.
I recall being at a large annual race down in SoCal where the fastest guys in the U.S. were in attendance; Matt Francis, Brian Kinwald, Billy Easton, Mike Truhe, Jimmy Babcock, Ryan Dunbar, Mark Pavidis, Lloyd Dasonville, Jared Tebo, Ryan Cavalieri, Ryan Maifield, you get the idea…. There were a few guys complaining at the time that the pros could afford to chop up 4wd Silver Taper Pin tires into 2wd Taper Pins and they couldn’t. It was clear on that day that those tires were a clear advantage. On top of that the shop sold out of all their stock in 30 minutes, even better. So the whining grew louder…and more frequent. It was at this time I saw a not to be named TLR driver/coach walk out to the van and come back with a handful of the “magic” tires. I watched him walk right over to the “offenders” table and drop the stack on his bench and simply said “Now you have no excuses right?” Epic!
The larger point here is to remember why we’re all doing this. My team drivers have all heard me say multiple times that the goal is to have fun and enjoy what we’re doing here. Let’s be honest, in most cases we’re spending time away from the “real world” to go enjoy racing with our friends and families. To enjoy friendly competition racing toy cars. Yes we’re all very passionate about it. Yes we’re all showing up to win. And yes we have all spent time and effort to get there. But don’t be that guy/gal who loses sight of why WE ARE ALL there, to enjoy ourselves. Yes winning makes that enjoyment that much better. But I’ve had just as much fun dicing it up while in 4th or 5th when it’s someone whom I respect as a fellow racer, who is pushing me to become better, and beat me fair and square.
So go out and have fun! Win your race honestly, legally, and for the right reasons. Help someone at your next race become faster, more prepared, and best yet help them have more fun! There are few things more rewarding than helping a fellow racer drop a few tenths of a second, help them bump into the A-main, or save their race weekend providing them with that spare part they so desperately need. Trust me.
Thank your local hobby shop and race track owner. Give your RD (race director) the respect they deserve for doing that thankless job us racers take for granted. Corner marshal the race right after your own, corner marshal open practice so others can get the time they need, and hopefully they too will return the favor. Be an example of a respected racer, and show others how it’s supposed to be. Leave your pit space cleaner than it was when you go there. Mind your language. If you’re having a “moment” walk away and take a minute…remember why you’re here.
I challenge all the racers to make R/C racing better than it is now. Participate, support your local tracks and shops, and help out wherever and whenever you can however you can. We have one of the best hobbies in the world. Let’s not take it for granted. Are you up to the challenge?