Video Might Be Nice

Well, I’ve had the equipment for well over a year now so I decided to play around with video recording races. At the moment, I’m trying it out on SR2, which is easier and more comfortable to test and dink around with this stuff.

I’m using cheap CCP 4K cameras, which are not ever going to produce professional looking video, but they are cheap. Right now I’m just focusing on capturing the whole track for the duration of a race. The issue with video is storage, just one heat of a short race can be as much as 10GB of data, depending on the length of the race.

H.O. scale racing adds another complexity in that the cars are the smallest and require the best possible capture resolution, which adds to the storage and video quality problems.

Anyway, this is my first crack at it. I need to work with my lighting director and improve in that area but it looks like–with a bit more tweaking–we can record a full race and be able to replay it, not only for posterity, but for entertainment and forensic evaluation afterwards.

YouTube player

Theoretically, I could also include the RMS screen (SlotTrak or RC) in the video, that would be way cool. I’ll work on the that soon.  After that, it’s going higher frame rates and producing good slo-mo action of crashes, starts, and finishes.

Please let me know what you think and any ideas you may have to make this more beneficial to us and our massive race fans.

Okay, shut up and drive!

Stewart Raceway II’s Clone

YouTube player

Yes, SR2 has a clone. After Dan Cronin of Viper Scale Racing finished building SR2, he quickly made another version. The only difference I can see is that he spaced out the pit and start/finish gantries to make fuel races a bit easier than the original version of SR2.

The original SR2 was designed by me but with a whole lot of input from local racers who own routed tracks and have raced on some of the most magnificent racing tracks ever built.

SR2-2 is no longer in Utah at Viper’s facility but it is still in use. In fact, the last time I saw it was at Musgrave Racing’s shop in Riverside, CA.

Right-click and open the image in a new tab to see a larger image.

SR2-1 is still alive and well in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We haven’t raced on it in a while but I recently did a whole bunch of laps on it building two new Tyco-Jets for my IROC fleet. It is a very cool layout and the fact that it has multiple layouts, as well as converts to an oval, is very special.

Time To Start Racing Again!

Yea, it’s been too long!

Again, congrats to George Peters on dominating the 2022 NASCAR MADness Series that ended August 6. George has likely completed his media tour and press appearances by now so it’s time to kickoff another series and start racing again. What we do next will depend a lot on interest and driver availability.

One series that I’d like to do before the end of the 2022 season is an ALL IROC Championship series. The first round of the IROC series is currently slated for October 1, 2022 and will consist of four events, four individual races each event, and will include oval and road courses, sometimes on the same race day. The total points winners of the series will take home mondo trophies for being the best Sportsman and Expert “drivers” competing in the series. This series may be run contiguously or  not.

Another series I’m interested in is a weeknight oval course program that could include any type of car we currently run. The racing format will be a bit different than what we’ve been doing. Only one platform (car) will be run at each event. The nightly schedule will include:

    1. Qualifying (best average time of three laps)
    2. Scratch Race 1
    3. Scratch Race 2
    4. Scratch Race 3
    5. “B” Main
    6. “Last Chance”
    7. “A” Main

The twist in this series is that all races after qualifying are reverse staggered starts. This means, if you are the fastest qualifier, you start in the last staggered position in the first Scratch race. If you win the first Scratch race, you again, start in the last staggered position in the second Scratch race, and so on. If you qualify for the “A” Main after the three Scratch races, you start the “A” Main in a reverse staggered position relative to those drivers who who qualified behind you.

Yes, you can sandbag if you’d like. But doing so will cost you valuable points. This series accumulates points from each heat, meaning sandbagging may garner you a better start position in the next race, but you’ll also lose points doing so. You decide how and where you’ll get your points but points are the name of the game in this series.

The primary intent of this racing format is to make things as competitive as possible between all skill levels on race days. Heat/segment points are combined on race days but overall event points are scored separately between Expert and Sportsman drivers–two trophies awarded at the end of the series.

We’ll dial-down the laps for all races to make race nights short and sweet and only one car contested at each event.

Please let us know your thoughts and opinions on these two ideas for our next racing adventures. We’re open to any and all ideas, suggestions, and any comments you may have, of course.

Okay, shut up and drive!

Introducing the “Super Stock” Class

While I’m not sure of the interest level in this class, several drivers have expressed interest in a slightly more advanced set of rules to enable more tuning and flexibility in building cars.

Our Super Stock class is based on the 2022 HOPRA SUPER STOCK rules but has two key differences:

    1. HOPRA restricts motor and traction magnets to stock Ceramic-only material and does not allow Compression-molded Polymer (Level 4) magnets in this class. We allow standard V-SPEC Level-4 magnets.
    2. HOPRA does not, however, have any restrictions on armature bushings, gearing, axles, or wheels and tires. This means HOPRA rules allow dual-compound tires, we don’t. Only silicon slip-on tires are permitted.

Kevin Webster has a bunch of HOPRA-legal Super Stock cars, which he and I tested extensively. The general consensus was that the HOPRA car was not significantly different than our current Viper V-SPEC (SPEC-RACER) class and forcing interested drivers to purchase expensive ceramic-grade magnets for these platforms would be a burden to many of our drivers.

Due to the cost of dual-compound tires and the lack of interest in purchasing them, we decided against allowing dual-compound tires—for now. In our testing, dual-compound tires produced about a half-second faster lap times.

So, why setup and race a Super Stock car? Well, one reason is that there are a few more tuning options available in this class:

      • Open gearing choices, unrestricted.
      • Adjustable brush tension (on brush-barrel type chassis’)
      • Any material for armature bushings, except ball-bearings.
      • Many competitive chassis options: BSRT G3/G3R/G3RS/G3RSB, Mattel/Tyco 440-X2, Micro Speedworks T+, Slottech T1/T2/T3
        and T1X, Wizzard-Patriot P2/P3/Scorpion/Storm/Storm CH22/Fusion, Viper V1 (V-SPEC).

Bottom line, this class provides a bit more speed and tuning flexibility to those drivers interested in moving up a notch or two in tuning ability and options.

We’ll see where this class goes. Right now, only a couple of active drivers have these cars ready to race. That said, you can actually just run a good stock Viper V-SPEC and do fine on most tracks. The gearing options are pretty simple, all you need are a couple of spare rear axle assemblies with lower or higher gearing and swap them out to see what works best on the particular course you’re running on.

The other tuning options are a bit more nuanced but also very useful.

Feel free to comment on this new class here or on my Slot Car MeWe page here.

Okay, shut up and drive!

IROC Championship Series

Next up for the 2022 Stewart Raceway season, is an IROC Championship. Yes, take a break from preparing competitive race cars and enjoy the art and leisure of just showing up with your controller and having some fun driving cars you don’t need to worry about.

Unless other track operators chime in and decide to host a road course event, all race days will take place on either SR2 or SR3. Two oval events, and two road course events. We’ll run all sorts of different cars and five races during each race day event.

The first round is tentatively slated for October 1, 2022. There will be two mondo trophies awarded in this series. Both the Expert class winner and the Sportsman class winner will receive hardware for their efforts. Both series winners will be awarded a Mondo trophy and, of course, will be enshrined on the Stewart Raceway Wall of Fame.

The 2022 IROC Series rules, points, and racing format are documented here.

Register here.

Okay, shut up and drive!