By Michele RobertsonDoes making friends, being outside, racing RC (remote control) cars, and having fun sound like a good time to you? If so, you’ll want to check out the Carlsbad NM RC Drag Racing League. They host regular events and have a few nights a week where they meet up in the parking lot behind the tennis courts to tinker on their cars and get in a few runs. Activities like pickleball, disc golf, corn hole, and RC cars have picked up in popularity over the past year. Getting into any new activity will have some upfront costs, which are manageable and worthwhile if they get us out of the house and active. For RC racing, the sportsman class is the most affordable to compete in. The eliminator class is a nationwide class that allows you to compete anywhere. Cars can have anywhere from $200 to over $1,500 invested in them. RC works on a 1/10th scale from drag racing so the cars run on a 132 ft track. A regular drag racing strip runs a quarter mile or 1,320 ft long. “Most cars get up to 55-65 mph at the end of the strip in about 2.2 seconds. The goal is to get up to 80 mph and be at the finish line in 1.8 or 1.9 seconds,” shared Nate Chavarria, race master. “There’s always carnage,” added Alex Morales, race master. “The RC group has been around for 8 years at least but RC drag racing has really expanded our outreach and peaked lots of interest,” Chavarria said. “EVERYONE is welcome to come. We have different race classes to choose from although the NPRC style Street Eliminator class is the most popular (nation wide). All fans and spectators are welcome to come and watch!” he added. “The league originally started down at the beach parking lot where we gathered many members. Now we meet behind the tennis courts for the longer straight away so the cars can get up and go,” explained Juan Duran. “We are 100% community driven and are willing to welcome anyone in with open arms and teach them the trade...it's fun! There's a certain point when these cars go from toys to serious fun business! When you have $650 you could possibly win... you start working hard at getting fast,” Chavarria shared. A welcoming environment and a family atmosphere are common themes found among racers and spectators. Any and all skill levels will be able to have a great learning experience hanging out with the local league.
“It brings the community together and it lets people who wouldn’t normally get to know each other become friends. It gets kids off game systems and outside running around, learning, and spending time with family,” said Ashley Chavarria. “The league is a great group of guys and we are all willing to help out people looking to get into the hobby and help them with their car. The RC cars are fun and there is a wide range of cars / trucks available,” shared Todd Fontenot.The league has people like Hayden McWilliams who have been into RC their whole lives, and others have started just three months ago. “My whole life my grandpa would buy me a rc car every year for Christmas. As I got older I got more into the professional cars,” McWilliams said.Max Hill races here in Carlsbad and in Houston, TX. “We go fast, it's fun,” he said. “My favorite part about the drag racing league is the competitiveness and the MONEY!” said Duran. Interested but still not sure? Here are some tips to consider before getting started. “Spend the extra money and get a reputable name brand RTR car to start that has a lot of LHS (Local Hobby Shop) support. Stay away from the cheap online store RC cars,” Fontenot shared.“The best thing is to come out and talk to some drivers and get some knowledge and research. The drag league was started to be a hobby for anyone and any age. It is something to do and the people in it are really nice and will help you with anything!” said Duran.“Watch some videos on Youtube and do a little research.. It really depends on how fast they want to go! Anyone with questions can come ask us or contact us directly, we will get them more information,” Chavarria added. The next event is on Saturday September25th. Registration for this RC drag race event starts at 4:30 pm on race day. Participants will have time to get their cars checked by a race master and get in tuning and some test runs before racing begins about 6 pm. You can find the league on Facebook under Carlsbad NM RC Drag Racing League.