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South Boston News
Above left, R/C vehicles climb over rocks and compete in miniature motocross races; right, Mallory Martin pilots a little big truck. / November 30, 2020

For some people, driving Remote Control (R/C) cars is a sport that will never be outgrown.

Locally, a group of guys — each with a background in electronics — has been getting together for years for competitive miniature auto racing, bashing, and climbing rocks with their souped-up vehicles.

“When we are not racing at Edmunds Park, we go to a friend’s house,” said Lawrence “Bucky” Glass, adding, “Several of the guys including myself have built dirt tracks at their homes.” Glass has also built a rock crawling course and several dirt hills for jumping.

The dirt tracks mimic real-life road courses such as you’d find with dirt bike competitions. High embankments along the dirt roads allow the cars to get “air” as high as 15 feet in elevation, depending on the ramp. The R/C operators run their vehicles through bashing competitions, requiring jumps over top of the monster trucks. The friendly competitors strive to take honors for the best backflip and forward flips. The goal is for the vehicle to land on its wheels.

Theirs is an expensive passion. “I have at least 19 cars and they all have names,” said Glass, laughing at the one, “Pinky,” named for its bright pink color. Pinky was purchased for his wife to race, but Glass ended up taking it from her because it goes really fast.

The group operates a variety of racing vehicles. Some are made for dirt and others are straight-line cars designed to zip across parking lots. The R/C cars hit speeds between 60 and 70 mph. The car’s battery will last for about 30 minutes of fun, but no worries — they bring at least 30 batteries to keep their cars rolling. It gets really competitive when someone says they are on their last battery.

“We know the fun will be ending soon, so we drive the cars as hard and fast as we can. We give friendly nudges of the rear bumper to knock a player off course or knock them out in a turn in the winding track,” said Glass.

“We don’t buy the cheap stuff and we never use the factory wheels,” said Glass as he described the constant upgrades made to other parts, including gears, suspension, and electronic systems.

Most of the cars and controllers are water-proof which adds more options for play, like a creek crawl at Edmunds Park that sends the miniature vehicles splashing through water. After each outing, much time is spent clearing the dirt and debris away from the vehicles.

“We blow out the debris, take them apart and inspect for damage, give them a good wash, and spray with silicone after putting them back together,” said Glass.

These local enthusiasts welcome anyone to come join in and have a good time. Bring your kids for a test drive, too. The members have plenty of vehicles to share. Send Glass an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or find him on Facebook at Bucky2Fist.

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