Muscatine hobby shop hosts RC Car championship

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 11:01 PM CST
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MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) - Be careful, if you blink you might miss the action in Muscatine this weekend.

Island Speedway inside Star Collectibles is hosting the Iowa Off-Road Carpet Championship. Thursday and Friday Remote Control Car fans from across the midwest practiced for the completion.

“It’s really nice to have all the people come from all over the area,” Greg Farber, a racer from Eldridge, Iowa, said.

Competitors across 12 divisions start qualifying Saturday, with races beginning Sunday morning.

Island Speedway board member Jamie Thompson said RC racing is fun for all ages.

“My son and I, we do it side by side, race each other,” Thompson said. “It’s just that time together, and you’re sitting there battling with your kid, it’s the best.”

For many, the hobby is a great way to unwind during the winter. Spike Starks, a racer from Madison, Wisconsin, said it’s a great way to show off his personality.

“You say so much about yourself with what you drive, {the} body on your car,” Starks said. “There’s probably 90% of the cars in here, I can see the car know exactly who’s driving it without even looking.”

The RC cars wind in and out, zipping through an 8,000-square-foot indoor track.

According to Thompson, the event has become a premier race for novices and competitive drivers alike.

“There’s not a carpet track in the Midwest, that’s our size of track,” Thompson said “Just the facility alone, what the facility has, is probably the biggest facility next to Omaha, Nebraska.”

Depending on the class, cars can reach speeds anywhere from 20 to 60 mph.

Starks said it’s not the awards he looks forward to, but catching up with old friends.

“You don’t think about like the winning, if you ever win,” Starks said. “You think about the good times with your friends. You think about the track and how much fun it was.”

For Farber, it’s nice to be close to home, competing in a lifelong hobby.

“It’s been a long time,” Farber said. “When I was a little kid, my dad got me a little RC car, and I just started driving it in the driveway. It just took off from there.”

The speedway expects over 150 racers for the event.

Registration for competitors starts at $30. The event is free and open to spectators.