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“Dirt” Track Racing

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  • “Dirt” Track Racing

    The rally guys overseas use cocoa powder as loose dirt and flour as snow on their rally tracks.
    I’m curious if any oval racers here have dumped cocoa powder on their tracks to get the dirt track feel.

  • #2
    Originally posted by WB2 View Post
    The rally guys overseas use cocoa powder as loose dirt and flour as snow on their rally tracks.
    I’m curious if any oval racers here have dumped cocoa powder on their tracks to get the dirt track feel.
    And their events are mostly comprised of very short "stage runs" before needing to clean out motors/bushings/braid etc. etc.

    Cheers
    Chris Walker

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    • #3
      Just a question , wouldn't the cocoa power just make a big mess ? Wouldn't painting the track a dirt color have a better effect ?

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      • #4
        I was thinking of rooster tails, grooves, and cushions.
        I never said it was practical.

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        • #5
          The main reason I got back into slot car racing 15 years ago was to be able to recreate the type of short track dirt racing I used to love watching back in upstate NY. My oval was build using Masonite (hardboard) for the surface because it was the slickest sheet stock I could find to simulate power sliding in the turns.

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          But, I never thought about coating the surface for an added effect. Interesting idea but I would be concerned about cleanup. The slots on my oval are bottomless so it would filter down to the storage area below that's hard to get at.

          A race promoter in NY wanted to get female attendance up at dirt track events and concluded that would require controlling the dust produced. To make that happen he helped develop what he called 'synthetic dirt' made by spraying a waxy substance on the surface during race prep. It did clump more and there was less dust, but he never got the funding to build his dream track using it. If I could figure out a way to build a slot car track using some sort of synthetic dirt so prepping the surface was a real thing (basically watering and then running it in) and the track changed during racing like a real track, I think I'd try it. Yes, I'm a dirt track racing nut-job.

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          • #6
            I remember when Glenn Donnelly came up with that idea, at Flemington the dust got so bad they tried mixing in some plastic resin but it didn't work. Modern modifieds produce way more dust because the tires are better and the bodies are built to control the airflow which pulls all of the moisture up to the surface. The dust was never as bad when you had coupes and sedans running on rock hard MH Racemasters

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            • slothead
              slothead commented
              Editing a comment
              Glenn Donnelly's raceway park still an empty field as another Super DIRT Week approaches
              Updated Jan 29, 2019; Posted Oct 02, 2018

          • #7
            i remember when Reading semi-secretly used antifreeze on the track. it wasn't a complete solution, but it did help, as did the steep angle of the stands.

            Comment


            • padirtfan
              padirtfan commented
              Editing a comment
              I only ever sat in the low 4th turn bleachers at Reading. You got pounded with dirt clods form the cushion. Still loved that place....

          • #8
            I used coco powder on a raid layout I had. It creates a neat effect, but I'd start out with a small amount & work your way up. One thing I never tried but wanted to was ground up walnut shells.

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            • #9
              On facebook, check out "dirt track slot cars"

              https://www.facebook.com/groups/1928694200786275/?ref

              They use some sort of secret baked corn flour mix.
              Been to one of their races. They clean the track, then sprinkle the mixture through the turns.
              They only do this at the start of the evening.
              Can't clean car your tires the rest of the evening.

              Comment


              • slothead
                slothead commented
                Editing a comment
                Everyone who loves dirt track racing has got to watch the sprint car video on this facebook page. WOW! That's as good as it gets. Now I'm going to have to build some sprint cars for my new oval.

              • slothead
                slothead commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm not on Facebook, and would appreciate it if someone who does goes to the above page and finds out where John Durbin got that sweet '62 Pontiac Catalina body. If it's 1:32 scale I want to get one and build a replica of Fireball Roberts' Daytona 500 winner.

            • #10
              i remember at the Lugnut USRA nats they had a sprint car race on an oval, part of a weekly series. we had to roll our tires on the floor at the start of every heat.

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              • #11
                I'm thinking there may well be enough of us dirt racing nut-jobs to consider coming up with a set of rules for an oval track sprint car proxy. Something straight forward, not super expensive, just geared at good close racing like the WOO series.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Sprintcar ready if it meets the guidelines
                  Last edited by 4424ever; July 23, 2020, 09:54 PM.

                  Comment


                  • slothead
                    slothead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Got any photos to show and build info or specs to report? Something that already exists might be the perfect prototype.

                  • 4424ever
                    4424ever commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I’ll post some tomorrow it’s late but I don’t think it would make a good prototype but you never know

                  • slothead
                    slothead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Just looking for ideas. I was looking at sprint car body w/ chassis items on Shapeways earlier today. Other than the huge wing(s), beefy rear tires, and blazing speed, not sure I know what a sprint car looks like in street clothes (so to speak).

                • #13
                  SO, I'm not a good track builder, but what about a thin screed of clay in the corners? That would change as the race progresses and since it's heavier than dirt it shouldn't create a complete mess and can be prepped at the beginning of every race. Just a thought.

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                  • WB2
                    WB2 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I think we’ve all been locked up too long.

                  • SpeedyNH
                    SpeedyNH commented
                    Editing a comment
                    good thing to spend some time on though

                  • slothead
                    slothead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    My slot-car-dirt-track-racing nut-job status predates the pandemic by a few decades. Once upon a time I used to drive an average of 600 miles in a weekend to actually attend multiple short track races, now this is the best I can do. At some point you just have to embrace the reality of who you are and make the most of it.

                • #14
                  I wish that Santa Fe Raceway was still around . Fun little dirt track near Chicago

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    I have only been to one dirt track race, that was at Stafford Springs CT in 1967 or so, a couple of years before the track was paved over. There was a big pile of dirt in the infield so part of the back straight was not visible. It was an unusually cold night and by the intermission there were no hot drinks available. The folks seated in the 4th turn got covered with dirt and I shivered all the way home.
                    You might try using brown sugar to simulate dirt.

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