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Elephant in the Room? Servicing cars in exchange for points

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AbbyNormal 4/28/24

New Guy Here - I hope to lose someday on your awesome track. But if my vehicle is totally barfing on your track then a helpful tweak (for an appropriate points penaty) would be a great option. Just my view point.

  • Thanks for the feedback. — GravityThrottleRacing
  • Yeah, for new builders like me, if my car totally sucks it’s embarrassing. And getting a chance to save embarrassment on the track is nice. — ConMan_Customs

Hold my Beer !

I hope to collate my thoughts together and update this post shortly. (Packing to go away for 2 months, chores, bills paid, cars sent? OMG I hope I got it together?!! So..... under the pump, but a good question and original post great to respond to!)


I'm still in my rookie season, but this is my opinion being a fan and participant: I think the cars should be ran as they were received unless something unforeseen happens to the car outside of racing (damage from being dropped, etc.). I understand that building a car takes time and you wait months to see your car on the track, but that's part of it. I think there has to be a learning curve. I didn't come in expecting to qualify for races and run up front right away. When I see one of my cars run like dog poo, I learn what not to do, and it motivates me to build a better car next time. If I send a car to a track and the track host is improving it for me, then I really haven't learned anything. In the events where everyone uses the same casting, the skill of the builder comes into play even more. The track host knows their own track and what it takes to build a fast car for it. So, to me, that takes a little of the fun out of it. If I submit a pile of crap to a race and see it run like garbage, it's a little embarrassing and it should be. 

Again, that's only my opinion. I have no issues with any rules any race host applies to an event. The way I see it, their track, their rules. If I don't like it, I don't have to participate. 

  • Good, honest reply. Cheers, all the best with your racing. — CutRock_R_Marc_D
  • Okay, good thoughts. What I'm hearing from multiple people is how important it is to communicate WHAT was changed to the builder; otherwise, as you pointed out, nothing is learned. This helps me a ton when it comes time to return the entries. Oddly, I don't think I'll have the same issue with the Bisons because they have plastic bodies. This "service for a penalty" may be a one-time thing. — GravityThrottleRacing
  • Thanks for your reply, Mark (GTR). Yes, communication of the changes that are made is important. But I'm also saying that a major factor in running well or even winning these races is the person who built the car. Take the Bison race coming up for the announcement, you mentioned that weight should be placed low on the vehicle and should be as close to the center as possible. Awesome! Now, a person can choose to take that advice and build according to that, or they can go rogue and build it how they want. You know your track better than anyone else, so you're obviously going to be able to build a car that can run well there. I don't know...maybe it's just me, but if I sent a car to you and you had to make adjustments to it in order for it to run better, and I won the race, I would feel like the win was tarnished some. Like I couldn't win on my own. Again, I may be the only person who feels this way, and I will play by anyone's rules, but that's just my two cents. Please don't think I'm being argumentative. I love your track and channel, and I think you're one of the best guys in this hobby. I will continue to send cars to your track as long as I am invited. Ultimately, I will go along with whatever rules are set. I'm just stating my preference. — DogSquabRacing

I'm also new here (only entered 2 tournaments so far), and I like the concept of this, but It seems like it would work best if the tournament was one that only had one casting (ie, bouncer tourney,  bison tourney) Thanks! I will be looking forward to racing on your track.

  • This is good to point out. Different castings will probably have different opportunities for “fixes” — ConMan_Customs
  • Very good observation here. — GravityThrottleRacing
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LobotomyScam 4/29/24

I love African elephants! As far as the race rules are concerned, it's your track and you can set the rules. Unfortunately, with the truck race, it was uncharted territory, and unpredictable complications put you in an unenviable position. You did what you thought was best for the die-cast racing community and avoided a tournament delay. For future tournaments (especially ones featuring non-standard automobiles), a special "guidelines" link could be included when announcing a tournament. I'm sure you already thought of that after your latest tournament's entries threw you a curveball. Keep swinging for the fences, slugger.

I like the idea. Might be a bummer for the people that lose to cars that have been improved by the race host, though. So I guess I'm torn.

I like how it adds depth to the amount of choices you can make in the competition, almost akin to a manager calling for a pit stop in real racing. But I can see how it would be viewed as unfair to have race hosts (who most certainly know best how to customize a car to be fast on their specific track) modding competitor's cars.

I think in the case of the Baja Bouncer tournament it was a good call. Everyone had the same casting to work with, and it seemed to be a consistently difficult casting to get to the bottom of Shavano Mountain in time trials.

  • Good thoughts, especially about it being useful since everyone mod'd the same casting. — GravityThrottleRacing

Hmmmm... tough call. You have always been very good about explaining how to build a vehicle to have the best chance at successful runs on your track. If racers ignore those tips or can't figure out how to build their entry in an optimal way, then so be it. This hobby has a huge learning curve and your track is drastically different then the others out there, so testing cars for drifs and scrambling is nearly impossible. However, I think your intentions are good and maybe a little tweak here and there is ok if the builder agrees. 

Communication is key, or at least I think thats what my wife is yapping about, so maybe if you do the adjustments for people you could film a little bit of it each time. Then after the series ends, you could do a little video like you did after the first tournament you held. The one where you showd Marco Polos winning car and how it was built. That way we could all see what works or doesn't work of the track. Of course you dont want to give away any "secrets" of the builders, so creative editing would be a must :)

Either way, I love the track and racing there whenever I can.

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EnZedRacing 5/1/24

My two cents worth:  What if your adjustment helps that car to win when previously it was a 3rd or 4th place contender?  The other builders who spent a lot of time building their cars after watching your videos on weight placement, weight balance etc are now not going through to the next round. There may be animosity or ill feelings towards the track with one or two saying "Not Fair"  (probably 3D fanboys)

I'm in the category of "hey look,  my car is crashing!! How cool is that"  Here for the fun and the attention and maybe the occasional win (insert one of those smiley emojis)

  • Yes, you are touching on one of the concerns I have. You see, behind the scenes, I can inspect an entry and immediately know what it needs (generally speaking) to help it. Maybe the suspension is way too loose and just needs tightening. If the builder says, "Go for it!", I know I can improve it. However, once I know what the builder did I am choosing not to scrap their design. Instead I will try to improve it... how much? I don't know. Basically, what I'm seeing is 90% of the builders have "very good to great" entries that don't need to be touched. The other 10% maybe didn't read my tips and didn't put a weight down low. By putting one there I can improve it, but in the end, it doesn't guarantee a victory. — GravityThrottleRacing
  • Fair call. And if you want to lube those axles with a spot of superglue (Especially CutRRockers vehicle...theyre so quick!!) then I'm a full supporter! — EnZedRacing

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