Good old fashion diecast drag racing...where have you gone?

BlueLineRacing Wednesday, 5/5/2021

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For anyone who hasn't seen it, Diecast 64 made an announcement on his YouTube channel that is relevant to this post. You should go over there and check that out. While you're there, take the time to thank him for all the hard work he's done and for the contribution he's made to the hobby.

Like many people here, I got into the hobby watching 3dbotmaker back in 2019 but what really kept me around was the enjoyment of building and racing diecast cars. Particularly straight track drag racing. Why? Because that's where you can test your skills of building speed against the best in the business. Many of the hosts and racers I began watching just two years ago are either not doing much racing now or not around at all anymore.
 
 While the hobby is growing, the places to race modified cars in the drag race format are becoming fewer and fewer. It's a tremendous amount of work and very time consuming to be honest and doesn't seem nearly as popular as watching a 3dbotmaker type of race with commentary, themes and storylines. It seems this may be the trend going forward.
 Don't get me wrong, there are some of us diehards still out there and thank you to those of you who support what I and other drag race hosts have done. I've not yet had a problem filling a race but you have to wonder where the current trend leaves the competitive drag racing part of the hobby going forward. I hope it bounces back someday.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=80TlOKrt5E8&ab_channel=Diecast64


Discussion

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redlinederby 5/5/21
Site manager

You're absolutely right with all of that. I started RLD in 2009 with nothing but drag racing in mind, even just stock racing. Mail-in racing happened organically and then it got real fun with trying to build fast cars. I mean, I called myself "Derby" because for me it was like the Pinewood Derby where you get to make and design your own car! But it's been very interesting to watch everything evolve, especially over last 2 years.

The open track 3DBM-style is where the bulk of racing will be going forward...although I'll be interested to see how many hang on post-pandemic (if that's ever a thing). Big boys like 3D and Chaos will certainly continue as they turn it into a fulltime job.

The open track stuff is more entertaining to passers by since people can participate without having to do anything. Plus all the detailed tracks look great, even if production varies. It's popularity is not surprising at all and I wish I had done it first, LOL. 

But what I think the open track has done is made the modified drag racing more elite and exclusive. I don't think it will ever be the most popular form of diecast racing - and that's okay. But yeah, it's easy to watch 3D and enjoy the action but to be a modder racer is a step up. Mainstream vs hardcore.

It also takes a thick skin to do the mod racing. I mean, we see it here all the time when someone joins the hobby only to lose a few times and then they stop. And I get it. It's difficult and you have to have fun modding to stay with it for any length of time. I mean, hell, I can count on one hand how many cars and races I've entered over the past year. It's not a lot.

Like you mentioned, it takes a lot of investment from all sides to do the modified drag racing. Frankly, given it takes no less than $10 to ship a car to/from a track, I'm amazed as many people join as they do - which tells me the audience for modified racing is strong and loyal, even if it's not as huge as open racing. So the drag racing isn't going anywhere...


  • i totally can see the thing about thick skin lol..... i have yet to win anything and have mailed out to a bunch of races.... only a handful of time of moving out of the first round.... but hell i have alot of fun doing it soo i keep going just on the fun and creative aspect.... now if i win thats always a PLUS hahahaha — RAGTAG_JIM
  • It's important to enjoy the experimentation of it all. If you can't turn the build-n-wait game into fun, you'll burn out quick. — redlinederby
  • When I first joined up in November, I printed out a handful of the RLD entry forms. I went to grab one the other day and was like, “Have i really mailed out ten cars already?” Yes. Yes I have. It seems like I’m entering about two races a month so far, both drags and road courses, and it’s fun seeing how far I can go with tuning up the cars. — SpyDude
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redlinederby 5/5/21
Site manager

But also...what are some places that are doing drag racing that you enjoy?

Are you after more tracks to race on yourself? Or are you looking for more racing to watch? Or both?


  • Both. — SpyDude
  • i currently have 6 different cars at DIECAST4LIFE... his tracks are wild !!!! definitly a good watch if you havent seen yet.... and might i add i am currently the master builder champ.... hopefully i can keep it up next week as well — RAGTAG_JIM
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Mattman213 5/5/21

Dang man I hate to hear that he's even having to make such decisions, Family, health and personal life all have to take priority.  

That said...I feel like Im bad luck or something.  I started racing and here and not long after the two main host tracks went down, Redline Derby to water damage and LOS to personal/family issues.  Now I finally jump into D64 to try and fill the void and this goes down.  Blueline...stay well man, dont let the Mattman213 curse hit!

I wish everyone out there all the best and hope that all is well for Robby as well.

Matt


  • I’m in the same boat Matt, I seemed to miss the height of its popularity. We will keep it going as long as there is a demand for it and as long as I’m able to. — BlueLineRacing
  • I agree with your sediments. I have only sent in for a handful of races since the fall of last year. Never really did well out there but still felt like at least I was competing against some of the top guys. — DXPRacing
  • When do you think the height of popularity was? I'd say its at the height right now. Diecast racing has never gotten more eyeballs than the past 2 years. — redlinederby

Spot on. Best test of speed is down a long straightway. I am cutrently redoing Corkscrew Canyon into drag strip + road course. Pictures to be posted later of "Corkscrew Canyon Race Complex. Goal is to have Qualifing on 4 wide 14' drag way, then the top qualified will compete on 55' road course. Reamaning competition will have a B main event to be determined. Input welcome.

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redlinederby 5/5/21
Site manager

I totally get where D64 is coming from. Outside of whatever life things have come his way, planning out a "season" for mail-in racing is difficult and stressful.

This year I tried to do something similar even just by planning to do races every other month and it's been stressful and not always fun. If I was 3DBM and the racing was more or less my day job, sure, not an issue because that's what I do. But keeping a minimum quality product running with jobs/family is challenging and I'd be lying if I didn't sometimes say to myself, "is this worth it?"

I mean, the City Connection mail-in had a great turn out and it was so fun to race them and watch them all go. That's fun. But now the "real" work happens and that's where I always stumble and start to question things. I've already spent 8+ hours editing the City video and I'm not done yet. But my available time to edit is only a few hours a day, if that. And I feel my videos are barebones, man. The last thing I want to do is spend my free hobby time video editing.

I can tell you that I'll be approaching next year with a little less structure around my mail-in races. This year has told me even every other month racing is something I can't keep up with. So I'll probably go back to more random events when I want to make time for them.

LOL...this hobby was much easier when I didn't have to worry about making a TV show every month. I used to run races and just report results, no video needed. 


  • I think this is where part of the problem lies. The pressure to put on a show. If I’m in a competitive drag racing event all I really care about is seeing the cars go down the hill and who the winner is. No show is necessary. Mind you I put on a little bit of a show at times in my races but it definitely isn’t necessary. I think people feel pressure to have great editing, multiple or expensive cameras and editing skills. I use an IPhone and iMovie. I do the best I can with it but if all you can do is film a fair race in rough edit or unscripted format then that is completely fine. Competitive drag racing is about a fair competition that people can view. I think the thought that anymore than that is needed is what what might scare people away from getting involved. — BlueLineRacing
  • You're not wrong. I consider my videos very basic - simple cuts, wipes, and no commentary - not a show by any stretch. I'm just trying to document and prove that racing happened, nothing more, yet it takes me a dozen hours to put together a video. That's not always fun but a necessity at this point. Unless you enjoy the creative editing process, it can be very discouraging. And like we touched on before, when YouTube is your primary outlet, you need viewers and viewers want entertainment. — redlinederby
  • Your race videos are more than enough. The entertainment part is the actual races — BlueLineRacing
  • Thanks, I appreciate it. I'm glad they're enjoyed for what they are. But I also have a small advantage that my YouTube is not my only world. Maybe it should be, but I treat YT as a way augment the site and content here, not the other way around. That's kind of backwards, I know, but it often saves me from giving up when standing in the shadow of 3D and friends. — redlinederby
  • Dont get me wrong, I like to hear the commenting and see the different angles from different camera's but honestly I am totally fine with how D64, RLD and Blueline does their races. Music in the backround and straight to the point racing and Always on the date the Race was originally scheduled for (always Important) ALSO!!! Lets not Forget MDG Raceplex and RED PILL and ND Racing who does their Races Live... I think some people need to realize that they are not going to be the next 3d Botmaker unless another Pandemic happens where everyone is in their house and on YouTube all day..... On that note: Just an FYI....If your going to host a race, make sure your audience can see the cars racing and especially at the finish line., there is no point of posting a video if you cant really see who's racing and who won, makes no sense. — RIVERA_RACING
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DXPRacing 5/5/21

Hate to hear this as I always considered D64 to be one of the top places to send cars to.  I understand and agree with his reasons and glad he will still hold races howbeit on a much smaller scale.  

I still consider drag racing to be more elite form of racing because of the (x) factor not really being involved with what someone else does.  The pressure is on me alone to build a fast car, if I fail then I can learn from it.  I appreciate those venues where drag tracks still race.  I see MDG is going to take his track down but hopefully it will get rebuilt too.  I hope more drag tracks show up.  To those that host and have one, thank you!  

Life is funny like that, and I support everyone taking care of their business/family first. Which is what I was doing most of last year. But things are back on an even keel and I can devote more time to my second favorite hobby, racing toy cars! I've got 3 tracks in the works and have space for all of them now. One is a 1/4 mile dragstrip, one is an original Fat Track downhill course, and third is a Crash Racer road curcuit for primarily Sizzler, XV and the new Hot Wheels RC cars. When my 1/4 mile and FT are finished, I would be happy to host some races. 

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SpyDude 5/5/21

As long as this hobby is still rolling, I'll be running on both the drag tracks and the road courses. I may not have the fastest cars, but I want to keep supporting the hobby and the guys who are making it happen by building tracks and hosting races. 

Speaking of drags, I'm in the Shoebox Challenge - see you in the rear view.

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GhostDriver 5/5/21

Funny thing is I got into the hobby by watching stock drag racing first (s/o to Hot Wheels Calgary). I never thought that I would get into modifying cars--ever. But striaght drag racing has become my thing, like many others here.

It is sad to have a couple of the main hosts have to take a step back, but it's totally understable. And I truly appreciate BlueLine and Redline (MDG, NDeavers, Red Pill, etc.) for hosting races as consistently as they can. But whenever life happens this will always take a backseat (no pun intended). I wish I had the time and space to host drag races consistently, because I absolutely would.

I think straight drag racing will always be more for the "purest" diecast racer. And I value the friendly but highly competitive nature of the sport (yeah I called it a sport). We don't need to be entertained we just want to see those cars flying down the track and see if we can unlock more speed.


  • Well said GD — BlueLineRacing
  • Indeed, well put. I'm glad you became a convert...especially as your drag racing mods are some of the top performers on tracks. It really breaks down to what you're after...a DIY challenge or just something to watch. It's all racing and hopefully there will be more converts from the casual side as they discover RLD and other places that support the mail-in modding scene. — redlinederby
  • Thanks BLR and RLD. I respect folk that put their time and energy into this because quite honestly, you don't have to. So why not put my best foot forward in my builds and try to be a top modifier? — GhostDriver

Running racing videos on a regular schedule, whether it's full commentary etc like we do, or just racing with no graphics, sound etc is a big commitment. It always sounds easy till you get into it every week. 

I don't have kids so I have more spare time than most but I do have a full time day job and an after hours graphic designer business that I also do, plus try to get two full race videos out a week. 

For a while I was doing 3-4 videos a week plus the DSPN reports and it was way too much. The DSPN alone takes about 8-10 hours every video, by the time I download them, edit, do the commentary and upload with all the channel links etc. that's why I had to push it to every second week, but I try to show as many channels and styles of racing as possible. There has been an explosion of fat track/road courses in the last 6 months but there are still a good number of pure drag channels out there. Each one slightly different either in length or track style. HW Calgary would be the most consistent with his almost daily races. the other thing with the drag racing channels is they tend to have a less consistent schedule of posting and I don't know why. With the fat track racing, where there are tournaments, they tend to have something at least once a week but drags will happen one week then disappear for a couple. There are also a few channels that do live drags but I can't download those so don't get to feature them. 

I haven't done any drag racing as I don't feel I have enough space. I'd want a scale 1/4mile if I was going to do it and that's too long for all my spaces currently. I love Mr Mom's drag track and the way they film it with the chase cam cause you're really in the action, plus the length of track is really impressive. 

there have been a number of channels start, do one or two tournaments then stop which is a shame. D64 has done some cool tournaments so hopefully he finds a schedule that will work for him and allow him to keep posting in the future.


  • Thanks so much for the kind words in your diecast race reports. I don’t underestimate the time it takes and the fact that you promote even the lesser known, no frills channels like mine. Great work. — BlueLineRacing
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Kevblokey 5/7/21

Good old fashioned drag racing on a monthly basis is available on my channel My Hot Wheels Collection, both in my 'King of the Garage' season as well as extras, such as the 'Old Number 5' competition that's just started.

Let me say, that any form of diecast racing is a good thing for our hobby, for me personally, it's all about drag racing, I want to find out my fastest car that I have and only drag can do this, if I want to see it pirouette down the track, run backwards, crash into other cars or flip off the track altogether, I would run an open track course, but that's not for me, that's not my personal kick. Don't get me wrong, some open track videos I watch are highly entertaining, but it's not something I want to replicate.

It's always saddening to see an established name like D64 reducing or stopping their racing output, but we all have lives away from racing toy cars and the reality is, this will always take precedent, I wish D64 well and hope he finds the right balance of life that allows him to enjoy his hobby but where it doesn't try to take over.

I mostly run my videos on a monthly basis, as I say, with a 'Pick Your Rides' video coming out about a fortnight before the race video, I'm fortunate that, whilst these can take time to film, edit & release, it's time I generally have, even if sometimes, I'm editing videos at 05:00 in the morning!

Cheers!


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