You no doubt see the name League of Speed all over the pages of Redline Derby Racing. He's the Event Coordinator here at Redline Derby and has been making races happen for the better part of the past 3 years. He's become one of the top names in diecast racing thanks to his commitment and passion for the hobby...not to mention his ability to take home the gold (a lot). His tracks are quickly becoming legendary and a string of annual race events always gets racers excited.
I'm somewhat embarrassed to say this is the first time we've interviewed him but his recent high profile wins in some big races provided a great excuse to make up for that faux pa. I sent him some questions and he graciously took time out of this past holiday weekend to give us all a little look inside to see what makes the League of Speed tick.
Interview with David Currin (League of Speed)
Redline Derby Racing: Let's start with the easy questions...who you are, where you are, and what's your favorite breakfast cereal?
David Currin (League of Speed): I'm David Currin, aka, League of Speed. I'm racing in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina and nothing beats Coco Pebbles.
RLD: Outside of playing when you were younger, how and when did you find your way into the world of competitive diecast racing?
LOS: 2016. I was looking to expand upon just racing with my family.
RLD: Your bread & butter is modding cars for speed and your track record says it all, but what is about modding these toy cars that keeps you active in the hobby?
LOS: Modding cars is my zen time. I love building and (my wife) the Lady of Speed likes knowing where I'm at and what I'm up too.
RLD: You recently participated in (and won) the 8 Modders tournament featured in the Diecast Racing Report which puts you in the "Best of" category of builder. How'd it feel getting that recognition (to be asked) and then to actually win?
LOS: The 8 Modders Project was an honor to be asked to be part of and it was a lot of fun to win it in the end. I'm not in this to trophy hunt, so it's nice to have the respect of the diecast community that you're considered one of the best by your peers...that means the most to me.
RLD: I know you're a family man too, so what do they think of all this diecast racing stuff and how are they involved (if at all)?
LOS: I wouldn't be able do this sport the way I do without the support of my wife and two daughters, aka, Lady of Speed, Speedzilla and Speed Force. People know us as the Legion of Speed. We all play a part in bringing our races to the community and we still enjoy the competition and the camaraderie that goes along with the entire experience.
RLD: Along with building winning cars, you have also built a handful of race tracks that have hosted many a Redline Derby event. How many tracks do you officially manage, and which do you enjoy running the most?
LOS: I've built 5 tracks: Tobacco Road, Bootleg Run, Tail of the Dragon, Quest Speedway and Damnation Alley. I'd have to give the nod to Bootleg Run. It is my masterpiece and delivers some fantastic racing action. And what's really fun is the diecast community also seems to get a little more pumped up for a Bootleg Run race.
RLD: So what makes Bootleg Run so fun for you?
LOS: Bootleg Run is just unique track. It's fair but it's got a nasty side, and people know that there car is in peril every time it makes a run. Bootleg Run just has a presence about it....almost mythical.
RLD: A lot of folks coming to Redline Derby are looking for track building tips and ideas. What are some of your rules of thumb when designing and building a track?
LOS: You can't rush to finish when building a track...enjoy the process. I'd say designing the transition is the most challenging and rewarding when you pull it off. I also stand fast in 1" of drop for every 1' of track. That formula served me well on Bootleg Run and Tail of the Dragon.
RLD: Most of your layouts are classic 2-laned tracks, aka, good old fashioned Hot Wheels racing. There's been a shift over the past year to the "fat track" open road style of racing. What are your thoughts on this style of track and racing? Which do you enjoy most?
LOS: I enjoy Fat Track racing. It's the main reason I built Tail of the Dragon. You have to build the cars differently for Fat Track racing. You don't want to be too fast on a Fat Track. You just want to be fast enough with proper weight dynamics...and some luck thrown in at times. But in the end, the only way to haul your salt is the scale 1/4 mile. You can't hide there, as you're either fast or you're not. Ultimately, I prefer the scale 1/4 mile.
RLD: I think you've hosted more mail-in races than any person in the community and we all know it's not easy managing everything. What's your system for keeping your events organized and running smoothly?
LOS: Ha...I don't know about smooth, but we have a system that works. Announce the race, hype the race, and then get it all coordinated, then go racing. In the past, there just weren't a lot of mail-in races outside of D64 and DCR, and I felt that Redline Derby needed to be a staple in the diecast racing community. It's nice right now to be able to sit back and watch, then choose which race you'd like to enter. There are more options nowadays but it was important to me to put Redline Derby on the map and keep it as Mecca.
RLD: Over the past few years we've seen diecast racing turn into quite a spectator sport with a big focus on video production and engagement through YouTube. Do you feel that evolution has put more emphasis on the presentation rather than the racing itself?
LOS: Yes...absolutely...the evolution of YouTube racing channels has really exploded and I think for some channels it really comes down to production and presentation. Build a diorama and have a back story that goes along with the scenario. I really love Flat Rabbit Racing and what they've done, it's fantastic. Then you have 3DBotMaker whose races are just as much show as racing - perhaps even more about show - but then again, without the modified cars...King of the Mountain wouldn't be what it is. Then you have DiecastRacerX, where it's more about the actual racing and competition opposed to storytelling.
RLD: Back to the cars...do you have a "go to" casting when you start building a new car? Which castings do you feel are always a safe place to start?
LOS: I really don't have a "go to" car, as I'm usually building for a certain tournament...like our Summer Series, but I do look for track stance and decent wheel base.
RLD: What would you tell someone that comes up and asks, "if I do nothing else when modding my car, what should I do?"
LOS: You've got to wheel farm first and foremost. The catch is building up an adequate farm to choose from, but you've got to have 4 good-to-great wheels in order to build a contender.
RLD: While it's a fun journey, modding cars can be discouraging when they start to roll down the track. It's not easy to make cars faster. What suggestions would you give someone who's trying hard but is often disappointed by the results?
LOS: My advice would be to race with people at your same level. Some catch on quickly and can run with top tuilders right out of the gate and for some it takes a bit longer. Find a group that you enjoy and can be competitive with from the start. And ask questions! I know myself and other seasoned vets are always glad to help out.
RLD: Before we go, do you have any other shoutouts, links or stories you care to share?
LOS: I'd like to give a shout out to Redline Derby Racing for giving me a place to hang my hat and grow the sport of diecast racing. And to the brethren out there who build the tracks and build the cars so we can all have a place to race. And this is a great community to race with and against. The Quest for Speed is eternal. Good luck on your quest! Peace and speed.
Again, I'd like to thank David for sharing with us what keeps the League of Speed on the track and taking checkered flags.
I can say without question that Redline Derby Racing wouldn't be where it is today without all of David's hard work and choosing Redline Derby as his home base. If you enjoy the racing that goes on here at Redline Derby, then you need to thank David.
Check out his profile for more photos, stats, and tracks