Local Business Offers Safe Alternative to Racing

PANTHER VALLEY, Nev. -- Are you an adrenaline junkie looking for something to do on the weekends? For many, it's a childhood dream come true to race in NASCAR or Motocross, but it can be a dangerous hobby. A local business is offering an affordable and safe alternative.

The speed, the jumps and even the crashes are all part of the race to cross the finish line. At Traction Hobbies, the drivers aren't inside the cars.

"It's just like racing a full scale car except you don't get hurt and it's thousands of dollars cheaper," Justin Clark, Traction Hobbies owner said.

It's Northern Nevada's only radio controlled raceway, but it' not just for adults.

"I have little kids that beat grown adults that have been doing this for years," Clark said.

Fifteen-year-old, Tyler Bickell has only been racing for nine months, but says he's already addicted.

"My mom said, 'you might as well move in here because you spend so much time here,'" he said.

He usually spends three to four hours in his pit every day, perfecting his radio-controlled car. For him, it's a hobby, but for others like John Barrera, it's an escape.

"I came up short on a jump and broke my leg pretty bad and crushed it and ended up having to amputate it," Barrera, current RC racer said.

He's a former Motocross racer who couldn't get enough of the race. It's a safe sport that offers lessons racers can use off the track.

"They can learn mechanical skills it's really important to learn how to turn a wrench and you learn to interact with people of all ages," Clark said.

Not only do racers do it for the speed and bragging rights, but also the camaraderie.

"I just love the people. Everybody's so nice and willing to help. It's like a big family," Bickell said.

These racers have a need for speed. During a race, they have five minutes to go around the track as many times as they can and the person with the most laps wins. Currently, the time to beat is 17.63 seconds.

For a day of practice, the cost is $8. Traction hobbies is open Mondays-Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information about rates and race days, visit the link below.

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