Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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RC Races take off at Alamo Palms

20161123 RC RACES miller IMG 1612-SHOWALAMO—From the parking lot you could hear track announcer Terry Freeman call the cars to the starting line. The smell of grilled burgers was in the air and a packed house waiting in anticipation for the first race to begin.

“Whoa, whoa, you can't get a head start,” he announced as the cars and their “drivers” prepped for the event's version of the green flag. Eight remote control hot rods lined up on the 1/8-mile dirt track at Alamo Palms RV Resort for the grand opening of the “Try Out Traxxas” event. More than 200 people attended the event, taking turns at racing the cars on the winding road-style course, complete with jumps, double jumps and hair-pin turns.

“This idea floated around the track for two years or so but funding has been always an issue. Then some people decided it was something to do and put in some money and about five or six of us did most of the work in the middle of May and finished up about two to three weeks ago.” said Freeman, who helped coordinate the building of the track and the event. “We had the track ready when everyone got here and decided to have an open house. This was an excellent response.”

New Sun Racing, with five stores across the Rio Grande Valley including Valle Vista Mall in Harlingen and La Plaza Mall in McAllen, brought a table of remote control cars, trucks, drones and other accessories. They also provided the park with 20 cars, remotes and batteries to race, wreck and wreak havoc on the course, complete with an announcer/RC driver press box and bleachers.

“We play every chance we get now,” Freeman said. “This caught on pretty fast. We expect to have 50 to 100 car owners by the end of the season.”

At least two other parks – Victoria Palms and Alamo Rec – also have tracks and the three, along with any others that are interested, will be forming a racing series.

“I don't think we've ever raced a single car in our lives,” Freeman said. “But when they came up to us from New Sun Racing we said 'hey, this sounds like a lot of fun. Let's do it.’”

Freeman said that he felt that the activities were getting a little stagnant. He said also that it was time to start adding some interesting things to attract more Winter Texans to the Valley. If Thursday's showing was any predictor, the plan may have its dividends. It already has in terms of local interest.

“A lot of people are getting into it,” said Faisal Saleem, sales manager and partner of New Sun Racing. “We started going to visit the Winter Texan Parks last year and the interest was incredible. We really didn’t expect it to turn out like this but once they see these cars going 55-60 miles per hour, and then to see the drones racing, they really want to do it.” The cars were modified to run closer to 30 miles per hour for this event.

Alamo Palms is also working on a drag racing track and what they are calling a “bash track,” set up to jump off ramps and run over rocks and other obstacles.

“Those are winter projects,” Freeman said, referring to the other two tracks under construction. “The bashing track is where they can run over stuff like rocks or jump over bridges – like what a lot of the off road Jeeps so. We hope to have a little of everything when the season is over.”

“We were just looking for some things that would be entertaining and these guys came and showed us what those cars could do,” Freeman added. “Most of us have never done this but it is catching on.

Saleem said it's not only catching on with Winter Texans, but all across the country – especially in the Rio Grande Valley.

“It seems like everyone is wanting to be a part of this,” he said. “They come in asking for cars to look a certain way or they want to see the things these cars can do. It's a lot of fun.”

For information on the racing at Alamo Palms or any of the Encore RGV Parks, call (956) 787-7571. For information on the cars and drones available at New Sun Racing, call Faisal Saleem at (956) 244-7678 or visit www.newsunracing.com.

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