Sunday, August 8, 2010
The Track in Gaithersburg, Maryland
Racing fans, START YOUR ENGINES!!!! Today we went to "The Track" in Gaithersburg to experience a large radio control and slot car racing track. What sold me on going was a racer that was practicing at a nearby field at the beginning of the summer. He said that he goes to "The Track" all the time and that most of the people are incredibly friendly. Looking back on this experience, we had such a wonderful time at this big racetrack and the kids were entertained for several hours.
We got there at about 12:40 (40 minutes after it opened) and started by looking through the store section of the building. There were many cars and car parts in all of the glass cases which my son really enjoyed. After that we walked through a studio/garage area where many different people were working on building and fixing their cars. We found it fascinating to see all of the people working on different elements of their cars and all of the pieces that went into these great machines. The people working on cars ranged in their knowledge and experience level and most were very friendly and/or open to being asked questions. However, I caution that the lady that answers the phone is not so friendly, but don't be dissuaded by her as most of the other people in the building were very nice.
One gentleman in particular (dubbed "The Trackmaster") was incredibly friendly and shared his knowledge with us about the hobby. He said that some of the people really get the idea that it is important to get the kids out to "The Track" because it is a hobby that is meant for them. He said that he hopes that within the next year they will start renting out cars to younger kids so that they can have a chance to race as well as making it open for birthday parties. I believe they also have a camp for racers. Anyone who either buys a car (they are pricey) or builds their own can come and use this track for a fee (15 dollars for the whole day), but watching is totally free and really enjoyable. While many of the guys race their cars in tournaments and are at a very competitive level, others were novices as well, having only just started but enjoying the hobby nonetheless.
Once the track was set up (usually around 1:30pm), we took a seat on the chairs outside of the track and watched as the racers took their places on the pedestal over the track and began racing. Our kids had a great time watching cars zip by, doing the jumps, and crashing into each other. In another part of the studio was a separate smaller track for little cars that we also got to look at. One man was racing a car on that track and told us that the cars were moving at 100 mph. This track is ok for kids to bring their own little cars and push them around on.
All in all we had such a wonderful experience. However, I caution that you should call first to see if they are expecting to be racing that day or you could end up just touring the place quickly. Also, even if they don't have races going on, they seemed pretty comfortable with letting us use the little cars that we brought onto the small track. However, children are not allowed to go on the bigger track (and are only allowed to watch) unless they are racing a car fit for the track. The directions on the website are clear, but the place is not well marked so keep your eyes peeled and expect to have to U-turn when you notice the addresses and then skip right past it. While this place is not geared toward children, I definitely recommend that everyone race down and check this place out as it was good for a rainy day for kids ages 3-12 to watch for a little while. I would say your child would probably have to be around 7 or 8 (minimum) to do their own racing.
Sunday and Monday 12-6pm
Tuesday- Friday 12-9pm
Saturday: 10am-9pm (or later)
Phone: (301) 417-9630
To return to the homepage and find more great places for kids, click here
Posted by Brett at 3:50 PM