Slot Car Racing in Florida
One step into Miracle Mile Raceways in Ocoee, and time will warp. You will feel like a kid again.
“That’s why I opened the store. I did it decades ago with my father,” says Michael Haire, who owns the place.
Haire is bringing back slot racing one turn at a time; re-inventing drag racing one blur at a time.
“They’ll do a 132mph — that’s the record — at 4/10ths of a second,” says Ed Newman, a hobbyist who says over the years he’s dumped $20,000 into the sport.
“I’m one of the rare dumb ones. I’m just one of the dumb ones that put too much in it, but I enjoy it. I go all over,” says Newman.
And he’ll sometimes win. $1810. One night, Newman recalls.
But don’t let Ed intimidate you. Miracle Mile is for all ages, all levels. “If they have the attention span to stand there and pull a trigger, they can do it,” says Haire.
You don’t even have to bring you own car. But if you want to build one, kits start at $60.
Spend a half-hour on the track? Spend $7.50. And it’s $.25 cents per race on the drag strip.
“That’s our fastest growing program actually. We’ve had as many as 125 cars come out on a Saturday night,” says Haire.
Bragging rights go to the most creative and the fastest. Glue on the tracks stops the cars after the power-cut-off line. Over on the slots, keeping the cars on the tracks is tough at those speeds.
Hardest part, says hobbyist Tom Hobbs? “How fast you can take a car around a given corner.”
That and getting his wife to come out and play. “My wife doesn’t understand it, but she makes greeting cards, and I don’t understand that either.”
Sometimes you don’t have to understand something. There’s such a simple joy in letting your head spin round and around and around and around and around and around and around.
“I’ve been doing this for almost 3 years. This time. I did it when I was in high school in the mid 60’s. But the track closed,” recalls Hobbs.
Well the track’s now open. For making some new miracles. “When people like myself are dead and gone, our kids are going to say remember when,” says Haire.
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