For vehicle enthusiasts who may not want to climb behind the wheel themselves, The Track indoor remote-control car raceway satisfies the need for speed.
With twists and turns, jumps and straightaways, drivers must navigate the warehouse-sized track’s many challenges with their scaled-down vehicles.
Owner Mimi Wong started operating RC car races in 1984, and has been occupying her current building in Gaithersburg since 1991 after closing a toy store. While Wong doesn’t race herself, she is a guru at repairing and painting cars that have made one too many wide turns into a barrier wall.
Wong’s customers range from young children who come in after school to retirees. She enjoys watching families learning how to race together.
“I think this hobby is great for father and son, or father and daughter, the families,” Wong says.
Open seven days a week, The Track provides a place for drivers to practice, tune up their cars or participate in races on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, Wong says. A day of racing costs $10 to $15 and cars are priced from $100 to $5,000, depending on size and other specifications.
In addition to the large track for remote control cars, the warehouse also has a full slot car track that Wong says has produced some of the fastest lap times on the East Coast. Slot cars run within grooves on a track and the driver is only in control of the gas. She also holds indoor miniature airplane and helicopter races.
Since she has been in business for more than 20 years, Wong has seen some of her original customers, whom she met as children, using the skills they learned at The Track in their adult life.
“A few of my customers —kids — became engineers and all that stuff, so it really makes me feel really good when they come by to see me,” she says.