Looks like Godfather and Mr. Teacher both get to start their Christmas vacations with a couple of A's to hang up on the refrigerator. Bravo, guys. Couldn't have said it any better myself. I too am a "stock racer for life" and I also hope there are always super fast guys running whatever class I'm running, at my local track, showing me how it's really done with the exact same equipment I am using. Having raced a bit in the early 90s, I think the current state of the hobby, even with the dreaded "sponsored drivers in stock" (oh no!!!) is far more accessible to a newbie genuinely interested in racing RC cars than it ever was back then. We've got great magazines now like XRC that include articles on relevant racing topics, the internet for forums like this, setup sheets and other information straight from the manufacturers, and, if you're lucky like I am, a couple of fast "sponsored" guys at your local track to answer whatever questions might be left over. Back in the day (and yes, that was the 1990s, not 1890s! Had to put that in there for Craig), there was so much mystery surrounding racing that getting any kind of useful information was almost impossible. I remember a couple of instances where a sponsored driver from either Trinity or East Coast Modifieds (guess we were running oval, huh?) would show up at my local track, absolutely blow everyone away, not say a word to anyone, pack up, leave, and that would be that. No accessibility at all. Add to that the amount of completely off-the-wall rumors that you would hear about how to tune motors, chassis, etc., plus the fact that the batteries (in my opinion) were much worse than they are now, so getting good ones was probably a lot harder to do compared to today, and I think today's picture is a lot nicer one. To me, the great thing about this hobby is that it can do a good job of providing a fairly accurate taste of real motorsports (with almost every aspect involved - driving, competition, tuning, setup, maintenance, budgeting, traveling to races) at an incredibly small fraction of the cost, effort, and risk (I cut my finger with an Xacto two weekends ago!!!
) of the genuine article. The fact that at least one highly successful real car racer seems to enjoy the hobby has got to mean something. Now, is it supposed to be fun? Absolutely! Should it be dumbed down to the point where a casual enthusiast like myself can have a shot at putting it in the show in a big race in some class named "Nonsponsored Rookie Sportsman Spec?" I don't think so. As has been said time and time again, that's what the lower mains are for. You end up racing against people just like you (well, let's hope they smell better at least). PERFECT! And, finally, as has also been said, guys like Craig will be beating you whether or not they are sponsored. Given that, why not have the local racer benefit from it, like the Godfather said? I see the meter on my soapbox is about to expire, so I'll end it here. Craig, congratulations on the new ride! Looking forward to seeing what 2007 holds for you. Remember to get me my Corally doo-rag. Straight up pimping! Happy holidays everyone!