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Someone You Should Know: Mini-Race Car Track Operator

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A race track in south suburban Lynwood hosts miniature, radio-controlled car races. (CBS)

A race track in south suburban Lynwood hosts miniature, radio-controlled car races. (CBS)

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LYNWOOD, Ill. (CBS) — For 30 years, local enthusiasts raced their radio controlled cars in streets and parking lots. Now, thanks to the passion of one racer, they have a dragway that is considered one of the best in the country. 

The Lynwood Radio Controlled Drag Strip, which is 132 feet long, was created by Jerry Anderson three years ago. He’s someone you should know, CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield reports.

“We have been doing it for 30 years, in the street, parking lots, in the alleys, wherever we could be,” Anderson says. “We always needed a place dedicated to this.”

Eugene Williams, the mayor of Lynnwood, was happy to help out.

“It’s the greatest thing in the world. It’s popular. It’s science. It’s family. It’s diverse,” he says.

From Texas to New York, California to Wisconsin, radio-control enthusiasts come to the track from every part of the country.

Jim Schauer, a retired geologist from California, is one of the participants.

“The quality of track and quality of the race that’s put on is unequaled,” he says.

The idea of the sport is to stay on the track and power ahead with all the energy the little engines can muster. Speeds can reach 100 mph and are electronically clocked. 

Competitors like Roy Anderson get to race without the enormous expense of regular cars. He has sunk $800 into his car, but he says that’s “not a lot of money compared to a full-size race car.” 

For all the effort that owners have invested in the models, the average time they actually race is between 1.8 and 1.5 seconds. The cars are tiny, but the competition is still real.

Still, Greg Bentley says the atmosphere is always friendly. 

“At the end of the day we go eat relax and have a good time. That’s what it’s all about,” he says.

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