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West Valley City Journal

April Fools’ Classic scheduled at RC raceway

Mar 09, 2023 12:04PM ● By Greg James

Remote control car racing enthusiasts have nicknamed the racing surface at Eatons Intermountain Raceway the “greatest dirt on earth.” (Photo courtesy of Eatons Intermountain)

At the end of March one of the oldest and best remote control races in the country will be held at Eatons Intermountain RC Raceway.

“This a local event that started in Magna at an old grocery store,” raceway owner Joel Eaton said. “The annual race started being run on April 1. That is where the name came from.”

The event expects to attract more than 100 competitors competing in 14 different classifications of remote control cars. It is scheduled for March 31 through April 2. The main event racing will be held all day Sunday. Spectator admission is free. Friday and Saturday are all qualifying events. The event will be live-streamed. 

Classes include beginner to advanced skill levels and truck or buggy-type cars. Since the pandemic, remote control racing has grown in popularity across the country. 

“We could have as many as 400 cars. They come from all over the world including Canada and possibly Europe. It is the second longest-running RC car race in the country,” Eaton said.

The track is located at 1000 West Beardsley Place, the old warehouse contains the off-road course, a tabletop mini oval, and, in the summer, an on-road track in the parking lot. It also has a small hobby store.

The specially blended dirt for the track was moved to its current location nine years ago. Brian Kinwald, a popular pro racer, nicknamed it the “greatest dirt on earth.” Eaton purchased the facility in 2020. 

“This will be the first race with no real pandemic restrictions. Some of the world's best drivers live right here in Utah. Some outside competitors like to come here and race them on their home track,” Eaton said. “We will have world champions and manufacturer representatives on hand. There is no prize money. It can all be watched online.”

RC car racing has become a popular hobby. A race set-up car can be purchased for as little as $200, but faster and more competitive cars can be as much as $2,000. Some cars can go as fast as 100 mph. 

The track is open six days a week. Competitive racing is available on Wednesday and Saturday nights. The dirt oval races are on Thursdays. There is also a little tabletop that runs its own type of car. 

A welcoming, helpful atmosphere brings racing enthusiasts back. “There is a lot of online help, but the best part of this community is that it is 95% returning customers. Everyone is friendly and wants to help. There will be someone that knows what you might need. This is a good family activity. This can teach kids and adults how to take things apart, fix them, and make them work better. It is a small car and can be a hands-on hobby.”

The track has kids as young as five participating. The oldest racer is about 87.

“It is fun for all ages,” Eaton said.