Word of Wheels: NeoX Pit Lane Punt


Pit Lane Punt

NeoX is in the books, and as with any race, post-race thoughts, opinions, and stories are told. One particular story that has gone viral today is a short video clip where two drivers tangle entering pitlane. The pit man of the first car grabs his drivers car and begins fueling (leaving the other car involved stuck due to the collision).

Once someone helps the car left stuck from the collision, he pulls up to his pit guy to refuel. As his pit guy begins to refuel, he sees the driver who’s pit guy ignored the stranded car and gives him a little “boost” out of pit lane.¬†Immediately following the first posts of this video comments and posts flooded Facebook in anger against the pit man who delivered the punt out of pit lane.

Several years back, I was invited to attend a trophy race at an offroad track roughly 4 hours from my home. It was located in a city park, was completely fenced in, and had a unique track layout in which I had trouble adjusting to. Going into the race I felt like I should be a shoe-in to win the 1/8 Nitro Buggy class, but little did I know the local competition was MUCH faster than I had anticipated. Needless to say I was frustrated. After two rounds of qualifying I was sitting 5th overall, and beyond mad at my results.

The third and final round of qualifying came about, and I found my way to a TQ pace. The track featured a double-double section on the back straightaway in which the top 4 drivers were going WIDE OPEN to quad the entire section. Cars were literally 25ft high, and coming up short was instant death. I decided to go for the jump, and came up considerably short. My car somehow was still running, not broke, not bent, but I was flipped upside down. Due to the danger of the section, the corner marshall was VERY hesitant to get my car, and moved at a rather leisurely pace. As I laid upside down on the back straightaway, my TQ pace went out the window, and my blood began to boil. The marshall then picked up my car, walked back across the track carrying it, held it until all of the cars passed by, and sat it down.

Boiling blood, adrenaline, anger, and my non-existent TQ pace all combined into one, and I did the unthinkable. I spun my car around, drove back off the track, and began chasing the turn marshall. Yes folks, I chased an innocent volunteer human being who was just trying to help out with my R/C car. He ran a short distance with my buggy chasing angrily behind him, but then he reminded himself that he was being chased by a REMOTE CONTROL CAR. At that point he stopped running, waited for me to catch up, kicked me upside down, flipped me off, and walked away.

I think it is fair to say that what I did was really stupid. Really, really stupid actually…on so many levels. The moral of the story is however, I made a stupid decision in a fit of anger. I let the emotional side of racing get the best of me, and made a VERY poor, VERY un-sportsman, and just plain immature decision to handle a “bad situation” (if crashing your own R/C car, and a turn marshall taking his own safety into consideration before flipping it back over can be classified as one).

While ALL of the actions in the NeoX Pit Lane viral video could be classified as dumb, unsportsman-like, rude, etc…for all of us racing R/C cars is more than just a hobby, it’s a passion. With passion comes emotion, with emotion comes actions (both good and bad).

This was an unfortunate situation for both drivers and pit guys involved. In my opinion, however, there is no need for the thrashing, bashing, and humiliation online. Speaking from personal experience, this is not an example of who they are, but instead an example of how emotional racing anything, even “toy cars”, can be. Look at it this way, at least the driver’s didn’t chase down each others pit guy with their buggys…

What is the dumbest thing you regret doing while R/C racing?

  • GJ

    I was pitting for a guy that flipped over in the middle of no mans land. He was in the top 3 of a cash race. As I look from pit lane, no marshal was moving to the car and I heard him screaming. I ran on to the track looked at the car and he had the throttle pint. Thinking he lost control of the car, I stepped on the fly wheel. At the point he came off the drivers stand, I just wanted to quit racing all together.

  • Paul Lynch

    I have watched the video clip 10-15x it’s all about courtesy and what goes around comes around. Kudos to the pit guy who gave a Lil boot in return. It was not overboard just 2sec. Lost.

    My 2 Pennys