The second stop on the McFarland Memorial Track Tour was at Bob Hanna's track in Roseburg. I have been given credit for this track tour but I would like to acknowledge that the credit and idea for a Bob McFarland Memorial race really goes to Gary "Howie" Howard. He is the person that first suggested we do this! With that said, here's a great race report from Rich Vecchio:
In February of 2020, the slot car community lost one of its finest, Bob McFarland. Although he had not been doing well for some time, his death was sudden and a shock to all of us. In addition to being a fine gentleman, Bob was a tireless promotor of the slot car hobby. He was a fierce competitor, track owner, builder and mentor. He shared his knowledge with others by holding classes in scratch building on a regular basis. The McFarland Memorial Track Tour is the brainchild of friend and track owner, Bill Bostic. He came up with the idea of having several events at private tracks in the Northwest as a fitting tribute. Several private track owners throughout Oregon have committed to hosting Tour events.
Spare Time Raceway (STR) held its Memorial event on 3/7/22. STR is characterized by very tight corners (most inner turns are only an 8 inch radius), a bridge, banked turn and a “hump” in the pit straight. The track is very tough to master and presents a real challenge to out-of-town participants.
On race day, Doors opened promptly at 4:00 p.m. ostensibly to give out-of-towners an opportunity to acquaint or reacquaint themselves with the challenging circuit. Rabid, drooling slot-heads from all over Oregon began filing in as soon as the doors opened. I recognized most because of my experience racing at private tracks at OSCAR events over the years and it was fun to catch up with old friends. Even so, I was stunned and surprised at how many out-of-towners traveled to Roseburg to pay tribute to a slot car legend. In the end, 21 drivers participated in the event, a record crowd for STR in recent history.
The race was billed as a fun event for OSCAR and True Scale Sports Cars. There would be no qualifying or tech inspections. Bob, the race director seeded participants based upon past performance (if no history was available, an individual’s seeding was based upon his best lap time in practice). The format would be two times through with 2 minute heats. There would be no set time between heats but there would be no dawdling. Heats were to begin when racers and marshals were in place. The race would be stopped in the event of a mechanical problem and restarted when the issue was resolved. No penalty would be assessed to the offending driver.
Although no trophies were to be awarded, Rich, with infinite spare time on his hands, created, embroidered and framed awards for the top three finishers and the top finisher in the handicap competition.
Bob Hanna did a fine job as Race Director moving the race along efficiently. That, in itself was an accomplishment given the number of participants and the inherent potential for delays.
The race started a few minutes after 7:00 P.M. and ran quite smoothly. The race was stopped only once. That was during the second heat; when, ironically enough, the Race Director lost a motor screw causing one hell of a racket. The problem was quickly
addressed and the race continued. Even with 21 participants racing action ended just after 10:00 P.M.
Thanks, in large measure, to Rich’s efforts, seeding drivers of similar abilities in each heat. In addition, Rich’s historical slot car database provided the basis for handicaps. In the event that a particular driver had no historical data to fall back on, Rich monitored practice and logged the best lap time for these individuals. These times were used to calculate a handicap.
The top five finishers were all regulars at STR racing events. These included Bob Hanna, Rich, James, Dustin and Joe. A shout-out goes to Dustin Henderson who cracked the top five even though he has been a recent addition to the STR race program.
As mentioned in an earlier paragraph, Bob had a mechanical issue in his second heat and lost a lap or so to the competition. No worries though, Bob won the race going away, finishing with 185.2 laps. The battle for second and third was hotly contested
between Rich, Joe, James and Dustin. After the first full round of competition, it was James, Joe and Rich for second through fourth respectively. All three had completed 90+ laps and were within just a few feet of each other. Dustin was about a half lap down with 89+ laps. Rich ran a clean race with no offs (consistency 95.22%) pulling ahead of the balance of the field in the second round. He finished second with 181.4 laps. The race for the bottom step of the podium was a real nail biter. In the end, James finished third with 179.8 laps followed by Dustin only a section behind James. Meanwhile Joe finished fifth only a section behind Dustin.
Nipping at the heels of the top five was Tom Street who always brings a monster machine and his baby blue Ferrari F50 was no exception. The car was so fast down the straight that it sheared off some of the baby blue paint. Tom’s lap times were competitive with the top five, however, he was not as consistent. This is no surprise, given the fact that it has been many years since Tom has raced at STR. Placing sixth; Tom was the highest finisher of the true “Out-of-Towners”. Ron, Mark Colby, Gary Tipton and John Gill finished seventh through tenth respectively. Ron headed the group even though his fast lap times were slower than the others. Ron’s consistency of 96.04% made all the difference.
Gary Klein, Scott and Nick finished eleventh through thirteenth respectively. All three finished with 166+ laps but Gary edged out the other two by two sections, while Scott beat Nick by only a few inches. Other close battles raged throughout the rest of the field. See details in the table below.
Rich's original and full report with photos can be seen on Slotblog here: http://slotblog.net/topic/100014-mcfarl … r-on-3722/