Local hobby store brings remote control car racing to Santa Clarita

By Ryan Painter

Last update: Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Hot Rod Hobbies, a local business in Saugus, held their 20th Annual Off-Road Shootout this Sunday on their dirt race track located just behind the storefront.

The Shootout is a unique opportunity for local remote control car racers to hone their skills, compete for trophies and learn from professional racers firsthand.

“This is our annual summer race,” said Jimmy Babcock who has owned the store for the past 14 years. “We started it 20 years ago and it (has) built up to what we have today.”  

A participant evaluates his XRAY XB4 remote control car before his next race behind Hot Rod Hobbies in Saugus during the 20th Annual Off-Road Shootout on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

Racers had the chance to compete in 13 different categories, many of which were sponsored by R.C. companies and component providers.

Scattered among these races were participants with many different backgrounds and levels of experience.

“It ranges from amateurs and rookies to pros who can make six-figure salaries from racing” said Babcock.

For Tanner Stees, a 19-year-old competitor who has already accrued 12 years worth of racing experience, the goal was simple – to win.

But for others, the competitive zeal takes a backseat to innocuous fun and family bonding.

Turn marshalls stand beside the track ready to flip over a remote control car if it overturn behind Hot Rod Hobbies in Saugus during the 20th Annual Off-Road Shootout on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

Frankie Contreras and his 9-year-old son, Frankie Jr., share a special bond over the sport which Frankie Sr. first picked up in the late 1980s.

Frankie Jr., one of the youngest racers at the event, competed in two separate classifications, buggy and stock, while his father gave his advice and support.

“There was a track by my house that got me involved, and so obviously I passed it down to my son” said Contreras.

Hot Rod Hobbies’ raceway is open to aspiring competitors on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. and Saturday nights at 6 p.m.

Ty Tessmann evaluates his XRAY XB4 remote control car before his next race behind Hot Rod Hobbies in Saugus during the 20th Annual Off-Road Shootout on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal
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Local hobby store brings remote control car racing to Santa Clarita

Remote control cars race through a track behind Hot Rod Hobbies in Saugus during the 20th Annual Off-Road Shootout on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

Hot Rod Hobbies, a local business in Saugus, held their 20th Annual Off-Road Shootout this Sunday on their dirt race track located just behind the storefront.

The Shootout is a unique opportunity for local remote control car racers to hone their skills, compete for trophies and learn from professional racers firsthand.

“This is our annual summer race,” said Jimmy Babcock who has owned the store for the past 14 years. “We started it 20 years ago and it (has) built up to what we have today.”  

A participant evaluates his XRAY XB4 remote control car before his next race behind Hot Rod Hobbies in Saugus during the 20th Annual Off-Road Shootout on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

Racers had the chance to compete in 13 different categories, many of which were sponsored by R.C. companies and component providers.

Scattered among these races were participants with many different backgrounds and levels of experience.

“It ranges from amateurs and rookies to pros who can make six-figure salaries from racing” said Babcock.

For Tanner Stees, a 19-year-old competitor who has already accrued 12 years worth of racing experience, the goal was simple – to win.

But for others, the competitive zeal takes a backseat to innocuous fun and family bonding.

Turn marshalls stand beside the track ready to flip over a remote control car if it overturn behind Hot Rod Hobbies in Saugus during the 20th Annual Off-Road Shootout on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

Frankie Contreras and his 9-year-old son, Frankie Jr., share a special bond over the sport which Frankie Sr. first picked up in the late 1980s.

Frankie Jr., one of the youngest racers at the event, competed in two separate classifications, buggy and stock, while his father gave his advice and support.

“There was a track by my house that got me involved, and so obviously I passed it down to my son” said Contreras.

Hot Rod Hobbies’ raceway is open to aspiring competitors on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. and Saturday nights at 6 p.m.

Ty Tessmann evaluates his XRAY XB4 remote control car before his next race behind Hot Rod Hobbies in Saugus during the 20th Annual Off-Road Shootout on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

About the author

Ryan Painter

Ryan Painter

  • Wil Camacho

    We need more of this locally. Keep kids off the phones and internet. Give em a kit to build,tune, and maintain.