Nestled just south of the foothills in Southern California is a track that boasts not just one, but two RC race courses, one on road and the other off road. For an RC driver, this place really is a dream come true.
Revelation Raceway in Montclair, California contains an off road course that consists of an area that covers roughly 26,000 square feet as well as an on road track that envelopes about 7,000 square feet of territory. Add a jam packed full of inventory 1,500 square foot pro shop and you can see why we want to hang out there all day long.
Revelation Raceway was originally opened in 1995 and hosted an IFMAR World Championship in 1996. Both the track and the shop have undergone several changes throughout the years. Current ownership has been in place since 2013. As mentioned earlier, Revelation has a full service pro shop that not only stocks any brand and type of RC vehicle and its associated parts, but is also capable of repairing them too. Another reason we can literally stay there all day long is that they also have a snack stand for when we get the munchies, which is pretty much always.
The main attraction of course are the large outdoor off road and outdoor on road tracks. They also have an additional “small outdoor try-me-track” as well for those who just want to dip their toes in without going full-bore. To make things easier for us racers, the track’s parking and pit area is paved and powered and features a car/body cleaning station, and an ADA compliant driver’s stand. Revelation’s scoring system runs daily, even just for practice. Even though they are an outdoor venue, they are proud to be open six days a week rain or shine. They report that, “No other shop/track in Southern California can claim all this!”
We spoke to the owner, Garen Hagobian, about his business and what types of RC they specialize in. Garen filled us in, “The public misconception is that we are strictly a 1/8 nitro off road racing facility. While we do specialize in 1/8th off road, the truth is our shop stocks all types of cars from mini electric to large scale gas, most of which are RTR’s. We stock parts for every car we sell and if we don’t have it, we will order it. We also have a huge inventory of older and discontinued parts. Our off road track is open to 1/6 scale cars and smaller, while our on road track is suitable for 1/8th on down. Even though we have a strong racing background (1/8 off road and 1/8 on road), we cater to the beginners and encourage them to enjoy our tracks for practice and racing.”
As for how he got started in the business, Garen informed us, “The previous owner was ready to retire and as a part time employee it was a perfect fit and opportunity for me to take on an established yet struggling business, and grow it. It’s still a work in progress but to quote the well written line, ‘If you will it, Dude, it is no dream.’.”
Regarding the type of events that Revelation Raceway hosts, “Our focus is club racing. We have kept our off road schedule the same for over 10 years now, with club racing on the 3rd Saturday of the month. For the past 4 years we have added on road racing on the 1st Saturday of the month. In addition to our club racing, we host 2 or 3 title races a year, such as the Sidewinder Nitro Explosion or a Tamiya Championship Series regional event.
“Our structured schedule and beginner friendly race programs have helped us grow and we feel this is good for the hobby, especially here in Southern California. Ironically our biggest challenges have come from within the RC industry, mainly trying to convince manufacturers to limit their driver sponsorships and to use their resources to promote local racing instead of the seemingly weekly ‘title’ events some of the other facilities offer, often on the same weekends we hold our events. In addition to our race events we are available for birthday parties, and other private events. We also have plans for beginner only events/seminars.”
Revelation has a long history in the RC realm and Garen proves it with the very first issue of RCCA displayed in the shop, signed by the likes of Gene Husting, Frank Killiam, Gil Losi Jr., and RCCA’s very own Louis De Francesco. Garen says, “We have long time customers who raced here back in the 90s and 00s, who now bring their kids or grandkids to the track. It’s great to see the new generation enjoying the hobby and keeping the wheels turning, so to speak.”
4871 W State St.
Montclair, CA 91763
Tel: (909) 628-9909
Text by Jerry Tsai
Images by Lauren Short