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Why is dirt oval not that popular?

Why is dirt oval not that popular?

I must admit that in all the years that I have been involved in this great hobby of ours, I have never been interested in racing oval or even running a car on an oval track. Going straight and making left turn after left turn just seemed to be pretty boring. They were just one step up from slot cars in my eyes. I want to go fast and turn in both directions. If my car bounces around, that’s even better. Well, that’s how I felt until John Shultz from HPI Racing talked me into turning one of my HPI Baja buggies into a dirt oval car. I had no idea what I was in for and didn’t think that I could ever get my buggy around the track at a speed that would matter. After picking up a body and making some tweaks based on Matt Higgins’ input, I was ready to hit the dirt. And had a great time! My buggy was so fast and I was passing people left and right until a mistake or two took me out. So, now I’m hooked on dirt oval and have no place to run on. I can kind of understand why oval isn’t as popular. You need to spend money to go fast and you have to be precise in your driving. Dirt oval one the other hand seems to be a little cheaper and require slightly less driving skills. So why isn’t dirt oval more popular?

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Updated: July 20, 2015 — 3:59 PM


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  1. Dirt oval is the only racing I’m interested in. I’ve done offroad, and it could never give me the high speed adrenaline rush oval does.

    As for realism, & solid rear axles, really? Would that even be drivable, much less affordable? Why not just add scale V8’s as well.

    1. As a DO racer myself, I’m with you Mark! EDM is the toughest class in RC if you ask this editor.

  2. I know Im a newcomer and a little late on the question but Im thinking about making a huge dirt oval for R/C’s 1/8, 1/10 Scale and I was thinking if “I build it, they will Come”!!! I live in Oklahoma and R/C’ing doesnt seem to do as well but Im in Love with the IDEA! ANY THOUGHTS????

    1. where in oklahoma,i live there to. am thinking of building a back yard track ovel for my own fun track.

  3. Do you RC race to show your skills in turning left and right on a consistant basis for the race time or do you RC race to have heart pounding close racing for the entire race time? My son is very good at on road racing and it is a thrill to see a perfect on road race but nothing compares to racing other cars on an oval at a fast pace and the top 3 or 4 cars within a couple of feet of each other and passing a couple of times for the whole race. Last week I was in a pavement oval race and the top 3 cars were within a half second of each other for the entire race and passed each other about 3 times in the end only .3 seconds seperated us. As one of the drivers said after the race “it sure is hard to hold your breath for 6 min. That’s why I oval race.

  4. forums. 11,000+ members. I think that there shows there are plenty of Dirt Oval racers!

    Its just like Todd said, any form of Oval, be it dirt, carpet, or paved, just isn’t main stream and never gets the attention it deserves.

  5. Hitman, Bethel has a Dirt Oval, we race sat nights, we run EDM 17.5, and some sprints (Losi,CW) practivce starts 3pm racing @ 6pm.

  6. Because I find driving around and around an oval to be just a hair above driving my R/C cars around a cul-de-sac. Boring.

  7. Dirt Oval not popular? What other application of R/C draws 450-525 entries to their National events anymore? The US Open Wheel (dirt oval’s largest race/’National’ ) has drawn between 450-525 entries for years, with other ‘National’ style dirt oval races (February Freeze, Chili Bowl, etc) consistently drawing about 350 on an annual basis.
    Dirt Oval may not appear mainstream in the R/C media, but is alive and well. There are several dirt oval tracks within driving distance of your magazine’s offices, come check them out – we’ll even provide you with a car to run for the event.

  8. Personally, I can’t get into oval/dirt track racing because it’s not realistic at all – until we have vehicles with solid rear axles and realistic chassis setups (Late Models with a J-Bar, etc) they are nothing more than just converted off-road platforms.

  9. You would be hard pressed to convince me of this around here. I live in NW PA and the 1 track that is near me has 3 indoor race tracks. Big Dog RC has carpet oval, dirt oval and off-road. Carpet is quiet for right now, but picks up when the colder months set in. The dirt tracks share one another, and they get anywhere from 70-100 cars trucks whatever every Sat. night when they race. That makes for a long but fun night. 2 heats and 1 main; we start at 5pm and depending on turnout it might be midnight by the time we leave.

  10. Pavement and dirt ovals both have they’re own needs but dirt is tricky because it dries out and will change mid way through a run and (I.e.) one heat the track might be sticky and the next might be dry and dusty with the possibility of goin back to tacky so that for me is why I love power sliding in the dirt

  11. Hey Kevin there is a dirt oval in Bethel Ct. We don’t run the big buggies but 1/10 scale EDM’s sprints and late models Come on down and check it out.

  12. Because the track is junk for all of practice and most of a weekly race weekend, leaving 1 heat an a main for the track to be right, so you can tune to go fast. crap, carpet and cap oval racing much more fun for the buck, Dirt is for growing potatoes!!!!

    1. Im sorry jakespeed did you miss this
      October 14, 2013 at 6:34 AM

      We have a track a BIG oval and building a Talladega style add on with 3 turns and its a blast you get 30 1/5 fire breathing machines running w-i-d-e open at blistering speeds wrecks,fire, blood, mayhem and craziness insuses! Our lil track in Lufkin texas is the next best thing to real dirt racing in full size cars. I cant pit crew and build cars like i did when i was younger but this sport still gets the family together for race nite….. I wish there were more tracks the guys in our sport are good folks with competitive spirit and make no mistake it is a kick in the a$$. go see lufkinrcpark at youtube and facebook you’ll see … This is a fast loud exciting sport that takes no prisoners and there is no place for whinny nitro “toys” or electric squealing even though they race here too but just till they can afford to race a real rc lol. I started with a traxxas and it took 1 race night for me to get the bug . I still get goose bumps when I here a heat race called and the engines start firing in the distance and start closing in closer and closer and the a mad dash to the starting line to get set! And the smell oh man the smell of 100 plus octane fuel mixed with castrol 2 stroke oil it has this smell…. smells like….. SPEED !!!!!!!!!!!! Men let me tell you THERE IS NOTHING LIKE IT! spec·ta·tors if to close will leave the track with black and blue marks from being pelted with dirt for cornering cars in the turns and if your lucky you might even catch the “game” rim and tire that sometimes will fly in the stands. But if you think its boring just turning left have fun with your exciting LITTLE toy! (just kidding i support all r/cers) But i love R/CING

  13. Well in green bay we have victory hobbies we race sprint cars sc Latemodels and trucks it rally is alot of fun and I know trackside has an oval to

  14. I wish it was more popular but I think most people are like you & don’t know what thay are missing . Is your set up posted some where ?

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