By Aaron Waldron
The Fear Farm R/C Raceway in Phoenix, AZ has been the host track for The Dirt Nitro Challenge since 2012, when it became the third location to host the largest event in nitro off-road RC racing. The huge facility is perfect for the DNC - not only is there ample parking space for hundreds of passenger vehicles, as well as the small town of RVs that camp for the week, but there are three tracks onsite. The additional courses made it possible for 1/5-scale racing and 1/10-scale classes to become part of the Dirt Nitro Challenge.
LiveRC YouTube account
-- RVA (Race Video Archive) recordings of all races available to All Access Pass members
The Fear Farm RC Raceway is tucked into the back corner of the Phoenix Event and Sports Complex, which covers over 26 acres and hosts a variety of fairs, corn mazes, mud runs, different recreational sports leagues on its 16 full-size soccer fields. The RC track is easily visible from highway AZ-101, and draws plenty of roadside spectators! The track was originally built in 2010, and now the AZRCR (Arizona RC Racers) club leases the facility from third-generation land owner Ken Sheely.
The track gets its unusual name from the on-site haunted house - the Fear Farm.
Photo: Haunters Digest
Photo: AZ Central
Having three distinct tracks in one place offers a variety of terrain for any club racer, but gives the visitors of the DNC plenty to do over the course of the five-day week. Practice for the 1/8-scale classes runs over two rounds on Wednesday, with qualifying for the 1/8-scale truck and electric buggy divisions on Thursday. Friday is busy - 1/8-scale nitro buggy qualifying runs alongside practice for the 1/10-scale and 1/5-scale tracks. On Saturday, the 1/8-scale truck and electric buggy main events are run, along with the entire 1/10-scale program and qualifying for 1/5-scale. And on Sunday, the race finishes up with the 1/8-scale nitro buggy finals and main events for 1/5-scale.
Both the 1/8-scale and 1/10-scale tracks are running counter-clockwise, with the 1/5-scale track turning the opposite direction.
The main course is, of course, the 1/8-scale track. The outer dimensions measure 245 ft. x 115 ft., and Joey Christensen and The Dirt Racing crew started construction of the 2016 layout on February 8. They even documented the build on Instagram.
As the Dirt Nitro Challenge celebrates its 17th birthday, it shows no signs of slowing down. As of Wednesday morning, the 1/8-scale program was up to 582 entries.