There are very, very few ways to enjoy NASCAR in an interactive way if you live overseas. You can’t go to the races, the DVDs are all Region 1, the PlayStation games are all NTSC – in short, you pay for the online services from NASCAR.com and that’s about it.
Except for one thing… slot car racing. Here’s a picture of the Falcon Raceway in Essex, UK. This is a purpose-built speedway for racing digital NASCAR slot cars – although you can run them on any kind of track you like.
There have been a wide range of NASCARs made as 1/32 slot cars from across the eras. If you’re a fan of the ‘Darkside’ then Carrera and Monogram have cars from the late 1950s to the early 1970s to choose from. More recent aero cars from 2000-07 can be found from Scalextric (Superslot in Spain) and SCX (Scalextric in Spain), while Car of Tomorrow cars from 2008-09 were made by Scalextric, SCX and Carrera.
The trouble is that only a handful were ever made. They might not be models of your favourite driver and, even if they are, every driver goes through about half a different paint schemes in any given season. But help is at hand.
In the course of the next few days, I’m going to change this Chevy Impala from Kevin Harvick’s 2008 Shell/Pennzoil #29 car to the 2011 #33 Cheerios entry of Clint Bowyer. With a little bit of work, you can make pretty much any car you like – and then go racing.