Story and Photos by Linda Sauer
Submitted on behalf of Bob Coakley, Winter Ranch Activities Director
Alamo City Police and Fire Departments weren’t chasing speeding and wrecked vehicles recently; they were chasing and wrecking each other at a radio-controlled race track in Alamo. Winter Gardens Raceway in Winter Ranch RV Resort was blessed with sunny skies and warm balmy breezes on Saturday, January 13th as Raceway club members again hosted the Alamo City Police and Fire Departments in a competition with radio-controlled cars.
Race cars were provided courtesy of New Sun Racing and several Raceway club members. Adding a unique touch to the day’s races were two custom trucks; one a red truck with Alamo Fire Department decals; the other a blue truck with Alamo Police Department decals.
After the opening prayer and national anthem, driver introductions were given by Brad Huff, Vice President of Winter Gardens RC Club. Winter Ranch Manager Mark Foster voiced appreciation for the services the Alamo Police and Fire Departments provide to residents of Winter Ranch. Mayor JR Garza thanked Winter Gardens Raceway for inviting the Police and Fire Departments to race today, and acknowledged the comradery and relationship the Alamo Police and Fire Departments and the City of Alamo share with Winter Texans.
Following instructions operating the radio-controlled cars and a few practice laps, police and fire personnel competed against each other in 10 to 15-lap heats. In the Grudge Match heat, Alamo Police Chief Saul Solis bested Alamo Fire Chief Roy Contreras, while the Alamo Fire Department team won over the Alamo Police Department team in the Department Challenge heat. The City Executives Race found the Alamo City Commissioner Roel Morena in 1st Place, with Alamo City Commissioner Pete Morales finishing 2nd, and Alamo City Mayor JR Garza coming in 3rd (only because Mayor Garza wrecked his first vehicle and had to finish in a backup car).
Winter Garden’s remote control race track, built by residents of Winter Ranch and Trophy Gardens, is a 1/10 scale model of Nascar’s Kansas Speedway, with 11-degree banking on the three corners. The track is 15 ft. wide and a total of 135 ft in length, with guardrails and a 70 ft straightaway. The race cars are 1/10 scale electric cars with transponders that tie into the track’s computer lap counter system. The track complex includes a sound system, a covered race car pit area, covered driver and spectator stands, a golf cart spectator terrace, and a concession stand with picnic tables for dining.
Thanks go to the many Winter Gardens Raceway volunteers who contributed to the day’s success, including but not limited to Track Supervisor Larry Chapin, Vice President Brad Huff, Track Announcer Fred Sauer, Infield Marshalls Shirley Kleve, Candy Kooy, Bob Babler, Randy Lemasters, Stu Sheel, and Tim Schmuck; and Weenie World concession volunteers Larry and Paula Dyer, Audrey Huff and Carol Ritchie.
In a coming attraction, Winter Gardens Raceway will host the RGV RC Car Spring Nationals on Wednesday, February 21, 2024. Registration is $5 per car and is open to all RGV parks; a park badge is required. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m.; races start at 11:00 a.m., with concessions at Weenie World beginning at 10:30.
Classes include 2WD and 4 WD Stock Traxxas Slash, 2WD and 4WD Open any chassis, and 2WD and 4WD
Buggy (Bandit or Rustler). Rain Date is Wednesday, February 28th. For more information contact Mike
Mulbrook (319-360-1169) or Brad Huff (319-270-9145).