It won’t be just the big, roaring engines tearing up the dirt track at Thunder Ridge Motorsports Park in Craig this summer.
The remote control car and truck enthusiasts will also have the opportunity to show off the fruits of their labor soon. The county has approved an RC car park and is being built at Loudy-Simpson Park now, with an expected opening around mid-July.
The idea for the park, which features a 12,000 square foot race track, around 4,000 square foot rock crawling area and an air strip for remote control planes, came from Dave O’Mailia and some associates after hearing community members express their interest in such a project at his shop, PackCenter Shipping and Empire Express Hobbies and Toys.
O’Mailia said it’s a project he’s now extremely excited about as it nears completion.
“We had a lot of people coming in and buying radio-controlled vehicles and asking where they could take them,” he said. “It’s going to be really cool. I think it will bring something to the community that has versatility.”
The RC track and airstrip have been in the works for about a year, as O’Mailia and his wife, Kaley, had to get permission from the Yampa Valley Regional Airport to have something else flying in the area, then from the Moffat County Commissioners to build it. Now they estimate the track is nearly 60 percent done and gaining a great deal of interest.
“It’s going to be open to the public during daylight hours and free,” O’Mailia said. “We’re hoping to have some dedicated dates for racing and we’ve gotten a lot of interest here and from people outside of Craig. We’ve spoken with folks from Rock Springs, Green River, Rifle and Rawlins about coming here and doing races.”
The track is being built on the western side of Loudy-Simpson, between the soccer fields and the gravel turnaround point. While the racing scene figures to be a popular option at the track, it will also be available and fun for all kinds of RC vehicles, from the intricately built and rebuilt versions, to the out-of-the-box birthday presents children commonly receive.
“It’s going to be for the big ‘kids’ (adults) and little kids,” said Kaley O’Mailia. “Everyone will be able to enjoy it.”
Nathan Newkirk has been helping with the project and can’t wait for it to finish so that he and his family can go out to enjoy it.
“My whole family wants to do this, whereas if I want to go to Rangely in my blazer, they leave me to go on my own,” Newkirk said. “That’s fun, but this gets the kids out of the house, is fun too and less expensive. My son is always ready to tinker with his car and then try it out.”
Dave O’Mailia said the racetrack should be finished in mid-July, and he hopes to have it ready for formal racing by the end of the month at the latest.
There is still plenty of work to be done, so anyone interesting in donating, sponsoring and volunteering for the track would be appreciated.
“I think it’s going to be a big upgrade to the community,” O’Mailia said. “This is a really fun and popular hobby. It’s not just toys.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org