TEMPLE — Jeremy Schlegel has always raced — cars, dirt and motocross bicycles and more recently, remote controlled cars.
The miniature vehicles first caught Schlegel’s attention when he saw a friend racing.
“It was very interesting how realistic they were, how you have to tune them (like an actual car) and how fast they were,” said Schlegel, who volunteers as track manager at Temple R/C Speedway. “It just caught my attention because I’ve always been into motor sports. I’ve never been into basketball, football, baseball or things like that. I grew up racing.”
Although the sport is somewhat of an unknown, Schlegel said people from all across Central Texas regularly visit the Temple track for races.
Clay Grantham, of Kingsland, is an enthusiast who hopes to visit the tracks in Temple and Belton soon.
“It’s hard to convey this hobby through words. You have to actually see it to believe it and get it,” Grantham said. “You tell some macho-type person that you race r/c cars and they give you that (what the heck) look, but you give that same person the stick and tell ’em, ‘Let it rip,’ (and) their face lights up just like yours does. Then you tell them they are driving a $1,000 to $1,500 race car and they quickly give the control back and tell you, ‘You’re an idiot.’”
For Schlegel, who is married with children, he’s still able to enjoy his hobby of motor sports despite being on a tight budget.
“It can get pretty expensive, but it’s definitely cheaper than racing dirt bikes or real cars,” he said. “If you like road sports and you like racing ... but you can’t afford to buy a race car, this is very close.”
Schlegel also enjoys racing with his 7-year-old son, Collin.
“It’s a very family-oriented hobby,” he said. “Of course every dad wants his son to be in some sort of competitive sports or hobbies. (Collin) wants to do what Dad wants to do, so we race together.
He said racers have to tune their cars and make sure they pick the right tires for the different types of tracks they race on as well as making sure the shock suspension is just right.
“It’s very realistic in the aspect of racing,” he said. “You pretty much have to be your own crew chief. You have to work on your cars between rounds (of races).”