There are dozens spread all around the country and the world, but the granddaddy of them all is the USRA - United Slot Racers Association - a group which had its start way back in 1968. The Association was formed by racers, for racers and they write all their own rules. In three short years they were organized to the point that a National Championship has been contested each year since 1971. Similarly HOPRA was established to confer National Championship status upon the best in H.O. scale racing.
Those who have won the prestigious title of National Champion in their respective racing class have gone on to become legends within slot car racing but sadly not "household names" as many would have liked. Just to have the opportunity and to be fortunate enough to "make the Main" at the professional level in any of these events was akin to winning the lottery. Unfortunately, none of these winning drivers has ever entered, raced, or won simply for the money. No the pace of pay has never - nor will it ever - match the pace of play, and thats too bad because they deserve it.
Because the country is so big, and the racing interests so diversified, the USRA began to divide the country up into Regions, all running their own monthly series. There are now 14 USRA regions and more are likely in the future.
1996 saw the USRA grow into two divisions - with Division I remaining the high-end "winged" cars and a separate group of scale enthusiasts now belong to Division II. Each Region may now schedule races for both divisions and these typically run for nine or ten months, culminating with the National Championship which moves around the country to various locations - all being "bid" for by track owners and the winning host voted upon by the 14 regional directors.
This system of separating the two divisions - scale and winged cars to be contested at two different locations and scheduled several months apart was tried in 1997 and 1998 in an attempt to try to please more racers and give more people the opportunity to compete at the national level in their favorite class(es). Ultimately it was the racers who decided the separation was a mistake and they again wanted both divisions contested at the same location and same time of the year. So, in 1999 it will again be back under one roof as it was for the first 24 years.
There are other organizations who have made quite a name for themselves in the past decade - such as the Can-Am Scale Racing Association International of Canada; the North Atlantic Series in New Hampshire; the Nor-Cal IMCA in California; the SDRA - a Drag Racing series sponsored out of Plano, Texas, the ASA in Indiana; ASRA in Georgia; the Ohio Valley Challenge Cup; NOSCRA (Tri-State Oval Series) with chapters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; the Northern Ohio Super Series; Texas Slot Racing Association; NorCal Stock Car Association; Canadian Wing Car Championships; and the Florida Slot Racers Association.
There are also numerous "club" style racing championships such as those put on by Gateway Association in the St. Louis area as well as one in the Chicago area. So theres plenty of organized racing available all over the globe and there is also an annual "Worlds Championship" conducted somewhere on the planet. Slot racing is growing, but not fast enough! I'm always hearing of more and more places opening in England, Portugal, and other parts of Germany, Italy, and Europe.
We need to get the word out to the masses…we need to let the world know about the incredible excitement that awaits everyone. All they need to do is hear about it…read about it…see it…then DO IT! If we can just get them to pull that trigger one time…see that car whiz down the straightaway…then we’ll have done our job because more people will start racing…more raceways will open…and more fun will be had by everyone! This is not a job for one person…one company…or one association. It will take a concerted effort on the part of every person who now enjoys playing and racing with slot cars.
Keep it in the slot forever!!