As a young boy racing slot cars and reading Road & Track, I always thought that someday if I could only get my name in that magazine, I would have arrived, I would have made it to the big time. As a kid you never think you'll get there. Then one day you wake up and you have three different types of cars, you win the Indy 500 three times, you win the 24 Hours of Daytona three times and you win some NASCAR races. It's a dream come true for somebody like me.
Driving racing cars in the late '80s, I thought that maybe I could be involved in the sport in another capacity and enjoy it just as much. At the time that was a difficult transition to make because racing really wasn't a bona fide business. You could hardly tell someone you did that for a living because if you did, they looked at you with a raised eyebrow—especially in Pittsburgh, which is where I'm from. While Pittsburgh is a great sports capital, I wouldn't call it the auto racing center of the United States. Racing was something that a lot of people locally didn't understand. Some still don't. What I was trying to explain to people 25 years ago was the whole business concept of professional racing, the sport I decided to get into.
Slot Car Raceway & Hobbies threw the green flag in 2010 in the Beauclerc/Mandarin area of Jacksonville, Florida. SCR&H is a hobby shop that specializes in slot car racing in 1/24 and 1/32 scales. Our raceway is the home of The Fastest Hillclimb in the South, The Florida Orange and a scale 1/8 mile drag strip.
The Hillclimb is a 153’ Ogilvie Euro Hillclimb design that has a rich history including hosting the inaugural AMSRA Nats when the track was in the Tampa Bay area.
The Florida Orange is a one-of-a-kind 106’ Ogilvie track that is mostly flat and offers the trigger finger a healthy workout. The Florida Orange has Magnatech braid which allows 1/32 cars like Scalextric and Slot.it to run just as well as 1/24 cars.
The Drag Strip has matched power supplies and a smooth and true racing surface that allows quick and consistent ET’s.
Slot Car Raceway & Hobbies proudly hosts events for Florida’s two 1/24 scale state racing series - My Series for USRA-style scale racing and GRRR for retro-style racing. Racers from around the state make the trip to Jacksonville to compete on championship-caliber tracks against championship-caliber competition.
Besides racing, Slot Car Raceway & Hobbies hosts birthday parties, youth groups, and employee and family outings. Of course, you can always come in and just rent a car and controller and spend a little time living your dream of being a race car driver.
Johnny Banks is the co-owner of SCR&H and is the man you will nearly always find behind the counter. Johnny began racing slot cars as a kid in the ’70’s and has won events ranging from flexi-based classes to Group 27 and is well known for building Legendary Power. Johnny took a break from slots as a teenager while he was a motocross rider for one of Honda’s factory-backed teams. It’s still fairly common to find Johnny watching the shop’s TV tuned to Speed whenever a motocross event is on the air.
Rollin Isbell is the co-owner of SCR&H and helps with the race program on race nights. Rollin and Johnny have known each other since racing as kids at Bill Bohn’s Model Car Speedway and still enjoy trading a little Lexan(r) on the track. Rollin has had a long career in advertising and marketing away from the raceway and often serves as the race director for larger events.
The real hero’s at SCR&H are the racers. A big part of why the racing is fun and the competition is so close is because the fastest guys in the room are nearly always the first to help others go fast.