Sonoma County is seeing a resurgence in R/C Drag racing at this moment in time.  But, not just any drag racing, it’s all about the No Prep movement this time!  Mimicking the TV show that’s so popular, there’s a Top 10 List, call outs, bragging rights and all.


No Prep R/C Drag Racing is all about simplicity and fun.  The drag surface is not prepared, other than blowing it off.  Scale quarter mile is roughly 132 feet.  Most of the time, the starts are done with a flashlight, or “Set, GO!” format.  Two drivers at a time, first one across the finish line wins (being on the

tires is optional).


For the R/C No Prep, there’s only a few very basic rules:

2wd Short Course Truck based (12-13” wheelbase).

Rubber Tires.

Body must cover the tires.

Must have all four Shocks.

2S Lipo (8.44v max).

No steering assist (no gyros).


Locally, most drag rigs are based on the Traxxas Slash 2wd.  It’s a super easy platform to convert.  A LCG upgrade chassis, Parma hot rod body, some kind of fast motor and esc, some rubber tires and BANG!, you’ve got a No Prep car!  Well, it’s not quite that easy, but you get the idea.  (If you stop by the hobby shop, there’s always a drag car on display to check out and see what’s involved.)  Builds can be mild to wild, budget to a little spendy, it’s up to the racer.


Having attended my first No Prep street meet the other day, I was surprised at the whole scene.  Everyone was super friendly and having a very good time.  Racing was serious, for about 3 seconds (the average time to get 132 feet) and then all smiles again.  The cars all seemed to have plenty of horsepower, so much so you could say they were overpowered.  Getting down the track in a straight line, even keeping it on four wheels, proved tough at times.


Tuning on the cars and finding the “right” set-up varies from driver to driver.  Right now, the set-ups are really different depending on the thought process of the driver.  Tuning with the slipper clutch makes a car go straight, but it’s not the fastest way down the track.  Being smooth on the throttle and “pedaling” it down the track takes some skill and finesse.  Chassis and shock tuning is a bit of a black art, taking trial and error when making changes.  The best part though, is that everyone was willing to lend a hand and always happy to show off and talk about their cars.


The Top 10 fastest guys make up the “List”.  Trying to get on the List is a challenge in itself.  But holding your position, or moving up the List, is where things get tricky.  Each Driver gets 3 call outs during the day.  Meaning, they can call out, or challenge, the driver one spot up to try and gain that position.  And, they can get called out by the spot below them.  You can only race the same driver 3 times in a day.  Taking the above into consideration, there’s some strategy that goes into moving up the Top 10 List.  Like I  mentioned, even getting on the List is a challenge.  On Race Day, there will be a bracket race to narrow things down to the top three, who can then challenge the #10 spot.


The local group has a face book page, search “Sonoma County NPRC” and you’ll find them.  (You can always find link and info on the Jake’s Performance Hobbies face book page as well.)  Post questions, check for race or tune in days, look at other people’s cars, etc …  It’s a great group who really enjoy their R/C Hobbies.


All are welcome to come check out any event.  Bring a car, even if you’re not shooting for a spot on the list, you can run for fun.  Or, just swing by and watch for a bit.  Take a good look around and enjoy the hobby of No Prep R/C Drag Racing.



Click here for the Sonoma County NPRC FabeBook page.



NPRC official rules info:


The Rules: Classes “Street Outlaw “and “Prostreet”


Street Outlaw: Short course based chassis (2wd), 2 cells (8.44v max), rubber tires, body must cover wheels (ie no buggies) Must have all four shocks. (No Steering assist)


Prostreet: Traxxas funny car chassis based chassis, 2 cells (8/44v max.) rubber tire  (Note: Sonoma County maybe running 3 cell in this class)


The Track: The track length is 132 feet (scale ¼ mile) We call this no prep meaning we only sweep the racing surface, no traction additive is applied to the surface, which makes power management and driving the keys to fast consistent runs. Drivers can sauce tires and do burn outs to get the rubber hot and sticky.


The Race: The two basic types of racing we do are called


“Cash Day” and “Top Ten List” we normally do each type at a day of racing.

Cash Day: This is a cash buy in (10-20 dollars per racer) winner take all. All drivers draw a number from a hat each round, The hat contains two of each number, after all the pairs race the winners will do another draw to pair up again, this will continue until there is one winner.


Top Ten List: This is a list of the top drivers at our track, to become number one you simply must challenge the driver above you on the list, beat him and you can move up and take his spot, loose and you have to wait till the next event to challenge. If the higher challenged driver losses their spot they are allowed one rerun option to get their spot back.



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Jake's Performance Hobbies
6650 Commerce Blvd. #21
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Telephone: (707) 586-3375