An unassuming warehouse just north of Deer Valley Airport is home to one of North Phoenix's most underrated attractions.
It is here that contestants meet to do battle, where the difference between victory and defeat is measured in seconds, and where the only rule is: "No frowning."
Okay, I made that last one up. But you'd never know it wasn't really a rule, because everyone at Speed Sports USA sure smiles a lot. In fact, it's kind of contagious. There was a sense of excitement in the air as I stopped by to check it out one Saturday night.
Since it opened nearly two years ago, Speed Sports USA has become a Mecca for radio-control enthusiasts. A retail storefront stocks a huge variety of parts and accessories for the serious hobbyist, but the real action takes place once the sun goes down.
On Friday and Saturday nights, the big rolling warehouse doors come up and the breeze rolls in. Drivers of all ages make last minute preparations to their vehicles as they anticipate the next race. It is here under the lights that they duke it out with 1/10th and 1/12th scale RC cars on the massive carpeted oval track.
You won't be breathing any nitro fumes here, because these babies are 100% electric. They whiz by with tremendous speed, and accelerate so fast that if you blink, you'll miss it. Driving this fast takes incredible concentration. It is kind of hard to stay focused though, because there's plenty to keep you busy at Speed Sports.
Besides the retail store and oval track, there is also a sports bar with snacks and beer for the 21 and over crowd. A slot car track keeps the kids entertained, and a ping-pong table keeps the competitive spirit alive between races.
For a different type of RC action, a newly-installed rock climbing course challenges drivers to crawl their high-clearance vehicles to the top of the mound without tipping over. As if all this weren't enough, a Poker Night tournament is starting up later this month. Wow!
Whether you're into remote control vehicles or you just like having fun, stop by and check out Speed Sports USA. You'll be glad you did!