Open track? Fat track? Road track? What do you call it?

redlinederby Tuesday, 3/7/2023
Site manager

I've been working on some RLD updates and got to a point where I need to label different types of races and tracks. And frankly, there's only 2 to speak of at this point.

One is drag racing but that's easy because it's common and the classic form of racing in a straight line.

And then there' track racing? ...fat track racing? ...street racing? ...road course racing?

Racing on a track that has turns and ultimately no lanes to speak of...what do you call it?

I've seen it called all the above but I'm looking for the term/label that is somewhat universally understood as the non-drag racing style done by 3DBM, Chaos Canyon, and the majority of the channels out there. It sounds minor but I'd like to standardize some of the language and jargon.

This label will be used on the site when you need to filter between race tracks and race events themselves. What to list just the drag races? Great, click "drag races." Want to see just the non-drag racing? Cool, click......what?

Thanks to everyone that shares their thoughts and preferences.


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Numbskull 3/7/23

Open track racing.  Cheers.  The others are sub-titles.

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SpyDude 3/7/23

I usually just say road course. Doesn't matter if it's a two-lane, no-lane, has lots of twists and turns ..... if it's not straight, it's a road course. When I'm marking my calendar, I either use "drag" or "road" to differentiate between tracks so I know what kind of car to build. Usually my notes look like this:

3/1 - Monster Motorsports, Scrappers Showdown

Road, 60g

CAR SENT: 70 Chevelle


3/5 - Flying Donuts, Dirty 30's

Drag, 60g

***Casting must be car from 1930-1939

CARS SENT: 31 Doozie, 32 Ford

So, I have the event, the date of the event, who is holding the event, is it a road course or drag strip, what's the maximum weight limit, any special restrictions, and what car I'm sending. Bam. All done.

  • Very cool and good info on how you organize your data. I'm also working on a Race Manager that will handle a lot of the status and stuff, so seeing how you manage that is very helpful. — redlinederby
  • @RLD: Yeah, this is just how my notes look on my Notepad app here on my phone. Quick and easy to reference, see what I need to build, and when it has to be there. — SpyDude
  • I like your example of using Road Course for anything not straight. — G4DiecastRacing

My $0.02 is more about what to avoid calling it.  I think "street" and "fat track" are too narrow in focus for what you want, unless you plan to have more than 2 options.  I prefer the current suggestions,  "open track" or "road".  They work better IMHO.

If I had to pick one I'd say "open track" because my track is technically an off road course with a runway (which again, is not a road per say, but an asphalt surface).

  • Yours I would simply call “road” because it’s not a straight drag track …. although, there IS that runway ….. — SpyDude
  • road could sub divide to street, and off road, — dr_dodge
  • You are discussing sub-titles. GTR is open track. — Numbskull
  • jumps vs no jumps — dr_dodge
  • gtr is more off road — dr_dodge

I would say open track as well. Or 'Not Drag' ;) 

Then of course you will have some tracks that are lanes from start to finish but have corners, would that fall under drag racing or open track? Drag racing with corners?

  • I know. Meal Ticket Raceway is a difficult one to categorize, because it’s literally both. If I had to come up with a description, I think I would use ‘laned road course.’ — SpyDude

I’m glad you brought this question up to everyone! I’ve always used the term 'Open Track' for anything that is at least two cars wide and has at least one turn: Adventure Force Crash Racers (AFCR), Sizzlers Fat Track (Fat Track), 3D printed, homemade, etc. 

However, I’m not sure it can be as simple as two categories. 1) Drag Races = straight-line racing and 2) Open Track or Road Course Racing = races with curves. You may need a third “Other” category. Or maybe have subcategories?

What makes it tricky to categorize is that there are straight-line tracks that are not single-laned from start to finish, and tracks with curves that are single-laned from start to finish.

For instance, 905Diecast has the Elevation Trail “snow ski hill” which is a 4-car wide, homemade track with jumps and obstacles. Likewise, Tiny Track Cars has the Rainier Rally track which is a single lane to AFCR to Fat Track with two jumps. Although both examples are straight-line racing, I’m not sure most modified diecast racers would call them drag races in the historical meaning and classic form of diecast drag racing. Both are very cool and unique, but maybe fall under a third “Other” category?

For simplicity, maybe have three categories:

1) Classic Drag Racing (Gravity track, single laned start to finish)
2) Road Course (Anything not straight)
3) Other

Or, if you do two Main Categories with subcategories, then maybe it could be:

1) Drag Racing (Straight-Line)
       a) Classic (Gravity track, single laned start to finish)
       b) All Other straight lined racing
2) Road Course Racing (Anything not straight)
      a) Open Track (Includes track sections at least two cars wide)
      b) Single laned start to finish

Also, how would you categorize Junk Yard Joust? It’s not a race track at all, but it would need to be categorized so people could search for it on this site. 

Just my thoughts. :D

Thanks again Brian for all your work and for adding some updates to Redline Derby!

  • JYJ would definitely have to fit in the ‘Other’ category. Meal Ticket Raceway is a difficult one to categorize, too, as it’s a six-lane drag strip, but has corners. I think I would categorize it as ‘laned road course.’ — SpyDude
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Uncle_Elvis 3/8/23

Luck. Those are called luck. 

Now, if you were running one car at a time and comparing times, that is a rally race. If you have a 3D Botmaker knockoff, it is just luck 

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GspeedR 3/8/23

One minor caveat, it's technically possible to have a straight road course with multiple elevation changes and even a jump or two. Example: Diecast4Life builds those long, straight road courses with hills and laned to unlaned transitions, often without turns. I think we should probably clarify a "drag track" as being straight with a single decent. 

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redlinederby 3/8/23
Site manager

All good thoughts, keep 'em coming :)

In my mind and in an effort to keep things simple, I'm looking at races/tracks in two categories: Straight and non-straight.

Straight will be classified as "drag" and non-straight called something else. I'm looking to apply this label to tracks and races for consistency. After reading through y'alls thoughts, I'm leaning towards "road" as the label since I think that does a good job at indicating there will be turns in the track regardless of lanes and other features.

I know there are many, many flavors of both types tracks with materials, jumps, hills, loops, whatever...but for the sake of easy sorting I'm leaving those feature details to the track profiles and such. 

  • I vote for DRAG & ROAD — Garden_Super_Speedway_Park
  • Come to think about it more, ... I have 6 tracks. DINO RUN is 8 inches wide gravity fed with death pit, half pipe, hill top, another drop, and long straight run off with hill climb at the end with a bump. CANADA HWY 0. Santa's Sleighway is Hotwheels track that is 2 completely different lanes and 4 corners,. Cage match is 2 Hotwheels lanes to fat track to custom open lane, Phoenix Hills is custom open straight track with elevation change and a jump and hill climb at the end, ANACONDA MOUNTAIN 4x4 path is 2 lanes custom made with elevation changes to open track with finishing mud put area, Center valley drag is the only two lanes Hotwheels traditional drag strip with high jump for a stunt finish. So I change my vote. I believe an OTHER button would be great. — Garden_Super_Speedway_Park
  • So, of 6 tracks 4 are straight and 2 have corners. 3 of the 4 straight are hilly (shall we say) and one is traditional drag. Of the two corner coursing, 1 is like two different Super G ski hill courses mapped out in the same hill at the same time the other corner track is closer to a dangerous back road course with sudden drops causing jumping like a rally race. But I'm treating it like a wrestling match with cars. — Garden_Super_Speedway_Park

I'm going to expand on the categories and suggest a third - Rally. With the introduction of Shavano Mountain by Gravity Throttle Racing and the popularity he has amassed with his YouTube channel, I feel he has opened another niche to the diecast racing world. I'll bet that within a year or two we will see the trend begin to get additional tracks.

Therefore, I suggest we have Drag, Road, and Rally.

  • agreed 3 diff track styles, 3 diff car builds — dr_dodge
  • Agreed. Drag, Road, and Rally. — SpyDude
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redlinederby 3/9/23
Site manager what's the definition of a "rally" race or track? What makes makes it different than a road course? 

I'm open to whatever but the more categories there are, the more it needs to be clear enough so someone can determine if they are hosting a road race or a rally race. 

  • Jumps and bumps. — SpyDude
  • Tracks like Gravity Theottle Racing, because that one has off-road sections, jumps, etc. — SpyDude
  • So 3DBM's track is a "road track" but Chaos Canyon's is a "rally track"? — redlinederby
  • I think that may get a little tricky adding another category of "Rally". There are tracks that are not themed to be rally course that have a bump or a jump. If you do add "Rally" maybe then you can leave it up to the track creator as to which category they want to be under. — G4DiecastRacing
  • Chaos canyon new track is a clearly a road course. — Garden_Super_Speedway_Park
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Bolo_Brown 3/9/23

I would just call it open track or just road course

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