Be careful if you pull up next to David “Caveman” Starbird’s truck.

“I’m upside down more than I’m right-side up,” warns the veteran radio-controlled-vehicle racer from Farmington. 

Caveman is one of the “diehards” who race every Friday night at Breakneck RC Speedway in Livermore Falls. 

The Depot Street hobby shop is 90 percent race track and 10 percent shop. The retail space is mostly to feed the hungry appetites of RC car and truck enthusiasts. Inventory is mostly replacement parts.

“You’re always tinkering with them,” said Caveman’s 19-year-old son, Alex “Tool Man” Starbird. 

The good thing is “everything is fixable,” said Tool Man about the high-end cars that zip around the oval track. Once less expensive RC cars from “box stores” break, that’s it, said Caveman. Cars starting around $250 are fixable.

Ron Bryant opens the doors to Breakneck at 5 p.m. every Friday for the 7 p.m. race time. “They would be here at 3 if I let them,” said Bryant, of Livermore. “These are my diehards.”

Bryant opened the track in 2007. “We had five or six racers a week when we first started,” he said. “Within two years, we had 60 cars showing up.”

“I race at OPS all summer and I do this all winter,” said Bill Childs, of Leeds. Childs is a household name at Oxford Plains Speedway; his brother, father, grandfather, cousins and uncles have all raced the 3/8-mile oval.

It’s just Childs and his 7-year-old son, Brady, at Breakneck on this night. “He’s capable, but his attention span is not there yet,” said Child’s when asked if Brady ever beats Dad.

“This is my smoking habit,” said Childs. “The money I save from not smoking, I spend on this. “I get more nervous racing RC cars than I do at OPS,” he added. “My hands start shaking on the driver’s stand.”

Winning cars are determined by the number of laps completed within a set time. Cars race for 4 minutes and trucks for 5. “Be clean, be smooth and stay on your wheels,” is the key, said Childs.

“It’s just like real racing,” said Ray Libby, of Livermore Falls. 

Girls come to race and talk shop too. Rookies could do themselves a favor and talk to 16-year-old Shelby Bryant. The junior at Spruce Mountain High School has been racing since she was 6 and has traveled to races all around New England. “There is nobody in here that is not willing to help you out,” said Libby.

When Danielle Towers of Farmington can find a babysitter, she tags along with her boyfriend, Jason Butterfield. “They kind of act like a household full of brothers,” Towers said about Butterfield and his racing buddies. 

“I’m having a good time. That’s the main thing,” said Caveman. 

Unlike OPS, where the money is on the table, racing at Breakneck is all for fun. “At the end of the day there is nothing on the line,” said Childs. “We are in it for bragging rights.”


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