CHARLOTTE- If you’ve ever felt the need for speed, then the Racing Visions MiniFASTCARs are the answer to your dreams.

These cars put the old remote controlled big wheels to shame.

The Phoenix, AZ-based firm is bringing its new technology and concept to NASCAR country with the belief that fans will tighten their seat belts for, what the company claims, is the ride of their lives.

“The feeling of moving at 100 miles an hour is a rush like nothing else,” says Jim McCabe, Racing Visions president. “Our fans experience that feeling without the cost or risk of driving full size stock car. Forget virtual reality, this is reality.”

That’s right, MiniFASTCARs are ¼ scale of a NASCAR stock car. The driver is seated comfortably in front of a 34″ high-definition TV while controlling the car remotely with a steering wheel, gas pedal and brake.

Don’t think RC racers, those are a thing of the past. Racing Visions cars on a gas and oil mixture, are 100% EPA compliant and equipped with a remote driver’s seat camera that gives the driver a real view of the track…and his driving skill. All of this is powered by wireless LAN technology, which means the driver is real time racing the car. A vibrating seat is also equipped with speakers so the driver hears the engine reactions while driving.

Why have sound effects when you can hear the real thing?

“This is the real deal,” says McCabe, whose enthusiasm for the sport is evident, “Our drivers actually hear the engine of the car they are driving. These aren’t sound effects.”

The Track Out of Phoenix
The idea for MiniFASTCARs came to McCabe as a vision after meeting with the owners of a cake company that specialized in NASCAR cakes. He was amazed at the scope and reach of their business plan.

“It blew my mind,” says McCabe. “With 75 million fans, I knew a business that could capture the imagination of the NASCAR world would be a worth my while. Plus, 8-year-old Girl Scouts to 85-year-old men can safely drive MiniFASTCARS.”

He found developers and robotics experts that fit his needs in Phoenix and worked to get the cars developed. They opened one site, which has been successful, but landing investment funding from a market that focuses on medical devices and real estate made selling a NASCAR entertainment concept tough.

“In Phoenix, NASCAR is just another motor sport,” says McCabe. “In North Carolina it’s a religion.”

And that’s why the headquarters are relocating. McCabe, who spoke to Local Tech Wire while in Charlotte, is drumming up deals all over town. He expects to have three letters of intent signed in the next 10 days from amusement parks and speedways in Concord, Cornelius and Downtown Charlotte.

“We knew this was such a unique concept that the business model has been built on building our systems in existing entertainment venues.”

Big Business; Big Dreams

With hope of four to five new sites in the next year and 50 in the next five years, McCabe and the Racing Visions team have the work cut out for them. But they’re ready. In fact, McCabe is planning for the future. He’s already created the National MiniFASTCAR Association which will allow fans and tech geeks alike to buy, play and race MiniFASTCARs in a regulated environment like NASCAR.

And he’s thinking beyond NASCAR.

“The applications of this technology are much farther reaching than just NASCAR racing,” says McCabe. “Our patents cover any wireless LAN remote vehicle.”

Who knows what the future really holds for McCabe. For now, it seems, Racing Visions is headed down the right track.

Visit: www.racingvisions.biz

Laura Childs is a freelance writer and director of client relations for Articulon, a boutique marketing and public relations firm based in Raleigh. She can be reached via email at laura@articulon.com.