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Making Tracks

The Red Frog Racing Club has been bounced out of its barn and is looking for a new place to play
by: Chase Allgood,

Just when members of the Red Frog Racing Club had their pad looking like they wanted it, they're facing a forced leap to a new location.

'We had a gold mine there,' said Phil Cameron of Forest Grove, one of nine club members who run radio-controlled vehicles on a dirt track inside Cory Lucas' green metal barn.

For the last two years, the men have gathered most Saturdays on Lucas' property at the corner of Highway 47 and Purdin Road to test their mini-machines against one another.

They run their one-tenth-scale trucks and one-eighth-scale buggies around a 100-by-60 foot track, trying to outdo each other.

'It's really a friendly competition,' said Cameron, one of the club's original members.

Saturday, Oct. 28 was Red Frog's final day in Lucas' barn, however.

'He's sold the property and the barn is going with it,' said Cameron. 'We're looking for a property to lease at this point.'

In 2004, Cameron said, Lucas 'built the barn specifically for our club.' Race enthusiasts operate their nitro-powered cars, which weigh between eight and ten pounds each, up to 45 miles per hour.

'It's fast action, and we have a lot of fun,' observed Cameron. 'They're not toy cars by any means - they're actually 10-pound missiles.'

Recently, club members decided the barn needed a facelift. They set to work remodeling the track, fixing pit areas and replacing signs and banners.

'The last two months it's been blood, sweat and tears,' Cameron said. 'When we got finished we promoted the improvements with all the local hobby shops.'

Then the bad news came: Lucas was selling, and the new owners weren't too keen on the barn.

'It's too bad, because the closest indoor track, besides ours, is over on McLoughlin Boulevard in southeast Portland,' said Cameron. 'There are outdoor tracks all over, but we have something special here.'

Red Frog isn't flopping over on its back, however. Members are looking for a place to land.

'We'll entertain offers,' said Cameron, who is retired and the self-described 'grandpa' of the group. For details, contact him at 971-219-1746 or visit www.redfrogracing.com.