COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WFFT) -- Fifteen-year-old Weston Hanks has been slot car racing since he was 7 years old, a sport passed down from his father.
Weston, who drag races in the summer, says, "Me and my dad have been doing this for a long time. He's the one that got me into it."
He and his father, Jeremy Hanks, make an hour-long trip from Hamilton every week to Columbia City Raceway to compete on the indoor track, what Weston calls "going from big cars to little cars" and the duo's favorite winter pastime after drag racing every summer for the past five years.
After being closed since March because of COVID-19, Columbia City Raceway owner Aaron Hall says last's weeks reopening turned out better than he anticipated.
"We had an age range from 6 to 70 and all ages in between," said Hall. "We had 18 racers in here last week and 108 cars."
Jeremy Hanks recalls the memories he's made with his son traveling from state to state, Weston competing in a hot pink junior dragster.
"Just going to different tracks with friends that we've made over the years. We've gone to Indianapolis, Ohio, Kentucky, to Michigan," said Hanks.
He says he's both the outdoor and indoor sport of slot car racing is a pastime he, too, shared with his father.
With COVID-19 modifications, Hall has implemented social distancing, but says racers, even if a little older, have a safe place to relive their racing days.
Hall says, "Everybody enjoys it, because as kids, we always built models and put them up on the shelf and watched them collect dust. Now we can build those same models and watch them go 50 miles an hour."