World-renowned RC racing announcer makes pit stop in Michiana

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 9:15 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 9:16 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Imagine turning your childhood hobby into a career and traveling the world doing what you love.

A world-renowned RC racing announcer who was recently in Mishawaka has made that dream a reality.

For the past 18 years, Michiana RC Raceway has been hosting tournaments that attract some of the biggest names in the RC industry.

One of those big names is Scotty Ernst. He was in town last month for the 2023 King of the Road tournament. 16 News Now spoke with Ernst to see how he’s turned his passion for racing into a lifetime of memories.

This line of work is not your typical 9 to 5. And to Ernst, this isn’t really work at all.

“I’ve really been blessed and fortunate to be able to call this a job,” he said. “It’s really not work cause I love it, but I’m very fortunate.”

Ernst got into the RC scene back in the ‘80s when he left the military and needed a new hobby. This led to his family opening a hobby shop in 1993, where he started calling his very first races.

“We would run weekly races at the track, so I would commentate just the weekly club races on Saturday, Sunday night, whatever,” he said.

Ernst never looked back, only getting more notoriety in the racing industry that would allow him to travel the world all because of his love for RC racing.

“And it’s taken me to places around the globe,” he said. “I’ve been to I don’t know how many countries. I’ve been to China, and the Great Wall of China, and I’ve been everywhere in southeast Asia and everywhere in Europe.”

It is Ernst’s passion for these races that has made him a world-renowned announcer. Even his friends and members of the racing industry know that he is at the top of his class.

“He’s the gold standard really,” said Phil Vertrees, owner of Michiana RC Raceway. “I don’t know how to do it any better. A lot of us try to emulate it, but there’s just something about his passion for the sport. His passion for not only us older racers, but trying to grow the hobby and bring new people in.”

Ernst is the perfect ambassador of the racing industry, really showcasing how much fun the community has when racing.

“You know a hobby is great for kids and things like that. But for old kids too, we love it,” Ernst said. “And the friendships you make at the track and the fun you get, it’s just an all-around great hobby. You get the competitive juices flowing like a real race car. But then in the end, if something goes wrong, it’s really not that bad of a day, like real race cars. So, it’s just a great hobby so we hope more people can come check it out.

If you’re interested in getting started with RC racing or just want to get a feel for the environment, Michiana RC Raceway is hosting one of its biggest tournaments this Saturday, March 18, starting at 7:30 a.m. You can also find the rest of their racing schedule by clicking here.