Contact The RCDRL
R/C Drag Racing
The Radio Controlled Drag Racing League (RCDRL) was founded in March of 2013 with the desire to provide the young, young at heart, and those with special needs the opportunity to enjoy and compete in the thrill of drag racing competition.
League founder, Michael (Mike) Mercadel, had a very special reason for starting the league: his son Joshua (Josh).
Josh has Asperger’s Syndrome and while it has been a challenge at times, he is a blessing to his family. Josh has never been able to play competitive sports due to issues related to his condition: social cues, peer interaction, coordination, etc. However, Mike wanted to find something that he could share with his son that would also give Josh the opportunity to participate in a competitive environment.
Prior to the start of RCDRL, the Mercadels, Mike and Kelly, were a seasoned drag racing family. Their older daughter, Rebekah, was a NHRA Junior Drag racer during her teenage years. Mike thought this could also be an outlet for Josh. Josh, however, wanted no part of it. Driving the cars was overload for his senses. Then in 2012, the start of a new adventure began to unfold.
During the Christmas season, Josh begged for a particular gift: a radio-controlled race car. Seeing how much Josh wanted this and the enthusiasm he seemed to have for it, Mike went for it and bought him the car, the newly released TRAXXAS Funny Car. He also bought one for himself so they could race together. After realizing how much fun he and Josh were having racing each other, Mike convinced a friend and his son to join in on the fun.
At that point, the wheels started turning in Mike’s head, and he thought how cool would it be to get a few families together and start a league. And, with that, the RCDRL was born! What started as a hobby for a father and his son is, as of today, a complete league that encompasses three states, Texas, Louisiana, and California, with about 350 registered participants and about 200 current paid memberships.
“We not only do this because it’s fun, but because we can offer a platform that allows everyone to compete on an equal level” says Mike.
We also take a special interest in helping those around us. The RCDRL makes contributions on a regular basis to charities such as:
• Autism Speaks
• Coleson’s F.R.O.G.
• National Children’s Cancer Society
• Plus many others
We believe in giving back and helping others. We have the benefit of having fun and loving what we do; and being able to help those in need is a large part of that.
Participants: 249 (TX:158, CA:60, LA:59)
Largest field of car entries: 225
Participants: 203 (TX:95, CA:48, LA:62)
Largest field of car entries: 106
*Stats are since the inception of DragTrac. Participation numbers by the state do not add up to total unique participants because some racers are counted in each state as they travel. Participants comprise the count of distinct racers at each venue.
★★★★★ based on 18 reviews
What the RCDRL has done to my family
“I have been asked to put into words what the RCDRL means to my family and myself. I can honestly say it has been a something that I have never imagined. Let me take you back to the first time I really heard about the RCDRL. It all started back a few months ago, when I was tired of tripping over Jaxon’s Christmas presents. I called my brother, Eric and told him we needed to get together because I had these presents for Jax. My oldest son Chris and I went over there on a Sunday. Eric showed us some cars that he had purchased and talked about this RCDRL thing. I thought he is really losing it, but whatever, it seems to make him happy and that makes me happy. I still think he is losing it, but in a different way. Little did I know my brother had a plan. He talked to me about this league and told me if I bought him a funny car, I would be the sponsor to it and he would paint it whatever color I wanted. Eric knows that I am a huge LSU fan, so thinking to myself and thinking he would say no, I said okay, but I want this car to be purple and gold with the LSU tiger on it. To my surprise, he agreed. So off we went to the computer to purchase what is now call the LSU car. I must say it is in my opinion the best-looking car out there! Later in the week, the car came in and Eric was all excited to get the paint and start painting it. The next weekend, I brought over my youngest son Justin and no one could have ever seen what was about to happen. Justin bought a car and my oldest Chris bought a car. This whole time I am thinking what in the heck is going on? How am I getting involved in this and my kids are now buying cars. My brother created a monster. The next thing I know we are talking about going to a race at the Texas Motor Speedway and I am racing the Teton. So here we are at the race, I am still thinking to myself, what in the world is going on. Justin, Chris, Heather, Eric and I are all racing these cars. The LSU car makes it’s first appearance. I love watching that car go down the track with the famous “GEAUX” on the back. Everyone went into qualifying round except for the Teton and me. I still need to figure out how to keep that thing straight! Justin who really had not played with his car much, to everyone's surprise, kept going rounds in the Quick 16 bracket. My brother the weeks before, kept saying he needs to come out and test and tune with us, he is going to get made because he won’t win. Well guess what? He went out his first time and WON the Quick 16 bracket! I have always said this about Justin, to never second guess him, he will surprise you! I guess that is from all his many years of playing soccer as a keeper, never count him out. Chris my other son also went into a few rounds. To say the least, that was one of the best times I had in my life. Eric calls me a few days after and tells me that he really wants us to become a racing family. The words that came out of my mouth "I agree". We had a formal meeting, and everyone was on board with it. The B & B Racing Team was formed. Maybe not this season, but next season the 5 of us will be a force out there on the track! As of today, I am not even sure how many cars we have, I know it's a lot, but I can tell you that this league has really changed my brother and our family. We talk daily, we meet up every weekend and have fun. Both of my boys changed jobs so they have weekends off and the jobs they now have are better jobs that can carry them along with a good solid career. As for my brother and I, our relationship has grown into the kind of relationship that my mom always wanted. One I have always wanted. We are closer than ever. The RCDRL is not just about going out and having fun on race weekends, it is about bringing families together, creating friendships and giving back. I haven’t been a part of this league long, but the friendships I have made so far are ones that I hope will last a life time and the bond it has created with my family is one that is unexplainable. This was the plan my brother had all along; he is a lot like my mom when it comes to family. I think he is still in shock how this has completely changed our lives. It has been an amazing journey so far, I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.”
Great Organization but...
“Be prepared for an all day affair. They put on a great race and show, but when they race you are there for the day. like 6-8 hours. Sometimes you want to just get in and get out. Just wasn't for me.”
- Vinay S.
“Michael, First let me begin by saying, wow. What a class act organization you have going. My family and I are really looking forward to becoming members and meeting some new folks. A little about us. I have been in and off in the R/C hobby for 20 years. I never raced or have been part of any clubs. So this is new for me. Heather my wife is as excited about our new venture as I am. Jaxon my son 5 years old will be 6 in May,is Autistic. This is the first time other than I-pad that has him excited. We took him to the test and tune a few weeks back and I seen a side of him that I have not seen. He was excited and could barely contain himself. Now all he talks about is racing RC cars. I have read on the page of RCDRL about you and your son, and wow!! What a great story. The Bowman Family”
- Eric Bowman