Tucked back off of Main Street in Mount Joy is a hobbyist's hidden gem. 

Pitstop Hobbies, which sells an array of remote controlled cars, trucks, airplanes and more -- along with all the equipment you'd need to maintain the vehicles -- has been operating in the borough for nearly four decades. 

It's been a community place where you can go to race your "mini truggy" or talk shop with Joe Kiely, who's owned the place for the past five years. 

On Friday and Saturday nights in the summer, some folks can be found milling around the track, tucked off behind the store. It's a dirt track full of tight corners and jumps, resembling a miniature BMX track. 

Saturday, Oct. 10, the shop held its biggest race of the year, racking in more than 100 entries in 14 different race classes. 

Saturday's race is also the shop's most popular because it raises money of the Children's Miracle Network Hershey. It was the seventh year for the fundraising race. 

Kiely wrote on Facebook that the race raised $5,300 dollars. 

"It's its own little community, Kiely said. "It's one of those things where a lot of times parents can just drop off [their kids]. It's safe and it's fun and everyone is usually willing to help." 


RC racers watch as their cars race around the track at Pitstop Hobbies in Mount Joy on Saturday, Oct. 10., during the shop's annual charity event. All the proceeds from the race -- which brought in more than 100 entries -- went to the Children's Miracle Network in Hershey.

Racers tossing their cars on the track Saturday afternoon ranged in age from young teenagers flying their cars around the track to older, more experienced racers, knowing how to finesse turns and used the jumps to their advantage. And when there was some downtime, the hobbyists were trading tips, complimenting others and helping make small fixes on their cars before the next race. 

When Brandon Thomas got back into the hobby about three months ago, he drove up from Philadelphia to check out Pitstop Hobbies. He ended up racing that day and taking second, falling back in love with the fun hobby his father and him did when he was younger.

"It felt pretty cool," Thomas said of his first time coming up to the Mount Joy track. "Everybody is pretty awesome here." 

The camaraderie could be seen everywhere behind the track, with dozens of tents combined to act as the workshop for cars between races. And anything one would need to repair their RC car could be found under one of those tents, whether it was a soldering gun or an air compressor. 

Thomas, a construction worker in Philadelphia, has made it a ritual to come to Lancaster County on the weekends to race. 

"It's fun," he said. "It's always fun."