When you first get into racing RC cars or trucks there are a lot of choices when it comes to running classes. The two main classed are stock and modified. Stock class means you are running your RC with the equipment it came with, or “stock class”. Stock class can also be really nice upgraded parts but still qualifies as “stock”. For example we have an Associated B4.1 buggy that had an electronic speed control that cost something like $300 but still races in the stock class. It really has mostly to do with the motor. Motors are measured in a variety of ways, either tuns, KV or some other methods. They can be brushed or brushless but the level of competition is a little different. Depending on what you want to compete on should help you determine which class you want to hit up.
The Modified Class
This class is going to have a lot of different setups. You will be competing against a wide variety of motors and vehicle setups. While you compete on the setup level you are also competing on a skill level. Budget comes into play with really both classes but at least locally here, in Wisconsin having a larger budget generally puts people into the modified class. If you want to run a variety of motors, and really be able to tune things the modified class is really right for you.
The Stock Class
If you want to compete more on driving skill you are going to want to pursue the stock class. When the different vehicles out there compete on the stock level the general motor specifications will put all the RC trucks and cars at the same overall speed. You can still change almost all the other settings, gear ratios, servos, remote settings, and much more. You really compete on driving skill and you ability to tune your vehicle. Being able to get the absolute maximum out of your stock parts, and being one of the top drivers on the platform is going to be what gets you the wins.
Summing It Up:
Sure you could argue that good driving is important in either class and sure we can’t deny that. The fact of the matter, at least in our opinion is that driving is more important in the stock class. You are not going to be able to just out drive your competition, there could be 2-3 trucks or cars that will be the exact same setup as you.
You are going to want to spend your free time tuning your RC the best you can and taking as much lap time as possible to get your lines down. You might not be clearing those triples like you want but neither will your competition. If you have the need for speed, and want to try a wide variety of motors then running in the modified class is really the way to go, of course thats only our opinion.