Somewhere among their Mickey Mantle cards, tin soldiers and erector sets, baby boomers may find old slot cars and tracks -- you know, the mini autos that race around grooved ("slotted") tracks. As they resurrect these artifacts -- perhaps to sell, perhaps to bond with grandchildren -- they may wonder what happened to slot-car racing, the innocent pastime of pre-Woodstock youth. But as Ken Stevens and Russell Cox will tell you, unlike the '60s (or Mantle, for that matter), slot cars live on.Stevens and Cox are co-founders of Scale Auto Racing Inc., a venue promoting slot-car competition. "It's good for kids," says Stevens. "And it's a good father-son, father-daughter, mother-daughter sport." The cars and controllers start at less than $100, a reasonable price for revving up a new hobby. But remember, racing isn't as easy as it seems. "You can't just show up and expect to win," says Stevens. That's okay, though, because slot-car experts Stevens and Cox will gladly share their secrets. Now that's old-fashioned. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays; 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays; noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Race registration: 7:45 p.m. Fridays. 11612 Cypress-North Houston. For information, call 281-807-4026 or visit www.hsarc.net. $2.50 per race. -- Eric Norvell
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The Professional Golf Association selects the players for its season-ending event according to the amount of money they've won over the course of the year. We suppose that's as good a way as any to narrow the field. The 30 players with the fattest rolls are on their way to Houston for THE TOUR Championship. Masters winner Mike Weir (who's taken in $4,719,279 as of this writing) won the event in 2001, the last time it was played in town. Will the bling-bling blind his eyes this year, or will he repeat? Practice round begins at 9 a.m. Monday, November 3. Tournament goes through Sunday, November 9. Champions Golf Club, 13722 Champions Drive. For information and a complete schedule, call 877-773-9849 or visit www.tourchampionship.pgatour.com. $30 to $40. -- Lisa Simon