The competitions were on Nickelodeon or what's now Spike maybe? I forget, but it was actually really professional. It wasn't a game show or anything, but it was a very competitive thing, kind of like RC Car racing... that's taken surprisingly serious, with sponsorship and stuff.
These kids cars were isnanely fast. They made the stuff you bought off the shelf look like a matchbox car by comparison, that's how incredibly modified they were... kids were pissing iwth gear ratios and tire types, motor types, different batteries... It was really intense.
And the tracks were massive... They'd have stages with their own cameras that would cut back and forth. Wrecks were pretty devastating to the cars too, due to the speeds they were going at. The Chassis would snap or whatnot.
Very weird, but it had a brief time where it was really popular.
Glad you figured out what they were though Rob.
I figure my track's still somewhere around here in an out-building, unless I sold it at a garage sale or something.