I spent a year in Brag back in 03. That's when I bought my RS4-2, ha! I didn't know of any tracks for on road near by, and I'm pretty sure we looked. There was one hobby store and it was terrible. I think the actually sold cigarettes in the shop too. I drove over an hour to purchase the RS4 too. As for tires, good luck. I have had the best luck with HPI X Pattern but even those only lasted about 5 tanks or less. I have one tec for drifting (now a shelf queen) and the other is for dirt (rally car). I just used the HPI vintage tires to break in. The tread started separating from the sidewall. The tread is still like new but the tire is falling apart. Never saw that before. The Tec eats tires like crazy. I tried foams too and huge chuncks just started pealing off. By the time I was done, one of the tires was completely burned off down to the rim. So.....sorry, can't really help you out with a tire recommendation. I bought a carbon fiber disc break from New Era hobbies. Honestly, I think the stock one works a lot better. It takes a lot to stop a 70mph RC.
As far as Short Course trucks. I have a 2WD slash VXL which is awesome (and cheap...as in inexpensive) and a Slayer Pro which is awesome! The Slayer, there aren't a whole lot (none as far as I know of) upgrades or hope ups. Not even RPM A Arms out for it. As for the Slash, 2 or 4WD, there are endless upgrades available. I have 4 Nitros and 1 electric. Love the Nitro so I am going to be bias. But I have a lot of fun with both. So it's going to come down to personal pref. Hope this helps!
If you can't beat it....destroy it!