This past weekend was the Wicked Weekend event held an hour north of Atlanta, Georgia. This year 534 entries were in attendance and a fast and racey layout was there for us to enjoy. The format was a standard 3 qualifiers and the main events. During this event though, there was a very special 20 minute presentation that I was blessed to be a part of. I will get to that story here shortly.
Practice was good and everything felt pretty fast. Because of the high speed sweepers and the rising grip levels as the track got drier, I decided to go up in diff fluids to make my cars easier to drive. I would choose to run AKA Super soft or super soft long wear tires when the track had more moisture, and as the grip came up as it got drier, I would switch to Soft long wear double downs or catapults.
We did one qualifier on Friday afternoon, and two more on Saturday. Things in qualifying couldn’t have gone much better. Running my Tekno NB48.4, EB48.4, and NT48.3 I was able to TQ each and every run going 9 for 9 and truly completing a perfect Saturday.
You see a special presentation was done between qualifier 2 and 3 on Saturday, and I was blessed to be the representative giver. So here’s the full story as to how it all transpired. About a month and a half ago I was contacted through EBay about my LutzRC Pro Build #1 that was done in January of ‘17 with all proceeds benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis foundation. The mans name is Brett, and along with his wife Mindy, they have a 9 year old son named Caden with the condition. They have had a couple Traxxas vehicles, but never a race vehicle, and they had just found a track semi close to themselves in Tennessee. Brett wanted to know if it was possible to get a race buggy and support the CF foundation at the same time. My goal from that time was to make the car free for them, but I didn’t tell them that.
As I went through the process of contacting my sponsors for support on this project Tekno and Tekin jumped on board right away. Tekno donated the EB48.4 buggy and Tekin donated the new Gen 3, 1900 Motor as well as RX8 Gen 3 speed control. Brett contacted my painter Diggity Paints, and he donated his paint work skills to paint them a Make A Wish body like the Tommy Johnson driven NHRA Funny Car as Caden is also a Make-A-Wish Child. The other equipment I purchased through my business LutzRC, a total which amounted to just under $500. The car was equipped also with a ProTek RC 6500 4S LiPo Battery, a Futaba 4PL radio with R304SB receiver.
Damon at Diggity Paints absolutely nailed this paint job!
Brett kept asking me throughout the process how much was it going to be. I kept putting off giving him an answer saying I was still trying to get ahold of some of my other sponsors. In the interim Brett asked if it would be possible for us to meet up to hand deliver the car to Caden. I thought perhaps our families could meet up at the Noah’s Ark exhibit in Kentucky as it was a 4 hour drive for us both. About 2 weeks ago I looked at my calendar and saw I was going to Wicked Weekend and mentioned to them to see if they would be interested in coming to check out a big race, and I could deliver it to them there. It was a 4.5 hour drive for them but they worked it into their schedule and said yes.
As we got a week away from the event he asked again how much it was going to total, and I said I’ll let you know Sunday. I was helping to put on my LutzRC Hometown Shootout that Saturday, and I asked if I could do a 50/50 drawing to support the cause of making the kit free. Well at my event we announced the 50/50 stating the second half of the 50 would go to the cause but never stating the goal we had in mind. Well the raffle climbed and at the last moment it was going to be about $238 to the winner and $238 to the cause. Well the winner who won (Paul Yoe) was applauded by all as they were so happy for him. He came up and claimed the money and took a couple steps to head back to his pit and then turned around and handed it back and said put it towards the boy. That put the total at $476 and moments later another gentleman handed me $20 to the cause. Just under $500! Exactly what was needed to make the car be free for Caden! That my friends is how God works in our lives right there!
So on Saturday night I was able to let Brett know this story and say the car will be provided free. And now is where God began to work on his end. On Sunday morning Brett contacted friends, relatives, and others he knew and told them the situation of what was going on and asking if they would support the cause and donate to the cystic Fibrosis foundation, so he could present me a check for the cause. He didn’t hear back from anyone on Sunday. He was disheartened but sometimes God doesn’t give us what we think we want right away. Come Monday people started to respond. Brett also took it upon himself to follow up with a few to make sure they had gotten the initial text. He was really hoping for $500 to donate. Well that number came and went and it neared $2,000 come Thursday when they needed to have the big presentation check made. (I knew none of this until after the presentation.)
So they arrived on Friday evening just in time to see the final Nitro buggy run of the night. Now mind you they had kept everything completely secret from Caden. He thought he was coming to Georgia to get peaches! As they pulled up to the track Caden remarked I know what this is! It’s and R/C race, then proceeded to ask his parents “do you think Ryan Lutz is here?” They said “I don’t know, let’s go check it out”. I had just finished my last run and was on the track marshaling the final race of the day and his dad pointed me out to Caden and said “do you see that tall guy in the purple shirt? What does it say on his back?” Caden couldn’t read it but his dad said “I think it says Ryan Lutz”. As I finished marshaling I walked to the trailer I was staying in and Caden said to his dad “I think he went in that trailer!” So his dad said “well let’s go look around for a moment and will see if we can meet him”. So about 5 minutes later I was standing outside and they came up and we talked for a bit. I had brought some Tekno shirts for the family and I gave them to them and at that point we let Caden know that it was their plan to come to meet me. (Still zero idea about what would transpire on Sauturday). So Matt and I went and had a nice dinner with them and learned a bit more about CF, and the challenges that come with it.
So now it was Saturday and as we approached the end of Q2 I set up the car and radio underneath the box I shipped it in. As the round concluded the organizers called everyone over, and a nice crowd of probably 200 or so fellow racers and family circled around to watch. I was given the mic 🎤 and while I’m not the best speaker I gave a quick background of what we were doing and called Caden up to the table to help me lift the box up. He was so nervous and didn’t want to come at first, but his mom coaxed him to come and I said what is under this box is for you. We lifted it up and he was speechless for quite a while. I had built up my LutzRC Pro Build #11 for him! He was so excited and so very thankful. Next Brett took the mic and presented me with the presentation check that I had no idea they were doing. $2,000 to be presented to the CF foundation!
We then told Caden that the car was ready to run and he could take it on the track and maybe drive it up and down the straight away or whatever he wanted. He was so nervous and didn’t want to at first but his mom told him that he would never have an opportunity like this again and that he should take it. So with some convincing, and lots of cheers from the crowd he agreed to try it. Then an amazing sight happened as at least 100 people went on to the track to help marshal if he needed it! It was amazing to behold our R/C families heart in that moment!
As we hit the track he immediately was smooth on the controls both steering and throttle. He was getting around this large track and you could see improvement lap after lap. When he started to make some of the doubles the crowd would cheer him on! When he crashed people were there instantly to help! It was so awesome. As we finished up and walked off the stand people came up and gave him tires and a tool set and offered other things as well. Oh what a sight to see people coming together for good!
Later after Q3 they were having a raffle and allowed Caden to run his buggy on the track again. Again 15 or more people came out to marshal. He really started to get a rhythm and clearing jumps and doing a really impressive job. After we finished up his dad told me another surprising fact. Caden is legally blind in one eye as well. So he doesn’t even have great depth perception and was still wheeling that buggy!
Oh what an amazing experience it was and I was so blessed to be the messenger in it all.
The Collins family came back on Sunday to watch the Nitro Truggy main before they had to leave to get home to pick up their dog. But as they were leaving Caden started to cry, really wanting to watch the pro buggy main. You see, in truggy I was leading but ran out of gas on the last stop 10 ft from the line and finished 3rd. But when I got done with the buggy main with a 1.5 lap victory and saw they had come back and seen it, a big smile came over me.
So that was the extra special part of the weekend. As I get back to explaining the racing results Truggy was going great. I was holding a steady 6 second lead over Ogden and my truck was feeling fantastic. I was however probably and hour or two to rich on top end and a good amount of smoke was coming out. Well as I was coming down the back straight on my in lap I felt it suddenly run out of fuel and I tried to coast it across the line but came up just short thus loosing a full lap + and settling for 3rd.
Nitro Truggy TQ+3rd
The 30 minute Nitro buggy main was next in which I wouldn’t let that happen again. I got out to an early lead and just extended from there. Many were struggling with the bumps as we had just ran truggy which goes over everything but the biggies get caught up in a little more. But I stayed clean and got a lap and a half lead and a solid tone to tone victory.
Nitro Buggy TQ+1st
Ebuggy A1 was next right when we were done marshaling. It was a challenge to switch between all 3 cars in such a short time period but my ebuggy was super fast and as I did in Nitro buggy I sped off into the sunset for a 20 second win.
After that we had a 4 or so hour wait until A2 of ebuggy. This one was much closer for the first 7 minutes as Adam Johnson whom I race with at home was on a mission and tracking me down. He unfortunately got caught in traffic in the end though and gave me another large victory margin and the overall.
So I’m summary this weekend was one small blemish from being absolutely perfect. But in reality it was perfect because we gave to a deserving family and even more important spread a little more of Christ’s love for all. It’s a dark world out there but darkness can’t overcome the light!
Next up I am going to South Korea 🇰🇷 to hang out with the Tekno Sugar Panda Kevin Lee and have some fun meeting and racing with new friends!
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