Sunday June 24, 2012
Dissapointed may actually serve to be an understatement. More like devastation was how I felt when my weekend came to a premature end. Here’s how my Sunday went down. Literally. In truggy I would go into the 25 minutes semi wanting to stretch my fuel mileage to be sure I would make the same number of pit stops as everyone else. I led out of the gate and led for a couple laps until I hooked it into a pipe and gave up the lead. I would eventually make a few more mistakes and fall back to 3rd for most of the run. While wanting to make sure I was going to make mileage I drove very conservative and wasn’t really in position to fight for positions. If I made a mistake I just had to get back in my smooth groove and let it play out. In the end I would finish 4th which gave me a 7th position starting place for tha A-main.
Starting mid pack with my Durango DNX408T was a daunting task. You have to watch those ahead of you and those behind you constantly for the first lap or two as the racing is super tight. I was able to get a decent start and capitalized on some wrecks by others. However a couple laps in I was on the inside and dragracing Dakota down the front over the double and we collided mid air and had a nasty wreck collecting a number of drivers. Miraculously I was able to get out of it the best and was in a solid 4th I think. Unfrortunatley in the coming laps I would make little bobble after little bobble. Clipping pipes and stuffing tubes and just doing a poor job. I fell back to 11th I think. Through the remainder of the 45 minute main I remained as clean and calm as I could even though I knew I had given away any shot at winning. I clawed my way back through the pack to finish 6th place.
In Buggy in the semi-final my DNX408 was dialed. I started clean and tracked Maifield and Tessman for the first 5 minutes or so. After that they would tangle and I inherited the lead and started to stretch a gap. I led for a good 10 + minutes I think but started to have some slight bobbles allowing Maifield to catch back up. On our 3rd pitstop we came into pit lane at near the same time. I was at the beginning of pit land and he at the end. My mechanic got me down quick and as I raced down pit lane Maifields mechanic dropped his car right in front of mine and I blasted him and I got thrown off the track. When someone put me back on the track something felt broke. The car wasn’t responding to imputs correctly. I got to the back straight and shot down to the end of it where Maifield ran up my rear and shot me off the track. The marshall got me back on the track but a lapped car tangled me for a second. Maifield waited for me to get back by him but something was off. In the next lap or so my throttle and steering imputs were latent and prolonged and it just wasn’t working. I think the shock of the hit in pit lane jarred my Rx bad enough to damage it. So I bowed out with about 4 minutes to go while in a top position to make the A-main. It was utter dissapointment for me. What’s so crazy is that it seems like every time I finally feel like I have the car and mentalitly to win a big race something like this happens to derail any shot.
Here’s a nice writing from Neo-buggy: “In the other semi which happened to be peppered with heavyweights, we lost Ryan Lutz after he looked mighty, his car the only one that looked like it could handle the challenges of the tricky LCRC track. However a pitlane incident which saw him hit the rear of Maifield’s buggy as it was released damaged his receiver and he was forced to retire. The final may have looked different with Lutz in it.”
I want to give a shout out to Tessman and Phend for a phenominal weekend and an instant classic Buggy main finish. The young guns are here to stay.
Saturday June 23, 2012
Today was a great day of racing and was just a few mistakes away from being an amazing day of racing. In truggy Q3 I put in a solid run even with the much slicker track that the morning run yielded. I was able to finish second but after Maifield was disqualified for being under weight I inherited TQ for the round. This made me the sole person who could dethrone Tebo from TQ in Truggy. The task seemed impossible. Because the 3rd round had been on a slower track than rd 1 and 2 I was going to need to beat my TQ run from rd 3 by 18 seconds! At the start of rd 4 though the track was in it’s prime. The lap times were back and my Durango truggy was dialed! Through the first 8 laps I was actually on exactly the pace I would have needed to take the overall TQ. The impossible suddenly seemed possible. However that next lap my car hit a rut/ piece of wood in the underground wagon wheel section and flipped faster than I could try to save it. That was all it took for me to fall off of what I needed. I ended the round 3rd. So with rounds of 4th, 3rd, TQ, 3rd I am qualified 2nd and starting first in the even semi-final.
In buggy my car was very solid as well. I decided today to try to run tires I thought I would be running in the mains on Sunday. So first round I went out on soft I-beams. They were decent but they caught ruts a little and I was only able to put in a cautious run to come in 6th for the round. In the final round I opted for the Medium impacts and they were dialed. I put in a decent start with a stellar middle to the race and with 2 laps to go was in 2nd and gaining. However on those last two laps I crashed and bobbled in the whoop section loosing my shot. I finished 3rd in my heat and 4th for the round.. So with a 21st, 2nd, 6th, 4th in buggy I am qualified 5th overall and starting 3rd in the odd ‘stacked’ semi tomorrow.
I am very confident in my program for tomorrow. I will honestly be dissapointed if I don’t win truggy and finish podium in buggy. That’s how good I feel about my cars and my chances for tomorrow! Time to make it happen!
Friday June 22nd, 2012
It didn’t feel like a good day until the last second of the days clock ticked off. Even with two solid runs in my DNX408T truggy coming in 4th and 3rd, i still didn’t quite feel satisfied as I was looking for more. Both runs I got stuck behind slower traffic at the beginning of the run and it threw off my pace. I know I can be there to contend for the victory in the class so while i’m happy to be solid into the Semi’s i’m looking forward to picking up the pace a little tomorrow to hopefully grab a TQ. What made the day feel good though was that second round of buggy. In rd 1 I had a mechanical oversight that was causing my car to not roll very free. I struggled on the track and made many mistakes. Ultimately coming in 21st or so for the round. In Rd 2 however I switched to AKA soft Cityblocks and they were money! The car came alive and it made everything about driving at this track easier. I ran a solid race and finished 2nd for the round behind Maifield. So even with the 21 and now a 2 that will also put me into the semi’s. So tomorrow is a day of testing to see what I will want to be running for the semi’s and A-mains. Looking forward to it!
Thursday June 21st, 2012
Litteraly chilling in the A/C right now and after a day of swealtering heat there isn’t much better! Today was day 1 of the ROAR nats and was practice day and qualification seeding day. My day was hectic and stressful from the start with things just not going right. I did what I could though to make the most of the laps that I did put in and was able to come away with some amazing ‘seeding’ results all things considered. I seeded 2nd in truggy for 3 consecutive laps behind Tebo but I did have the fastest single lap of the field by a couple tenths. In buggy it was just a crazy day. I won’t say everything that went down but in the end somehow I managed a 5th for the seeding. So I will be in the fast heats tomorrow for qualifications. Hopefully I can put in some clean laps on this challenging techincal track and pull out a nice A-main seeding! Here’s to that!
Also LiveRC supporting me yet again. This time Mr. Swanson talking about his 3 drivers he has a hunch on doing well this weekend:
“2. Ryan Lutz. I know, Ryan is always in the mix at whatever race he goes to, but usually there is something that keeps him from running out front at the end of the weekend. We all know that his style of driving lends itself well to the “three-best-consecutive-lap” style of seeding used at most races these days, but if he can ever get in a rhythm somewhere and is able to fire on all cylinders for 60 minutes, he will be tough to beat. I’d say he is due.”
I’d sure like to think I’m due as well!
Tuesday June 19th, 2012
Tomorrow morning I jump on that jet plane and travel across the country to rural Pennsylvania about 1 hour west-north-west of Harrisburg. Leading up to the event i’m feeling pretty confident. I just feel like i’m going to have a good week! Scrolling through some news sites I came across LiveRC blog by Mike Garrison and a smile came to my face with finding my name and car in the talks of who could bring this race home. Here is that snippet:
Fan favorite, Ryan Lutz, is always fast and fun to watch. Lutz and his all-out style combined with the new Durango DNX408T truggy is a combination that cannot be overlooked. Lutzinator has been busy off the track starting his own R/C company, however, something tells us that at the sound of the tone Lutz could likely be in a race of his own.”