This past weekend I headed to the far west of Missouri for the first time to Fastlane Raceway. This event would be a yearly event that Byron Fuels sponsors and promotes as sort of a customer appreciation event, with the chance for all drivers running Byron Fuels to earn some contingency. The format would be standard qual points qualification and 45 minute Nitro A-mains. Friday practice would be rained out so I had a good time with some friends going Go-Karting, and to Skyzone to practice some front flips. Come Saturday the track crew put in some hard work to get the track practice ready at 11am and allowed for 3 hours of practice before quals would start at 2. I opted not to practice as the track was still really soft and a bit muddy and thus chose to save my cars for the qualifications.
With 17 heats we were still able to get in all the quals before 10:15pm as Mike Garrison ran a tight program with some good announcing. In truggy I would pilot my Tekno NT48.3 to a TQ in all 3 qualifiers. The first two rounds being very close, as in under a second. But Q3 was solid and set me up well for the A-main. In Nitro buggy I would need to work on my set-up a little having come from the Pro-Line test track which was lower traction and bumpy to where Fastlane is as the name implies, fast and generally smooth. I would still manage a 2nd, 3rd, and 2nd for the three qualifiers to put me 2nd overall behind Tebo at his home track. I did a few set-up changes each run but I was going to need to do something a little more for the mains.
The truggy 45 min main was up first and my goal was to do 9 minute pit stops with my Alpha Plus Dragon 3 engine. I was getting around 10 throughout qualifying so I figured I would drive consistent and smooth and see where I ended up. At the start the ensuing field got into a bit of may-lay and this allowed me to quickly build a 10 second lead. I would work on extending that out into my first pitstop at 9:30. Everything was going to plan as the truck was running well and all systems were go. There are a lot of fast youngsters at this track and that attended and they were putting in some faster laps than I, but I kept my goal for the race and just put in lap after lap. I made it the entire 45 minutes without crashing on my own and came home with a 1 lap victory over super fast teammate Seth VanDalen. This kid has a strong future ahead of him! For the main I ran AKA Soft Long Wear Impacts in front and Gridirons in Rear.
Truggy TQ + Win
The buggy main was the last main of the day and the battle was on. From the tone I stayed right with Tebo as we stretched out a 10 second+ lead on the pack. I stayed between 1 – 3 seconds behind him for the first 6 minutes or so until I traction rolled. The marshal for that spot has to watch two corners and someone crashed in the other at the same time and I was left for dead. No one came to get me for what seemed about 8 seconds and I had throttled upside down to try to get a marshall attention and must have then sucked air and flamed me out. Thus I was now down to 3rd and about 10 seconds behind King and nearly a lap down to Tebo. I would start driving more precise as I was confident I could still make it up to 2nd. I did that about 25 minutes in and caught up to 2nd until I went down the back straight and seemingly ran out of gas. I could feel it going and I was like what is going on. Well when they got me back to the box they saw the clunk had turned in the tank and wasn’t reaching the fuel that was still in it. So here I was now down a lap to King in 2nd with about 15 minutes to go. I still felt like I had a shot and I turned on the afterburners. I started throwing down the fastest laps of the race and was putting in sub 31’s every lap for a few laps in a row. I whittled the gap to 2nd down to about 10 seconds and also got a lap back from Tebo as I caught and passed him in the process. So I knew my car and I had the speed it just wasn’t meant to be this time around. As I got within about 8 seconds with 2 laps to go I ran out of fuel again as I had been driving so hard that last stop. So alas it this race wasn’t meant to be won for me but I gave it my all and happy I could show the speed again in preparation for the Worlds.
Next up for me is attending my race I am helping put on, the LutzRC Hometown Challenge at my local track in Medina, Ohio. Then comes the one we have all been waiting for. The IFMAR Worlds in Vegas in a week and a half! I have a very busy week and a half ahead of me!
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