Monday Sept 5, 2011 (Labor Day)
This past weekend I attended the Labor Day Shootout which this year was held at Delta RC in Antioch, California.
I hadn’t been able to attend this race in years past as I usually am at the R/C X-Fest event in Minnesota which was unfortunately cancelled this year. However this event proved to be a fun one and Philip Atondo and the Delta RC crew did a great job putting on this event. I went to this race with my brother-in-law and my friend Carlos and we went in Carlos’s trailer and camped out for a few nights. It was a cool change for me as i’m used to rental cars and hotels so something a little different was very welcome! Let’s get to the racing!
4wd SC Mod – I had my Durango DESC410R rockin around this 1/8th scale track and as always my goal was to beat my 1/8th Buggy times. My SC truck was still equipped with a Tekin 4.5 system that I had ran at the Nationals and it was plenty of power to get around the track. I was able to get my lap times within a second of my 1/8th buggy! My overall time in my qualifiers would have put me top 5 in the expert buggy A-main! Come main time I started from the pole position and just took off. Extending my lead during the 7 minute race to take a little over a lap victory on the rest of the field.
Top Secret E-Buggy – Keeping the Durango DEX408 prototype hidden from the public proved to be a bit harder this weekend. People wanted to check it out but I was ordered to keep the body on it so that is what I did! I didn’t do any set-up changes from what I ran the week prior in St. Louis and the car still handled very well. I was able to eek out the overall TQ over Atondo and I knew we were set for a good battle in the main. Starting from the pole I did a conservative first section and Philip was all over me. Coming before the gap jump he got all up on top of me and both of us flipped into the adjacent lane. We went down it backwards and turned around and I had the better end of it so I waited for him and let a car or two go by. On the second lap on the tricky left hand section I think Philip cased it a bit and popped out a center driveshaft ending his race chance. It was a bummer because I was looking forward to a 10 minute battle. However I just put my head down and got back up to the lead and set out on a clean run. I ended up lapping the field and giving my prototype DEX408 it’s second victory in as many weeks! I have my work cut out for me next week though as I’m heading to the electric 1/8th nationals. It’s going to take everything i’ve got to continue that winning streak! . . I’m up for the challenge! 🙂
Nitro Buggy – I continued to run my shocks on the rear of the arms on my Durango DNX408 buggy this past weekend. I’m still not sure if I’m sold on it or not but it did handle fairly well all weekend especially in the A-main. In qualifiers though I only really got 1 good qualifier and that was my first one. I had one 4 second mistake it there but was able to put in a time just hundredths of a second faster that Atondo’s 3rd round. So I was able to just barely squeeze out the TQ. In the main I got out to a good start and the pack behind me was making mistakes. I got like a 5 second lead by the 3rd lap but then over the gap jump I got in the loose stuff approaching it and cased the landing really hard and ended up side down. The marshall waited for a few cars to pass and by the time he got to my car it had died. This put me over 2 laps down so I started running like a banshee! My car was phenomenal in the main and I was super happy with it. Unfortunately though my engine had seen better days (especially after what I did to it the night before, more on that shortly). I ended up flaming out over the same jump 3 more times thus totally ending my chances at competing. (Although even after 3 flame outs I had worked my way up to 5th.) However that last one killed all chances and I think I settled for 8th.
The night prior we had done a dash for cash race. They put 14 of us on the track for a 4 minute run and staggered us around the track as per slowest qualifying time to fastest. It was a mix of buggies and truggies from both sportsman and expert. I started 13 which was nearly 9/10ths of a lap behind where the number 1 car was starting. It was a crazy fun race as rough driving was encouraged and with $100 on the line people weren’t giving up their spots easy! I was able to work my way through the field getting taken out a couple times along the way but dishing out some retaliation when necessary as well! In the end I passed Kendal Bennett from A-main on the last lap to take the victory! (Thus I treated my friends to a Chili’s dinner!) After the run was over I attempted a backflip off the huge kicker jump in the center of the track. As I went for it I quickly realized once getting into the air that there wasn’t enough lip on the jump and my rotation was slow. However I just held throttle and the car landed full throttle straight on the engine head! I totally bent the head which I will show later and the car shut off instantly. I still decided to run that engine in the A-main which I think proved to be a bad decision because i’m sure I did some internal damage to it. Either way though it was great fun!
So next up will be my 5th week in a row of at least a 3 day event. I’m heading out to Omaha, Nebraska (new location for me!) for the 1/8th scale electric nationals. I’ve heard amazing things about the track a facility so i’m really looking forward to checking it out!