Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mains have come to a close and this rendition of the 2011 ROAR Nationals is in the books. Here is how my day went down:

In 4wd Mod Buggy I was qualified 3rd in the B-main. Good fortune was not on my side however as I had a wheel nut strip off and thus lost my wheel placing me last in the B-main. It was a bummer for me but 3 other Durango drivers did make the A-main and did very well. Were getting better as a team and I know Travis found a great set-up for his DEX410. Looking forward to trying it next time i’m on a high bite track!

In 4wd Mod SC I was fortunate enough to start on the Pole for the 3 A-mains. In A-1 I worked at holding off Dakota (the phenom) Phend but he was on a mission. He got by me and I followed close for a few laps. On the top right of the track in the early morning there was a shadow over a part of the track and it really blended in with the pipes. I was struggling to see the corner and on one of the laps I hit Dakota a tipped him over. I waited while the marshal got to him and got him going until I proceeded but this all allowed Travis Amezcua to get by us. I eventually got by Dakota as he fell to 4th and I took 2nd behind teammate Travis.

In A-2 again my little mistakes allowed Dakota to get by me. I made a few more and fell all the way back to 5th. I stayed in it though and worked my way back to 2nd but Dakota was gone and took a 5 second win. For A-3 I knew I had to win and Dakota to not get 2nd. I ran as good as I could but just struggled with consistency. Dakota worked his way past me and just never made a mistake. I stayed as close as I could but I have to give credit to the kid. He’s fast and he has the nickname the “phenom” for a reason! I was able to close a little on the last few laps even throwing down a 20.7 on the second to last lap but it wasn’t enough and I finished 2nd again. Overall this also put me 2nd behind Dakota. It was a well deserved victory by Dakota and I give him all the credit in the world. He is a great kid with a great family and he will be at the top for a long time.

ROAR Nationals 4wd Mod SC Podium

As for my car, I was happy to get my DESC410R running pretty good on a high bite track. This is the surface type I had struggled with and this is the best my truck has felt. I look forward to doing some more fine tuning and getting it even better in the future. As for now my TQ and 2nd place continues my streak of those results at ROAR races to 3 times now. Someday I’ll get that National Championship! πŸ˜‰

Up next I’m off to the Tiltyard in Virginia for a pro series event. I’ve always wanted to go to this track so i’m looking forward to it greatly! Plus back to some Nitro! πŸ˜€

-Lutzinator

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Qualifications have come to an end and it’s a mixed bag of results for me. On the one hand I’m disappointed in my performance in 4wd Mod Buggy. I had a 5 in the first round and was never able to back it up with anything helpful. I ended up 1 point out of 10th place and i’m going to be starting 3rd in the B-main. I feel I just let my set-up get out of reach from me. I struggled running smooth and just wasn’t able to put together the clean run that I needed to make it into the A-main. The cool thing is that the rest of the Durango Team (Travis, Billy, and Carson) all made the A-main. Travis even TQ’d the final round and his car looked amazing. I’m going to have to give his set-up a try. (Should have done it much sooner!)

In Short Course I needed to get another TQ run. In my first run I was running strong and had the lead with about 4 laps to go. I made a few mistakes and Truhe ran clean and he was able to take the TQ and I fell to 3rd for the round. This was enough to put me in the Top 3 but I really really wanted TQ. In the 4th round I started clean and a couple laps in I took the lead. Truhe, Phend, and I, were all the top 3 and we all had 1 TQ under our belts. We stayed tight on the clock and made it an exciting round. I held onto the lead and just worked on staying clean. Eventually Truhe would take a tumble and I caught up to him on the track. Phend was putting in fast laps and worked my lead down to 1 second with a minute to go. I remained calm and drove my lines and even with Phend punching it across the line and getting the first sub 21 second lap in the class outside of mine I was able to finish out the run and take the TQ by 1 second and win the overall TQ!

So it was an up and down day but i’m looking forward to running my DESC410R in the triple A-mains tomorrow and hope to bring home my first National Championship!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day number one of qualifying has come to a close here at the 2011 Electric offroad 1/10th scale Nationals at Nor-Cal Hobbies. For this event I am running my Short Course Durango DESC410R and my 4wd buggy the Durango DEX410. Today we completed 2 of 4 qualifiers and here is how it’s gone down for me.

4wd Mod – My car feels very solid and I just need to put in clean runs to do well. In the first qualifier I was running in the top two for most of the run. Then I made a couple of mistakes and fell back to 5th overall for the round. This really wasn’t to bad considering the crashes so I’m looking forward to putting in another solid run tomorrow to get myself into the A. To elaborate on that in the second run I had a good start but on the 3rd lap I popped the tie rod end off over the big quad. Someone put it back on for me but I lost over a lap. I ended up trying some new more aggressive lines and on the last lap was able to be the first person to crack 20 seconds on this track with a low 19.9! So i need a good couple of clean runs tomorrow. I think I have a good shot if I can stay clean!

4wd Mod SC – First I’d like to acknowledge my body fiasco of this weekend. The body I have pictured below I know isn’t great but for me it was pretty good and I was happy with it. I went out for my first run on practice day and I come off the track and half the paint falls off. I was so bummed and I don’t know exactly what happened. Anyways the HRP guys are here and they had their show truck so they let me run that body. Well It felt much thicker and when I was cutting it out it actually cracked on one of the circles I was cutting out. I thought to myself this body is probably going to crack on me. Anyways I went out to test the body to make sure it was good and there was an upside down 2wd and I bumped him and the whole front fender fell off my car!! :-0 So yea, i’m not even sure if that body was lexan. So for the first qualifier I ran my half the paint falling off body and after the run was over ROAR decided they didn’t like it and told me to re-paint it or find a new body. So now I am running Randy Pikes practice Green Machine body! Fun Stuff!!

Back to racing, my first run was much like my buggies second run. I got my DESC410R running awesome on this high bite track which I’m very excited about because this is the type of surface I had been struggling with. So to feel confident in my truck is awesome. Anyways I nosed in after the front quad and popped off a camber link again. Again someone put it on for me but I lost over a lap. I still went out and put in the only sub 21 second lap times in the class with three 20.8’s. In the second run my car still was dialed. I was running AKA Soft Rebars the entire time and it just feels awesome. I led this one from lap number one and never relinquished. I went on to TQ the round by 5 seconds. I’m very excited for Saturday and hopefully I can get overall TQ which will be my 3rd ever ROAR Nats TQ. (Just need to take the win with it one of these times too!! (Both the other times I finished 2nd after TQ. (19t 2wd Buggy in ’07, ’07 Truck Nats)))

Almost Ready for Nationals!

Serious About Racing!!

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Saturday July 23, 2011

Sandwiched in between relentless rain showers and lightning shows we were able to get in 3 qualifiers and some shortened mains at the Ohio R/C Pro Series race at Medina R/C Raceway. This is my old home track. It’s where it all started for me having lived only 5 minutes from the track as a youngster. I had been racing here sense I was 7 years old when I started with a Losi Jr. T. I try to make it back every summer for one of their larger races to see some old friends and family and have a good time.

This weekend I decided to stick to my Durango cars and ran my DNX408 buggy and DESC410R Short Course truck.

In Buggy I was able to take the TQ in the first qualifier and I was able to better it by 1 second in the third qualifier. I was running Soft AKA Gridirons and my Alpha A852. For this track I went back to the 2mm mod (I had been running just 1mm at the last two tracks I was at due to how slick they were and I wanted more rear chassis roll.) Other than that I kept most everything the same and just drove it. For the A-main it started to rain and the track got slick. We were due to run a 30 minute main which was shortened to 15 minutes before we went up and then down to 7min right when we started due to the radar showing massive amounts of rain coming at us. Starting on the pole I got out and had a clean start. Shane Racer was in tow and not giving me any room. We broke away from the pack and it was a two horse race. I was eventually able to build about a 5 second lead but made a couple crashes on the left side quad and this put Shane right on my bumper for the final two laps. It made it interesting and fun and the spectators were into it. They wanted to see if Shane could pull the upset. He was pushing hard and I was just ahead of him just trying to keep my cool and stay off the pipes. I was able to keep it clean and stay just out in front of him as me made a mistake on the last lap and I took the win. It was like an electric race only being 7 minutes long but Shane kept it interesting the whole time and Kudos to him on a great run. I was happy with my Durango DNX408 and happy to take home another victory.

In 4wd Pro Mod Short Course all eyes were on my DESC410R. This thing is just stupid fast and has so much get up and go. For one the truck is simply the fastest truck in this class and everyone is beginning to realize this. Also I was again running my Tekin RX8 Speedo with the new 4 pole motor and it just flat out flies. People were amazed at the speed this thing has especially being a 540 can. I was able to throw down a 28.6 with my SC truck and my best lap in buggy was a 27.4! I was able to dominate qualifying to the tune of an 18 second TQ. In the main the guys behind me battled it out and I took off to a 1.5 lap win in 7 minutes. I let a handfull of people try my truck during the weekend and they were all amazed at it’s performance. They also couldn’t believe how smooth and fast the new 4 pole Tekin motor is. All of them before the race were running various makes and models of other SC trucks. After this race they are all getting a Durango with the new Tekin 4 pole when it becomes available shortly. I know they will be pleased!

All in all it was a fun event. It was nice to get it in between the rains. It was also a pleasure to see a lot of faces I hadn’t seen in a year. I will look forward to coming back again next year as well and hopefully at that time everyone will be driving a durango! πŸ™‚ Now I have 2 weeks ‘off’ before the 1/10th electric Nationals. I will be doing some testing with Randy Pike and make sure I have everything ready for a good showing. Looking to put another pass on the newly crowned WC! πŸ˜‰ Until next time….

-Lutzinator

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Sunday July 17th, 11:00PM CST
The Mains have come and gone. It was a long hot day and I know i’m ready for some shuteye. As I mentioned before we were to do 2, 20min mains for each class. The race order put us in a format of Buggy, marshall, break, truggy, marshall, break, truggy, marshall, break, buggy. So the end of the day was pretty frantic trying to make sure everything stayed together and ran well as this track was tough on vehicles. Also there were tons of flameouts throughout the day. Here’s how my mains went down.

Rent-A-Ride Class (Truggy) – In the first main I started on the pole and just wanted to stay at the front. For the first 10 laps or so Jason Branham stayed close in tow and we built a big lead over 3rd. Eventually Jason would make a mistake and later got caught in some lapped traffic which allowed me to cruise out front and build an over 1 lap lead. In the end I took a one lap victory. For the second main all I wanted to do was finish either first or second within a lap of Branham. I felt like my odds were good as the truck and everything felt great. Right on the grid however before they said down and quiet as I was cleaning out my engine my upper rod blew up in my mechanics hand. This was a first for me but I guess it’s just one of those things. The engine had ran great all weekend and showed no signs of anything wrong. Just a freak accident. So in the end I finished in the middle of the pack with a win and a last. A little disappointing with knowing how good everything was working but for borrowing a truck and going out there it was just nice to get to run!

Now for that all important class that really matters! πŸ™‚ The first main the first 6 on the grid were sorted by finishing order from the dash for cash. (I finished 3rd in the dash for cash. It was 7 laps inverted grid. There was lots of crashing and bumping and I came back from last twice so 3rd was fine with me.) Anyways I was 3rd on the grid and at the start I got caught in a bit of traffic a half lap in. Don’t remember exactly what happened but I was near the back and quickly on lap two made my way back to 3rd. Then I was able to take over second and I found myself about 7 seconds behind Wheeler who got out clean (starting from the pole). Anyways I paced him for a while and made up a little ground and then he flamed out. I thus inherited the lead and he got back out on the track. I stayed clean the rest of the run and came away with I believe an 11 second win.
Next was the second main. I was hoping for some better luck and not what happened in truggy. I chose to run AKA Soft Impacts which is what I had ran throughout all of qualifying. They felt dialed and my Durango DNX408 felt dialed as well. My Alpha Plus A852 was singing and I was ready for a good main. At the tone I got a good start and I wanted revenge from what happened in truggy. I began to build a lead and I was determined to make it stick. I ended up getting out front by over 10 seconds and I began to make a few mistakes due to the swarm of bugs on the driver-stand. They were landing on my neck and in my ear and it was a distraction to say the least. However I believe everyone else was dealing with the same thing as everyone was making mistakes. I got back focused again and just knew I had to finish within 11 seconds of Wheeler. I was able to stay out front though and finished with the Win. Thus I took to overall victory!

Pro Buggy TQ & First Place @ OS/Futaba Nitro Challenge

I can’t say enough about the equipment I am running. I may have had a snafu today with my engine in truggy but it’s an anomaly and I’m just so happy with my complete support team that I have behind me. These are companies that I choose to run for and i’m just grateful they allow me to support them!

Next up i’m going ‘home’ to Ohio for a State Pro Series race at my old Hometown track in Medina. Look forward to seeing the family and having some fun!

-Lutzinator

Sunday July 17th, 1:30AM CST
Qualifications have come to an end and as you can see by the time it’s late! We didn’t finish until after 11pm and i’ve been up ever since gluing tires and charging batteries to be prepared for Finals day. Here’s how today ended up for me:

In Rent-a-Ride truggy class I found my groove. I locked down the servo saver a pulled a bit more trigger! I was very impressed to be honest with the X-Ray truggy. On this track it felt excellent and outside of wanting more steering I was very pleased with how it was handling. I ran a conservative round 2 and was able to take TQ for the round. In Round 3 I laid it down. My Soft AKA Gridirons were fast and consistent and every lap until the last lap was a 26 or 27. It felt awesome. My last lap I crashed pushing a bit too hard but was still able to TQ the round by 8 seconds. I’m ready for the mains!!

In Pro Buggy my DNX408 was feeling great. I basically decided on AKA soft Impacts for the whole weekend. In round number two I decided to try to stand further down on the right of the drivers-stand. This was a bad idea. I did it to try to help my visibility on the top right corner but it just threw me off on the entire track. I had a good start and was on a TQ run but eventually started making tons of mistakes not being comfortable. The car was fast but the driver was acting slow. I ended up I think 4th for the round. In round 3 it was all down between Taylor James and myself for overall TQ. We both made some mistakes early but he ended up making a few bigger ones. It was so hard to see with it being so late and there being no wind the dust was just hanging over the track. I was able to get ahead of him on the track (I started behind him) and I set my sights on Matt Gosh who was in the lead. With about 2 minutes to go I put my head down and started putting in consistent fast laps and with some bobbles by Matt I took the lead and didn’t look back. I was able to take the overall TQ.

So it turned out to be a great day. Double TQ!! Looking forward to later today and the mains. They are doing two 20 min A-mains and in the morning they are also going to do a dash-for-cash. Should all be fun and I look forward to putting my Durango on top of the Podium again! πŸ˜€

-Lutzinator

Saturday July 16th, 1:00pm CST
Round number 1 out here at the OS/Futaba Nitro Challenge is in the books. I managed to get a rent a ride truggy this week from Chris Conwell. I am driving his X-Ray and it feels pretty good. I had to do some shock set-up and a few other things to it to get it to my liking but the truck seems solid. In my first round I was on a TQ pace the entire run until the last lap where I tubed it after the monster front triple. I had a 3 second cushion and ended up loosing out on the TQ to Josh Wheeler by .9 seconds. Overall I will take it as it was my 3rd tank on the truck and it was my mistake that cost me the run.

In Buggy my DNX408 was flying again. My buggy feels great and I’m glad to be back smelling Nitro fumes and listening to an engine run! πŸ˜€ I was on TQ pace from start to finish in buggy and this time I didn’t dork it over the triple and I was able to take the 1st round TQ. I am running my Alabama Set-up and I don’t think I have changed a thing. Loving this buggy! πŸ˜€ , 2 more qualifiers today in which they will take best 2 of 3 qual-point format. Tomorrow for the mains they are doing double 20min A-mains. I think they break tie-breakers by combined laps and times. Should make for some excitement!

-Lutzinator

It’s Midnight here. Basically Friday morning and i’m sitting in the Sacramento airport awaiting my 12:53AM departure for St. Louis with a quick stop in Minneapolis. I’m looking forward to this event as last year I was able to double TQ and Win both Buggy and Truggy. This year I am not bringing along a truggy so it will be just buggy. However there is a small chance I will drive a rent-a-ride truggy. I will find that out later today.
Check back throughout the weekend for updates on how my Durango DNX408 buggy is doing. I’m glad to be back nitro racing! πŸ˜€

-Lutzinator

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Sunday July 10th, 2011

Just finished up with my mains here at the Hot Rod Hobbies shootout. Today I got to run 7 times. I had triple A-mains for Short Course and 4wd Mod and I was in the B-main for 2wd Mod. Here is how it all went down:

Short Course: As I have mentioned throughout qualifying I have been struggling on this track. In A1 it was no exception to this rule. I got stuck in a bit of traffic and thrown to the back and it was just a battle the rest of the way. In the end I came out 5th in A1. In A2 I had some better luck. While the rest of the field was taking hacks at each other I got out front and just cruised the rest of the way. I drove calm and just did double double double on the front section. I came away from the TQ of the round. This gave me some hope of actually coming away with a podium or even win. In A3 I just wanted to run a clean run. I had to do a lot of checking up at the start. Got caught in a bit of traffic and had to play catch up. I stayed clean and eventually got by 2nd and set my sights on the leader. The leader was teammate Billy Fisher. He was doing very well and it was a tough task to catch him. On the last two laps I was able to throw down the two fastest laps of the weekend in the class with a 19.5 and then a 19.2 in the last lap. Unfortunately I still ended about a second behind Billy for 1st. Overall Durango swept the Podium with Billy in first, Me in second, and Travis in 3rd. Go Team Durango and the DESC410R!! Domination!!

DESC410R Podium Sweep. Fisher, Lutz, Amezcua

Mod 2wd: I just struggled the entire weekend. When I thought I was getting it figured out I got thrown the curveball and had to drive the different chassis. Either way I had a good start to the main but got caught in traffic and sent to last. In the end I came away with 7th in the B. I am looking forward to getting the finished product. I know it will be solid and I look forward to doing some more electric racing and fine tune my driving with this class.

Mod 4wd: This was the highlight of my weekend. The car felt good the entire time and I just needed to lay it down and drive it. In A1 it turned out to be one of the best runs of my career. I stayed close to the leaders from my 4th place starting position. I ran a completely clean race crash wise even though I did have a few bobble. In the closing minutes I found myself in 2nd place and gaining on Cavalieri. In the closing two laps I closed in from about 3 seconds out to right behind. On the last lap he was missing his marks and I was closing in fast. My knees were shaking but I knew what I had to do. Over the option double after the triple and right turn he took the double and I pushed out wide to the flat part and just gunned it. Over the ensuing double right before the finish line Cavalieri did a smooth double and I launched it and basically downsided his left front tire. I finished the final corner and took the win! In A2 I had another solid start. Within a few laps I was right behind Tebo when he crashed after that double before the line. I went inside and took the lead but wasn’t able to get the runup I needed to clear the next quad section. I cased it and crashed. Fell back to 3rd where the marshall put me down and I jumped the little double and landed on the edge of the pipe and rolled it over. This put me in 4th. I made another charge and got back to second and set my sights on Cav again but I ended up making a couple more mistakes and was relegated to 4th for the round. In A3 I had an issue from the second I put my car on the ground. It just wouldn’t go full throttle I don’t know what ended up being the issue but either way I couldn’t compete from the start. I ended up pulling it off early. Luckily however I tied for points for second place but had the better tie-breaker and thus took 2nd overall! Not bad for my second race with the DEX410. I look forward to getting even more comfortable with the car and doing some more large electric races next year. For this year I still have Nationals!


This is A-main number 1. Be sure to watch the last seconds to see “The Pass!”

Next up is the Futaba Nitro Challenge this upcoming weekend. Looking to get back to some nitro racing and my DNX408! Bring it On!

-Lutzinator

Saturday July 9th, 2011

Qualifications have ended and the mains have been set. Today was a tough day for me overall. Let’s break it down.

Short Course was frustrating today. I’m still struggling on this high bite track. It’s been hard to find time to work on my truck with running 3 classes and still being a noob to this electric stuff. I was able to finish both runs today but just was making way to many mistakes. I finished top 5 in both but that’s disappointing for me honestly. I’ve had some great luck with this truck at recent events that i’m a bit bummed at this weekends results so far. Hopefully I can get it figured out for the triple A-mains.

In 4wd I am having one of my few bright spots. I’m learning the car and it’s going pretty well. I’ve still been making mistakes learning the driving style of the electric cars again but I had a 4th and 2nd overall today. This should put me 4th on the grid tomorrow. I feel like with a little work on the car and some clean driving that I will be able to have a successful triple A-main tomorrow. I’d love to challenge for the win and I know I have a shot!

In 2wd it’s been a bummer. I went to practice this morning and the car felt good. I was happy and thought I would be able to have a good day. When I got back to my pits and looked over the car I noticed I had broken a rear brace. Unfortunately the only spare parts we have are on Travis’s first all aluminum prototype. It’s also like 5mm longer. So I ended up having to put all of my components onto that chassis. My car is very heavy and limo-long. So in the 3rd qualifier it was like going out with a new car again. I wasn’t able to drive it very well in either qualifier today. I’ll be in the bottom of the B or even the C possibly. It’s frustrating but I know the car will be good when it comes out. Travis has his car much closer to what the kit will be and he made the A. I know when I can get the kit and get some time on it that I will be right up there. In the meantime I’ll do my best tomorrow in whatever main I ended up in.

-Lutzinator

Friday July 8th, 2011

Just finished up with day number one of qualification at the Hot Rod Hobbies Offroad Shootout. This weekend I am running my DESC410R Short Course Truck, my DEX410 4wd Buggy, and a prototype DEX210 2wd buggy that I had brought to me for this race. This electric stuff is still a learning curve both driving wise and set-up wise. But i’m slowly getting it. Just need a few more races! πŸ˜‰

In Short Course i’m struggling in my own opinion on this high bite fast track. I got a 5th in the first round and was able to TQ the second round. I know I can win if I can just drive smooth enough but alas that always does seem to be my struggle. Anyways I’m looking to get the overall TQ and I know I have the truck and motor to do it! It’s up to the driver now!

In 4wd mod i’m working out some bad luck. In round 1 I had the steering servo horn strip on the 2nd lap. In the second round I was on a TQ run. After 9 laps I was in the lead and on a pace that was 3 seconds faster than the eventual TQ. Well the ring holding the rear diff in broke and the rear/center driveshaft came out and that was that. I was able to putt around for the last 3 laps but fell to 7th for the round. I know my DEX410 has the pace so I just need to clean it up a bit and put in two solid runs tomorrow.

In 2wd mod i’m probably having my biggest struggle. I didn’t build the car so I don’t really know anything about it. It’s also still so new so myself, Billy, and Travis are all learning it together. In the first run I went out on the wrong tires and I felt like I was driving on Ice. It was a run I am ready to forget. In the second run I was able to put in some decent laps. I was still making errors trying to get a feel for 2wd mod again (having not ran it in a few years) but I was able to get a 9th for the round (and 3rd fastest lap). I’m looking to put in some solid clean runs tomorrow and it would be a blessing to make the A but I’m looking like a B-mainer this weekend in 2wd. I’m going to give it my all though for a shot at the A!

-Lutzinator

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Happy 4th of July!!!!

-Lutzinator

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