This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to do an interview with the guys on Radio Control Race Chat. If you haven’t heard of them or listened to the radio show yet you can head over to www.thevrcr.com and click on the tab for ‘Radio Show’ and listen live every Tuesday at 7pm PST, 10pm EST. You can also listen to all the past interviews either on their site or off of iTunes.

www.thevrcr.com/EDIT-THESE-FILES-TO-CHANGE-INFO-ON-SITE/audio/episode9.mp3
I come in around the 18:20 mark.

Thanks guys again for the opportunity! It was a great time! Everyone needs to be listening to your show! πŸ˜€

-Lutzinator

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My TV Appearance! Finally!

November 12, 2011

Well I finally have my TV appearance put up on youtube. I had to ‘rip’ it from a DVD and the service I used to do it for free had to put a watermark on the video. Also here is my commentary from right after I did this appearance:

It was a crazy experience. We got there at 6:00 a.m. not expecting our time slot to be until around 6:20. The morning show coordinator took us to a waiting room and said she would come get us in about 15 minutes. Well about 2 minutes later she came back and said β€œare you ready?” So we headed for the studio and they said we could have a seat in some leather chairs that were off to the side but were right behind the cameras. No sooner did we take a seat that they went to commercial and talked amongst themselves and told us we were going to be on next and to head up to the anchor desk. I set my car on the table and they handed us a mic, then we hear 30 seconds!!
The reporter who was going to be talking to us said someone’s mic isn’t on yet. Of course it was mine, β€œ15 seconds!” was heard as we popped open the mic, Kayla the anchor reached over and turned it on while I flung the mic piece over my back and Jason attached it to my shirt collar. Going live in 3…2…1! It was that quick! They really had no clue what to ask us and it was all just improvised from the start. Jason and I had no clue which of the 3 cameras was on so I just tried to mainly focus on the anchor and hoped it would all turn out okay. I got to speak for maybe 10 seconds in all when it came to my part, explaining how we drive the cars from a driver-stand and what a track is like. Before you know it they we closing it out and going to commercial and we were done! We walked into and out of the building in less than 15 minutes. I really wish I could have had some more time to check out the studio but it was cool for what I saw. Either way it was an experience that I won’t forget.

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Saturday November 5, 2011

Today I had a Sandwich. . . My day of racing started and ended disappointing but the middle was pretty good! Now the results are going to be a bit confusing as there was the results from the actual event and then there is the National Finals total points tabulation as well. Here’s how my sandwich of a day went down.

Short Course – Coming into the 10 minute mains I knew my biggest battle was going to be the clock. Making 10 minutes was going to require me to tone it down a TON and just keep the car rolling. Well in A1 on the big jump in back on the first lap whomever was behind me decided they wanted to try to launch this jump that no SC truck had been doing all week. He ended up running right up my rear and sending me to the back of the pack. From there with a bit of frustration I worked my way back to 2nd but due to probably driving just a bit to hard after the incident I ended up dumping with 30 seconds to go. Still to go from dumping in a 7:30 qualifier to making it 9:30 took a lot of finesse. But I was going to need more.

In A2 I stayed out front at the start and no one ran me over and I set out to make that 10 minutes. I never pulled more than 20% throttle on my trigger except to clear 2 jumps on the track. On the straight I pulled 20% for the first 1/2 and then let off completely and coasted the end and the first corner. I was about 2 seconds a lap slower than I was in qualifying but was still turning the same laps as everyone else. I managed to stay out front and got the batteries to last and finished the 10 minutes!

In A3 I just wanted a repeat of A2. I drove as conservative as I could and just wanted to hug every pipe and make no mistakes. Keep the car rolling and not use the breaks. On the last lap when I knew 2nd place wasn’t going to get the extra lap and I knew I had conserved enough battery I drove it like I was in qualifying and put down a lap 2 seconds faster than any of my other laps in the main.

So the Short Course Class was a stand alone National event at this race and had no qualifying rounds to add to it. So I TQ’d and Won the event and thus also took the R/C Pro National Championship with my Durango DESC410R. My tire of choice for the day was AKA Soft GridIrons and my Tekin 4Pole 4600 was always there for me in reserve when I needed it! πŸ˜€

E-Buggy – To continue on with the Bun of my sandwich, E-buggy was up directly after SC. In A1 I had built a huge lead with about 4 minutes to go when I started loosing steering, especially to the left. It would completely not steer at all at times and I would go into the pipe and try to wiggle my wheels to get it to work again. It would then work for a lap or two and do it again. This allowed David Joor to catch and pass me on the last lap as i couldn’t make a corner and I took 2nd. Turns out my Servo Saver nut backed off and began to rub on the chassis and was locking the steering from working.

Now for the meat. In A2 and A3 I just wanted to do what I was doing in A1 except finish it out. I was able to accomplish that with two healthy victory margins and a car that felt great all weekend. My DEX408 prototype was dialed as all git out and everyone I encountered was very impressed with it’s handling and how it looked on and off the track. At the end of the day I even let a handful of people try the car and they seemed pretty impressed with the handling!

So for the results I took the TQ and the win for the event. However I only ran 1 qualification race for this class being a new car for me and thus wasn’t in the running for the National Title.

Nitro Buggy – Man did I want this one. I spent so much time making sure my car was perfect and I knew it was going to be bullet proof out there. Unfortunately there are some things that you just can’t prevent. At the start it was a 3 way battle between Robbers, Branham, and myself. A few minutes in though and Robbers crashed whilst leading and flamed or whatnot and ended up a lap down. This left it to me and Branham to battle it out for a bit. We swapped leads and battled for a few minutes but I could feel something going wrong with my engine. It started to get really really lean and eventually I wasn’t able to make some of the jumps. I yelled down to my pit guy to richen the top 3 hours. Came in at like the 13 minute mark and he did that but it just kept getting leaner. I ended up coming in like an extra 5 times and each time having him richen it up a good 3 hours top and bottom. Eventually it started to work again but I’m sure it was up over 400* there for a few minutes. I knew at that time that I had an airleak somewhere and there was nothing I could do about it except richen it up and hope it would keep running. I was able to manage to stay in 3rd place a few laps down from Branham and Robbers but with about 3 minutes to go the engine finally just gave up after all that stress and high temps. Robbers was able to catch back up and pass Branham for the win. This was unfortunate for me because I think if I would have stayed in 3rd and Branham finished 2nd that I would have taken the overall by virtue of my TQ but it doesn’t matter at this point and he won it well deserved.

So my final result for the event was TQ and a 7th place. For the National title I finished 2nd behind a well deserved Branham. For the hour long main I went with a Medium Enduro and it was awesome. I really wished I could have not had issues because it would have been a great battle all race long! Next time! There’s always Next Time! πŸ˜‰

I want to thank Jeremy Cupps for pitting for me and probably turning more engine needles than he has in his 20 year racing career! haha. Thanks to David Lovett and his wife Susie for putting on the event and series. I really hope it grows bigger again next year. They have a lot of great ideas and they are great people and I think next year the finals will be at the same location so that should be reason enough to run the series! Gulf Coast Raceway is an amazing facility full of so many dedicated people that it was just such a great place to race and I can’t wait to come back and do it again!

Next up I’m heading back to Texas in 2 weeks for the Texas Offroad Shootout!

-Lutzinator

The Hardware from the R/C Pro Nationals

Friday November 4, 2011

Two final qualifiers in the books and oh what a great day! It was a hard fought battle in two of the classes and came down to the final qualifier but my Durango’s held strong and I made the right set-up and tire selections and came away with a trifecta of TQ’s! Let’s break it down.

Short Course – Traction is getting higher and higher every round and in Rd #1 I tried some worn out soft Rebars and they just had too much bite. I struggled keeping the car on the wheels and ended up 2nd behind young fast guy Josh Glancy. This meant with not finishing two of the rounds that I was going to need to TQ the final round. I started at the tone and stayed clean and was able to drive a bit better on my Medium AKA Enduros. In the end I came away with a fairly healthy win and was able to take the overall TQ. Tomorrow I have to try to accomplish a triple A-main with each being 10 minutes and I’m only able to do about 8. Going to have to see how easy I can drive it and hopefully still be able to battle for the lead… We shall see.

E-Buggy – My Durango DEX408 is on rails this weekend. I am so impressed with it’s performance. It has the fastest laptimes of any vehicle nitro or electric. I was able to get down to 27.2 in my final qualifier on AKA Medium Wishbones. In Q4 I ran soft Enduros and had a 27.3 so it seems whatever tire I throw at it it just handles and does it well. I was able to TQ all 5 rounds in this class and was nearly able to get to 16 laps, only 4 and 5 seconds away respectively in the final two rounds. The next quickest round was my Nitro Buggy with a 15 in 7:10! So triple A-main on tap for tomorrow!

N-Buggy – This morning I threw all the set-up changes I had in my mind on the car. (more caster, stiffer front bar, more toe out in front, Soft Enduros, and Dark Blue front spring and it worked!) In Q4 I was able to battle for most of the race but in the end stay cleaner and take the TQ. This left me and Robbers tied for points and tied in the tie breaker. So it was down to who beat who in the final round. For round 5 I also went back to the stiffer rear spring and back to the piston I was running before the rough track in Louisiana and it was even better yet. I ran a clean race with every lap either a 28 or 29. Robbers made a big mistake early and gave me a 6 second cushion and I wouldn’t relinquish it. Branham and I battled for the top spot until he made an error which gave me a few second cushion and I held on to take the TQ and the overall TQ in my Durango DNX408! Tomorrow is a hour long A-main event so anything can happen! Already have my tire selection glued up and ready! Should be good!

-Lutzinator

View from the 'skybox'

Thursday November 3, 2011

Today was qualification day numero uno here at the fabulous Gulf Coast Raceway in the frigid deep south! I was always under the impression that it was warm down in south Texas but I guess mother nature had different plans for today and tomorrow. Temps into the 30’s in the morning make for a cold start. At least the facility is amazing. If you haven’t been here you should put it on your calendar to visit. Covered offroad, onroad, huge hobby shop. They got it all! Let’s get to the racing here at the R/C Pro National Finals.

Short Course – My SC truck is again dialed. The traction started off semi-loose and has worked it’s way throughout the day to being pretty high bite. I think tomorrow were in for very high bite when it does warm up a bit. I have been on my AKA soft Gridirons all day though and they’ve been good from start to finish. I put in a fast lap time in Q3 of a 29.0 which was only 1 second off my Nitro and E-Buggy! Crazy! My Durango DESC410R has turned some heads this weekend and if it weren’t for me not being able to finish the 7 minute qualifiers I’d have 3 TQ’s to my name. Unfortunately I’ve only finished one. In Q1 I finished for the TQ, In Q2 I didn’t finish my last lap but only one other driver had the extra lap so I got 2nd. In Q3 the loop didn’t count me on the start so they had me running an extra lap. So in the end I didn’t finish the last two laps even though I was on a blistering 15 lap pace. Maybe only 5 drivers in any class have had a 15 all day!! Anyways tomorrow I shall try a new battery and turn down my current limiter even more. (I just drive to dang hard!) I also have to figure out how to make 10 minute mains. πŸ™
There are two more qualifiers tomorrow and they are taking best 3 of 5.

E-Buggy – This has surprisingly been my best class of the weekend. In each of the three quals I’ve had a couple bad wrecks, most of the time on my own but I’ve had some really solid clean laps otherwise and have taken the TQ in all 3 rounds. Only thing I would change at this time is to lower my ride-height for the high bite that is coming up but i’m stuck with where i’m at due to the front dark blue Kyosho springs being just a bit too long for me. Anyways I’ll make due. I’ve pretty much ran AKA Soft Grids all day in this class and they have been dialed!

N-Buggy – This is the class as always that I want to do the best in but i’ve kind of gotten behind the 8 ball as the track has changed and I haven’t changed with it quick enough. In Q1 I was able to take the TQ over Robbers and Branham. It seems the three of us are going to be the battle this weekend and in each qualifier we’ve exchanged leads quite a few times. In Q2 the traction started to come up and my car got a bit twitchy. I was able to have the lead for a bit but lost it in traffic and finished 2nd to Robbers. In Q3 I only tried a different tire and raised my front roll center just a bit but it was still very twitchy. I made way to many mistakes and traffic was still a challenge. I led at the start but once the mistakes started I fell back and finished 3rd behind Robbers and Branham. So tomorrow I need to make a myriad of changes. I’m going to go with longer camber links, 14* Caster, Go back to the Dark Blue Kyosho springs on the front (was running the Light Green). This is going to make my rideheight higher than I want but hopefully I can deal with it. I’m also going to try a different tire. I may try enduro’s but this track may actually work with slicks. I just need to see if the track can handle medium tires or if I need to stay with softs. It’s going to be an important day of testing to get the car dialed in for the 1 hour long A-main event! Today tire wise I ran soft Wishbones in Q1, Soft Impacts in Q2, and soft Gridirons in Q3. In E-buggy Soft Grids are dialed but I need to get something I’m really happy with that’s going to be good for an hour main. I think tires are going to be crucial!

-Lutzinator

My 40* windbreak πŸ˜‰

My Durango DNX408 enjoying the ride! πŸ˜‰

So here’s the story. I had a Mazda 6 that I got as a rental car. Well when I left the airport I noticed that my interior dash lights weren’t working. I couldn’t figure it out so I made it to the hotel and just said I would figure it out tomorrow in the daylight. Well last night when leaving the track I was having the same problem and so when driving back to the hotel I had a motorcycle guy pull up next to me and honk at me and flash his hands while pointing to the rear of my car. So I realized that my rear taillights weren’t working either! I only had headlights! I had a few more people honk at me so I took the car back to the airport and luckly never got stopped by a cop. When there I asked the guy if he could hook me up with a Camaro sense I always wanted to drive one and he said yea, no problem! So that is how I ended up with the Red Camaro rental car which I don’t fit in and have to slouch and I have to shove my luggage into the trunk to make it fit! πŸ˜€ haha

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

A long weekend of some excellent racing has come to a close at the Southern Nationals in Louisiana. Allow me to recap my Durango Trifecta! πŸ˜€

Short Course – My Durango DESC410R truck was flying with the Tekin 4pole 4600 on this track. It was truth be told way to much power and more than I could ever use on this track but it was fun to have it at hand. Also with it being so smooth it was still very drivable. My truck though was pretty loose on this dusty, rutty track. I still had my heavy diff fluids in and thus after the first qual I went and started putting lighter oils in it. I ended up with 7-10-4 but I would have gone down even further in the center had I had the time to do it. This really seemed to help the truck on this track. All in all I TQ’d all 3 qualifiers and started from pole in the A-main.
In A1 and A2 I got out front and pulled away. Just tried not to crash and to find some smooth lines. I was able to win both mains pretty handily and take the overall victory. I ran SS AKA Gridirons, Tekin 4600 4 pole, and SpeedPower 5300 batteries. All in all it was a winning combination! πŸ˜€

E-Buggy- The “Do you still have to keep the body on it?” Machine. πŸ˜‰ This class was an up and down weekend for me. In Q1 I was on a good run but I got into some traffic and made a couple mistakes on my own and would get 2nd behind Pettit. In Q2 I had a battery wire come unsoldered. In Q3 I broke a rear aluminum turnbuckle. So I ended up 4th in the B-main. Luckily they were doing bumpups even for electric and so that night as the last race of the night I ran and won the B-main to take a spot into the A-main.
In A1 I moved up quickly from my 13th spot on the grid and was in 5th on the first lap. I would continue to work my way up until I was 2nd and closing in on Pettit. He would make a couple mistakes and I would get by and cruise on to a nice victory. In A2 I got a good start again. About 4 laps in I was in 3rd and went over the back ski jump and my battery wire came undone again. This put all the pressure on A3. In A3 I was able to have another good start. Quickly moving up. Pettit had a rough early lap and I got by him about 2 laps in and moved up to 2nd behind Ruona. I drove within inches of his bumper for a lap and he eventually made a mistake and I got buy and cruised on to a nice victory and overall win! πŸ˜€
My buggy was pretty good all weekend. I worked hard on figuring out the shock package I wanted to run on the Nitro car and basically just piggy backed my shock set-up onto my E-buggy. In the end it felt decent and I am again pleased at another victory with the soon to be released DEX408.

Nitro Buggy – As always this is the class I really care about with my Durango DNX408. This class had the most competition as all of the South and South Easts best racers were here! I had found a shock package that i liked at Rev last week and I was hoping it would work here as well. As it turns out it was fairly good but it did need some tweeking. There weren’t the same big jumps with flat landings here and it was much rougher thus a softer oil was needed. Also I felt that the rear was packing a little to fast and so instead of running A pistons with 3 holes I went to B pistons with 3 holes and it delayed the pack just enough to go over the rough stuff a little better. In Q1 I would put in a solid run and take the TQ. In round number 2 I had some traffic holding me back and I settled for 2nd behind Branham. Thus in Rd 3 I really wanted a win and 4 laps in I held a 1/2 second lead over Wheeler when I made a mistake and crashed over the big double and the marshall tapped my flywheel. Luckily though Branham wasn’t able to capitalize this time and I took the overall TQ.

Durango DNX408 Pro Buggy Win

Before the main I went down a little further with my PT RC Racing oils in the shocks. Thanks to the small increments I was able to go from 325cst to 300cst and not feel like I was having to make a huge change. The main was a 45 minute concentration fest as finding smooth lines was the name of the game. I started from the pole and my car felt great with the changes I made. It was easy for me to pull away from the pack but then I kept making mistakes and allowing them to keep up with me. I was searching left and searching right trying the jumps in multiple spots until I finally found some smooth lines a couple of inches off of the pipe in most cases. I started to extend my lead still making some mistakes every once in a while but overall putting in some fast solid laps. My Alpha Plus A852 was flying again and my Byrons Fuel 30% kept my tune locked in where I wanted it! I came away in the end with a 20+ second victory over Jason Branham in 2nd on my AKA Soft Gridirons which were dialed for me all weekend!

Durango Trifecta @ Southern Nationals

Overall it was a great event. The crew that put it on really did an awesome job and the facility is top notch! I want to thank them for having me out as I had a great time and hope to be back again next year!

Next up is the R/C Pro Finals in Texas in 2 weeks. In the meantime it’s time to carve some Pumpkins and spend some time with the family! πŸ˜€

-Lutzinator

Friday, October 21, 2011 6:45 a.m.

This morning was the start of my TV career! I’m done with R/C and I’m going into showbiz! HAHA
This morning I had the opportunity to do probably a 1 or 2 minute segment on the local NBC channel 10 down here in West Monroe, Louisiana. Boy was it improvised and rushed! I can’t wait to see the result. (The editor is getting us a copy to check out this afternoon so I can put it up on here for all to laugh at me!)

It was a crazy experience. We got there at 6:00 a.m. not expecting our time slot to be until around 6:20. The morning show coordinator took us to a waiting room and said she would come get us in about 15 minutes. Well about 2 minutes later she came back and said “are you ready?” So we headed for the studio and they said we could have a seat in some leather chairs that were off to the side but were right behind the cameras. No sooner did we take a seat that they went to commercial and talked amongst themselves and told us we were going to be on next and to head up to the anchor desk. I set my car on the table and they handed us a mic, then we hear 30 seconds!!
The reporter who was going to be talking to us said someone’s mic isn’t on yet. Of course it was mine, “15 seconds!” was heard as we popped open the mic, Kayla the anchor reached over and turned it on while I flung the mic piece over my back and Jason attached it to my shirt collar. Going live in 3…2…1! It was that quick! They really had no clue what to ask us and it was all just improvised from the start. Jason and I had no clue which of the 3 cameras was on so I just tried to mainly focus on the anchor and hoped it would all turn out okay. I got to speak for maybe 10 seconds in all when it came to my part, explaining how we drive the cars from a driver-stand and what a track is like. Before you know it they we closing it out and going to commercial and we were done! We walked into and out of the building in less than 15 minutes. I really wish I could have had some more time to check out the studio but it was cool for what I saw. Either way it was an experience that I won’t forget and later today I may get the opportunity to be on a couple of local radio stations!

Today is also practice day so I’m looking forward to getting on this awesome looking track with my Durango DNX408, DEX408, and DESC410R!

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October 15, 2011

Just completed my 6.5 hour trip to Southern California where I took part in the Byron Fuels Western Cup which was hosted at the World Famous Revelation Raceway. It was just a one day event with two qualifiers and 30 min Pro A-mains. A few top pros were on hand including Adam Drake and Cody King as well as my Durango teammate Carson Wernimont. I ran in the Pro Buggy class with my Durango DNX408 buggy and ran the rent-a-ride Mugen M-Spec in the truggy class.

In Truggy I was able to take the TQ in the first round and it was a solid run that held up through the second round thus giving me the overall TQ for the event. In the 30min main the first lap was crazy with literally 6 cars going together though every corner and eventually mayhem ensued but I got through clean and threw down 10 straight 37 second laps to stretch out a lead and never look back. I would end up taking the victory with my Byrons Fuel, and Alpha Plus powered .23 engine by nearly 1 lap in the end. My AKA Soft Gridirons proved once again to be the tire of choice.

In Buggy my Durango DNX408 was ready to do work. In the first qualifier Drake and I were running similar laps at the start but he made a mistake and I stayed cleaner for the rest of the race and took the TQ. In round two Drake started on the clock first and I started nearly 3/4 of a lap behind him. The announcer was announcing him as in the lead and on a TQ pace the whole time and announcing me down in like 5th or 6th. I was pretty sure (as I hadn’t crashed) that I was up battling for the lead but I knew that because I started late on the clock that it just wasn’t showing me at the top. So I plugged along and finally after Drake finished and the announcer said he beat my TQ time, then he said, Ryan better make a clean lap, it’s going to be close. I finally crossed the line with a 1 1/2 second win and the overall TQ.

In the A-main it was another crazy start with no one wanting to lead at first. The sun had gone down and it was a challenge to see your car as there was some dark areas on an already challenging track. Drake, King, and I all took turns leading for the first 2 or 3 laps but eventually I would assume the lead and start throwing down some fast laps. I worked at staying clean and if I made a mistake made sure I put in a couple faster laps right after it to get my cushion back to where I was comfortable. My Alpha A852 engine was screaming fast and my Byrons Fuel was keeping the tune nice and consistent for the whole run. I ended up keeping the pace and taking the victory in the end of the 30 min main. Another victory for my Durango DNX408 Buggy! All day I ran AKA SS Impacts. (must be some kind of conspiracy or something because this is two weeks in a row i’ve ran SS tires!) Either way though they were dialed all day!

Pro Buggy Podium at the Byron Fuels Western Cup


1 46 30:08.26 RYAN LUTZ
2 46 30:20.32 ADAM DRAKE
3 46 30:39.55 CODY KING

Next up I am off to the Southern Nationals. Planning on an all Durango Weekend with my DNX408, DEX408, and DESC410R! Should be a great time. I think I’m also going to be on the local TV and Radio Station on Friday so that should be Fun!
-Lutzinator

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