Event Final Monday April 25, 2011

Finally getting around to recapping my time at this years Neo-Buggy event in England. I didn’t have internet connectivity whilst there and thus wasn’t able to do my usual blog updates. Here is how my week went:

I got in a day early on Wednesday (I had thought practice started on Thursday) but it all worked out for the better as I still had some work to do on my Durango DNX408 buggy. This also allowed me to begin adjusting my sleeping schedule as I was 8 timezones ahead.

Friday finally came about and it was time to go racing! I always look forward to this event as it is the closest thing there is to a World Championships but we get to do it every year. This was my third year attending the Neo-Buggy event and I had made the final the previous two years and so that was my minimal goal for the week. My main goal was to TQ and win as I have been getting very confident in my Durango vehicles!

We had three 7 minute practice heats. They were taking your best 3 consecutive laps from any of the 3 practices to seat you for the qualifiers. My third practice I was able to start getting in a groove as I got my set-up figured out and was able to lay down 3 consecutive laps that would put me #3 overall and into the fast qualification heat.

Up came round one of qualifying. I decided to try to go out on Soft Citiblocks as this is what I ran for my final practice the night prior. The tires were pretty consistent but I think it was the wrong compound. I just seemed to be a little loose all around the track. I made a few mistakes but in the end managed a 9th for the round. Overall I was reasonably happy with this at the time.

Round two was next and this is when things started coming together for me. I switched to SS Gridirons and it was the right decision. The traction was good and the car felt excellent. I ran a pretty good run, making I believe two crashes in the 7 minute heat but finished 3rd for the round. Now I was getting excited about the prospects for the weekend. Everything was feeling good.

Round three would be the final qualifier for Saturday. I ran SS Gridirons again and put in a pretty good run. I believe I still make a mistake or two but I put in some fast laps and came away with TQ for the round! At this point I realized there was a possibility of taking the overall TQ for the weekend and so that is what I set-my goal as.

Round four was up on Sunday morning. A couple of long crashes kept me out of contention on this one but I still had some of the fastest lap-times and still came away with a 3rd for the round.

Coming into round #5 I knew I had to TQ the final two rounds to overtake Tebo for TQ. In round 5 I was able to start off on the right foot. I put in a solid run and was able to get the first 13 lap run of the weekend. The car was getting faster and I was feeling at home. I took the TQ and looked to round number 6 to finish the job.

Round six would be the final qualifier and the last qualification race of the day on Sunday. I knew what had to be done. I got out and ran clean for the first 5 minutes. I built over a 4 second lead over Maifield and was just driving my race, knowing I had to take the win. Then with about two minutes to go I caught up to a group of 5 or 6 cars and I did what I could to get past them but they were slowing my laptimes down by as much as 2 seconds a lap. I came out of the traffic with one lap to go but had sense lost my groove. Myself and Maifield both made it by for the final 13th lap and I had about a 4/10ths lead. However having lost my groove going through the traffic I didn’t put in a steller last lap. It was average at best and I ended up losing by something like 2/10ths of a second and thus missing out on overall TQ.

I still felt quite accomplished. I qualified 2nd overall at what I considered to be the biggest race of 2011, just narrowly missing out on the overall TQ. I was ready for the semi’s and Finals.

First up however was the da$h for ca$h. It was the top 12 qualifiers in inverse order, 10 minute run. I thus started 11th on the grid and had a great start. I navigated a couple of early pileups and came out of it in 3rd place. I was very confident in my car at that point and basically told myself I had this in the bag. However here is where my weekend began it’s dip. I just started making careless mistakes, hitting tubes and crashing on my own. I fell way back and just decided to try to finish strong. Coming around for the last lap I had King a couple corners ahead of me. I wasn’t sure what position it was for but put in a final charge to overtake him across the line. I floored it over the moguls and he saw me coming and pulled trigger as well. I ended up just missing him by 2/10ths. It was quite exciting. I ended up 4th, disappointed in the end result but still ready for the Semi’s and Finals.

Monday was Semi-Final day. I was ready to go and at the start was holding my own. Then on the second lap I went down the straight and up the little mount and there was a huge hole that just flipped my car on it’s lid. I fell back a few spots and so I just put it in ‘make-it-mode’. I just tried to put in some clean laps to get up near the front. I ended up getting up to second and staying there until the end. It wasn’t the semi I had hoped for but it put me into the A-main for the 3rd time in as many years.

Durango DNX408

The final race of the day was the one we all were waiting for. The A-main. I would be starting 5th on the grid as that is where my overall time in the semi-finals would put me. At the tone I was doing good, moved up to 3rd on the first lap. Then on the second lap got about half track where if i’m not mistaken I rolled it on my own again. Thus putting me to the back of the pack. I worked my way back up but still was just making way to many mistakes. I was pretty disappointed in myself for all of the driving errors I was making, just clipping tubes everywhere it seemed. I didn’t give up though and began working my way back through the pack. I was running 7th with about 9 minutes to go when I went over the back double double and lost throttle response. My throttle servo went out on me thus ending my main.

Focused and Ready for the A-Final

The positives I’m taking away from this weekend were many. My Durango DNX408 was super dialed all weekend. Setting very fast laptimes and qualifications. My new Alpha Plus A852 engine ran flawless all week. I was getting nearly 10 minutes which for me I will take any day of the week. The engine never gave me one hiccup all week, never even had to tune it after it’s initial tune! I was very pleased. My AKA tires were hooked up. The SS AKA compound was the compound of choice this weekend. To top it all off the best was the team camaraderie of the Durango Team. We worked excellent together all week long and it was such a pleasure to be a part of it all. We are making such great strides in such a short period of time and it’s only a matter of time before those big wins start coming in droves and we become the #1 team to beat!

Until next time,
-Lutzinator

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Saturday April 16, 2011

Saturday I headed on a little over 2 hour drive to Nor-Cal hobbies to race in the Rd #1 of the Nor-Cal Championship series. I ran 3 classes (Buggy, Truggy, and 4wd SC) so my day was very busy!

In Short Course I ran my DESC410R and it felt great! I wasn’t expecting to much as I still haven’t put much time into this class but the truck felt great! I didn’t touch it the entire day, just ran my one practice, 2 quals, and the A-main. I was able to TQ every round of quals and take the victory in the A-main. For fun in the second qualifier I ran on the 1/8th layout (there was an option lane for the SC guys). I was only 1.4 seconds a lap on the 1/8th layout slower than my 1/8th buggy and truggy! My little DESC410R was flying! I was skying the huge hip jump with it and launching it off the back table top. It was a lot of fun and people were very impressed with it’s performance.

In Truggy I again ran my mechanics rent-a-ride ST-RR and took TQ and the Win. I had some misfortune in the main when my body pins fell off the front (one side broke off.) So I came in for an extra pit to get that fixed. In the end with a couple bobbles by me Tyler Vik was on my tail within a second the last 2 laps but I was able to hold him off for the victory.

Nor-Cal Series Rd #1 Victory

In Buggy my Durango DNX408 was on rails! My buggy just felt Awesome! I am so happy with my car right now and just feel so confident in it. What’s great is that I have supreme confidence that it’s not going to break. It’s just such a strong car, and on the track it just is a dream to drive. For this track compared to the silver state track I just lengthened my rear camber link out one hole on the rear hub and thickened up the rear swaybar to a 2.4. This is all it needed to be dialed on yet another track! I was able to take TQ in both quals. In the main I had a great run and even with 2 lengthy crashes near the end of the run where the marshall was headed the other way to get another car first I was still able to come away with a solid win. Many people trackside were very impressed with how the car was handling the track and all I could say was “yea, I know, it’s so good right now.”

Next up I am off to England for the Neo-Buggy race on Tuesday. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are each slated for 2 qualifiers. Monday will be all the mains. Tune in to LiveRC to watch me lay it down with my Durango DNX408!

-Lutzinator

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Sunday April 10, 2011

YEEEE HAWWWWW!!!! Let’s just skip right past what happened in Truggy (broken arm) and Short Course (still not sure what) and focus on what transpired in Pro Buggy.

I had to start as BQ and try my chances at bumping into the A-main. My Durango DNX408 has felt amazing all weekend as I have mentioned and the B-main was no exception. It was hotter today and thus I did feel as my suspension was a bit soft. But all in all it felt great. I had a so-so first 15min of the race. Running between 1st – 3rd. Catching up and falling back. Then with 5 minutes to go I found my groove and took the lead and pulled away. Took a nice commanding victory and I knew my buggy was ready for the A-main!

With it being a bit hotter I decided to go up 50cts in shock oil all the way around. On the bench this felt pretty stiff but on the track for the A-main my car was the best it had been all week long! I felt I had the car to take the win. At the start taking off from the 12th spot on the grid I passed a couple guys on the inside of the first jump. Then on the top front left corner got tagged in the rear which made me have to single single single the tripple jump on the left side. I fell to last but everyone crashed again in the whoops section and I got by a handful. Another group crashed on the downstairs and I passed a couple more. I was around 6th place coming by the first lap. I then got into my groove and began driving my amazing machine and was at one with it! πŸ˜‰ I picked off a few more people and moved up to 3rd place before the first pitstop. Some of you with a Durango may know that unfortunately at the moment it is hard to use a fuel gun on it. Well my pitguy (brother-in-law) did the best he could but some spilled on the pipe and flamed me out. He got me right back started up and I only lost a few more seconds.

I retained 3rd place and just put it in cruise control for a while. During my second stop the same thing happened though I was just barely able to keep it from dying. After that Eric made a good executive decision and went back to the bottle for the remaining fuel stops. This took about an extra 2 – 3 seconds than the leaders but it was safe and I didn’t have any more issues. I drove as good as I could and even with the minor things setting me back I was able to stay within about 15 seconds of the leaders the entire race. I finished 3rd place on the Podium! All in all it was a great race for me. I know the car was capable of winning and I know when we get the tank to accept a fuel gun better and we continue to get a bit more time on the car that I’m going to be getting those podium finishes all the time!

I want to give a huge thanks to my brother-in-law Eric for sacrificing himself for me this weekend. He made the Sportsman B-main and elected not to run it so he could help me as I was the race after him. He drove great in his own right this weekend and I thank him so much for his help. Also just can’t say enough about the guys at Durango. This is such a great company to race for and this car just gets better and better! They are Serious about racing and I’m serious about winning! And those results are coming!

Silver State 2011 Buggy Podium

-Lutzinator

Saturday April 9, 2011

Qualifying has ended and my results are a mixed bag. In my rent a ride truggy class I had a solid first run getting a 7th. Second run had the rear diff go out while on a TQ run during my qualifier. Third run had some early mistakes but battled back to finish 8th for the round. Overall putting my 10th in the A-main.

In Short Course class I was having a rough go of it. First round started out well and was doing top 4 but then fell off at the end and settled for 7th. During the second run I was top 2 for the first couple laps but then the pin in my dogbone came out ending that run. Come round 3 I was just working to stay clean. I ended up putting down the fasted lap time and overall round for the weekend in 4wd Mod SC. Got the TQ for the round which overall with my first round 7 put me 5th on the starting grid. I am hoping for a duplication of that third round in the A-main! Would be nice to put my DESC410 in the winners circle! πŸ™‚

Buggy was a roller coaster. My buggy felt so amazing in the first round. I had a few mistakes but still managed 6th for the round. The car was capable of so much more. In the second round we ran around 10pm at night. During the run my goggles began to fog up and I just made way to many mistakes. Got 20 something for the round. So come third round I needed a decent run. I went 50cts softer in the rear suspension hoping for that to help in the rough. I was wrong. Should have left it as it was. I ended up making a couple mistakes early. Battled back into the top 5 or 6 and then on the last lap crashed with 3 corners to go and the marshal was watching the race. I ended up 15th overall for the round but only one second out of a top 12 for the round. I ended up qualifying 12th and they only seated 11 into the A-main. So I am BQ. I tied in points with Adam Drake but he had the better tie-breaker which was the third round finish. I was just bummed to have that rollover be the difference between that one point I needed to make the A. Either way I’m going back to the set-up I had and am going to win that B and give it all I got in the A-main tomorrow! Check it out live on liverc.com

-Lutzinator

Thursday Eve. April 7, 2011

Well practice is over for the day. My feelings on my Durango DNX408 Buggy were true as it feels awesome on the track. I had a very frustrating time with traffic and mistakes on my part but I was so happy with the Buggy. I can’t wait for qualifying to start tomorrow. Tomorrow we have 2 qualifiers so i’m hoping to put in some solid runs tomorrow to take the pressure off of Saturday.

-Lutzinator

Thursday April 7, 2011

Today is the start of practice here at the Silver State Nitro Challenge. I will be running 3 classes this week. Running my Durango DNX408 and DESC410R along with my rent a ride ST-RR.
I’ve had a good feeling leading up to this event and coming off a couple of wins leaves me with some good confidence. I’m ready for an Awesome Week!!

-Lutzinator

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Monday March 14, 2011 (3:00 P.M.)

2011 Psycho Nitro Blast Double Victory + Buggy TQ

Well i’m back to give an update on how it all went down at this years Psycho Nitro Blast event in it’s new location in Unadilla, GA (about 1.5 hours south of Atlanta). I ended up helping pit for my friend Carlos in his 45 min Sportsman truck A-main in which he took 3rd. I also pitted for my brother in law Eric in his 45 min sportsman Buggy A-main in which he had some bad luck with the battery wire and such but really impressed me with how much he is improving. Next were my 2, hour long mains and I was just hoping my body would hold up and I wouldn’t make to many mistakes with my lack of sleep really starting to take a toll. My vision was blurred and focusing was a task in its self.

At the start of the truggy main in which I was running my Mechanic Dennis’s 3 year old ST-RR I set out behind Drake through the first couple of corners. Then he flamed out which gave me the lead. That was all I needed. The truck even with the lack of love and attention that it received during the week was doing really well. I began to extend my lead and thankfully my AKA Soft Cityblocks were hooked up and my Alpha Plus A852 engine was running flawlessly. At about the 10 minute mark I just put it in cruise control and made it my goal to run clean and consistent and not have any crashes. This was a good strategy as I stretched my lead and won by nearly 2 laps I believe.

Pro Truggy A-main Podium

About 30 min later it was time for the hour long Pro Buggy A-main. This was the one that I really wanted and meant a lot to me. At the start I held on to the lead from the TQ spot on the grid. A few laps in and Jeremy Kortz, Barry Pettit, Adam Drake and I were all in a pretty good freight train around the track. They then began to make a couple mistakes or what-not and I was able to begin to find my groove and extend my lead. About 30 min into the main I had over a lap lead and was extending lap by lap. Then after either my 30 min or 38 min pitstop I did a couple of corners and flipped over. My idle was a bit low and it flamed out on me. Luckily I had built up that decent lead and the marshall was able to get the car to pit lane in decent time and my pit guys got me fired up and I made it back on the track and retained a 12 second lead. I then set out to get my lap back. My Durango DNX408 was just easy to drive. I could put it anywhere I wanted it and that was crucial on this track. According to many I had some of the most creative and best lines going on the track in which 90% of every lane was ridden with pot holes. I was able to extend my lead out and get my lap on the field again I believe by the end of the main.

Pro Buggy A-main Podium

It felt great to finally get some wins this year. It has been very hard to deal with a lot of the criticism that has been floating around and all i’ve been telling people is that I didn’t feel I had been given a chance to really show what the Durango and myself were capable of yet. But this weekend with Billy Fishers excellent starting set-up from the Nitro Pit (which I only changed 2 things for this track) and being able to have more practice time, and running 2 classes instead of one I think all really contributed to the end result.

I am so happy with the car right now. I really think it’s just going to get better and better. How can it not with the great group of guys we have on the team and the company with the mentality of wanting to win. It’s going to be a great 10 years! πŸ˜‰

-Lutzinator

Monday March 14, 2011 (1:00 A.M.)

Just got back to the hotel. Off to the airport in 3.5 hours. Major sleep depravation has set in and I’m lucky I stayed awake and didn’t fall over the railing of the drivers stand!
For now it’s going to be a short and sweet update. I took Double Victory!! Put my Durango DNX408 into it’s first big race winners circle here in the U.S. I’m very happy, . . and very tired. I hope to be able to write more in the next day or two! πŸ˜€

Sunday March 13, 2011 (9:00 A.M.)

Well qualifying didn’t continue quite as good as it started. A few bumps in the road but in the end in the class that mattered I was able to take overall TQ with my Durango DNX408! This was such a relief. Felt I should have won all 3 qualifiers but had some bad luck in the second. So come the third round I needed a win. 4 AM came and I was able to lay it down again and it felt great. My Durango feels amazing on this track and I’ve had many compliments on how it’s running. I’m really looking forward to the Hour long main. I’m just trying to get some sleep which isn’t really possible unfortunately. I came with three other guys and my mechanic and they are all racing in sportsman class. One had bad luck in buggy and was in the 3rd main this morning at 5:30AM. The other is in the C-main which will be around 10AM. So in between it all throughout the last 36 hours i’ve just been taking little half-hour cat naps here and there when I can. It’s caught up with me at the moment. I’m going to try to get in a few more so I can be rested for the main! I’d also like to congratulate my brother-in-law for making the Sportsman A-main in Buggy and my website builder Carlos for qualifying 2nd in Sportsman Truggy! Great job guys!

In Truck I broke a fuel tank and have to settle for 2nd on the grid. The truck is serving it’s purpose and that is track time. For that I am grateful. But my primary focus is to put that Durango in the Winners Circle! Wish me luck!
-Lutzinator

Saturday March 12, 2011 (4:00 A.M.!)

Just got back from my first qualifier (note the time!)
I’m off to sleep to get my 3.5 hours for tonight before heading back to marshall the first race at 9am.
For the first time this year I can say my first quals went great.
TQ truggy with my rent a ride ST-RR.
TQ Buggy with my engine running 180*! (usually run around 250 – 260. Was just a tad rich! haha
Anyways off to bed and looking to get overall TQ tomorrow in the second round so I can skip the 3rd round and sleep! That’s the goal anyways!

-Lutzinator out……(Lights out that is! πŸ˜‰

Thursday March 10, 2011

Well this will be a short one as I’m off to bed…Around 9pm. Reason so early is that it’s strategy time. The Psycho Nitro Blast offers over 40 hours continuous practice time. In past experience I have come to realize the best time to get clean track practice is in the wee hours of the morning. So we will be getting up around 2am and heading to the track for some practice. We will then probably leave around noon, head back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep again before returning at 6pm for the first qualifier round. (Which will probably take 10 hours +! So we will be at the track for probably over 24 hours starting tomorrow night! It’s fun, psychotic, and I guess makes us all a little crazy.)
Looking forward to every minute of it!
-Lutzinator

Wednesday March 9, 2011

Currently about 34,000 miles in the air on my way to Unadilla, GA, home of this years Psycho Nitro Blast. Always look forward to this race and the lack of sleep on tap. I’ve heard there are over 500 entires so this race has grown very big. I’m looking forward to it as I saw a sneak peak video of someone testing the front jumps and it looks pretty good with some BIG air! I’m extremely excited to try my Nitro Challenge set-up here and see how it works. I think we are getting the Durango figured out better and better and am ready to start dominating! πŸ˜€
Check back throughout the week as I try to report how things are going if I can get a chance with all the sleep depravation that will be going on. πŸ˜€
Love this race!

-Lutzinator

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Sunday, Mar 6, 2011

Yesterday I headed over to Home Depot and got 400′ of pipe thinking that should be enough to finalize my track. Boy was I wrong! It’s going to take another 400′ to finish it I believe so that will have to wait for another day. We went out there and laid out the pipe that we had got along with the 150′ of black corrugated pipe that we had found on the property. For the most part the layout can be seen and it at least allowed me to run my car for a few laps before the rain came back. I didn’t do my complete layout that I had set out before because there ended up being a low spot that was still very wet and the rain also destroyed my berm. So for now I had to improvise.

My brother-in-law and his friends had also built a wood halfpipe looking thing for his BMX bikes. It was a little sketchy so they decided to start over with new wood. So we used the two halves to make a jump for the R/C track. We wanted to put it close so we could line up for it as it’s only 6′ wide but we ended up putting it on the end of the back-straight for now. So lining up for it is a big challenge but it is only temporary.

At the moment rain and time are the biggest hurdles. It’s raining again today and will be again tomorrow. Then i’m off to Atlanta. So hopefully by April the weather will clear out and I can spend some time making the track truly dialed. For now, it’s something to play on while we wait for the time and weather to clear! Enjoy the video for what it’s worth. I know it’s sketchy and all but it’s something for now.
-Lutzinator

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