Sunday August 28, 2011
WOW……WoW……….wow. . . What an exciting, amazing finish to the weekend. But before I get ahead of myself let me start from the beginning.
E-Scale – Well my brilliant plan worked perfectly and I got the car to make it to the grid of the A-main in the TQ spot. All that stood between me and finishing the weekend with my prototype DEX408 was a 10 minute main, Michael Paige, and, anything that could possibly go wrong. Well I got out to a clean start and just worked on running clean laps and not doing anything crazy. My batteries were tie-strapped in as I didn’t yet have appropriate velcro for the car and I just wanted to be sure to downside jumps and such so as not to have batteries flying around. For the first half the race Mr. Paige stayed close in tow but he eventually made a mistake and then another and I stayed clean and built up a decent lead. By the end of the run I had about a 1/2 lap victory margin and was able to cross the line for a victory lap. People seemed pretty impressed by the performance of the car and I’m looking forward to putting some time into it and really getting it set-up and to my liking!
Rent-A-Ride Truggy – Broke… 🙁
Okay I’ll elaborate a little bit. I got out to a clean start from the TQ spot and there was malay behind me. But 1/2 a lap in I crashed it myself and even for the first lap of the race the closest marshall was already looking the wrong way and I got put back to 5th or so. I started to run and worked my way back to 2nd but Wheeler had begun to build a decent sized lead. It wasn’t going to matter though as over the right side triple single I nosed over it and subsequently popped off the upper shock nut. I figured that something had broken so I continued to drive it broken for a good 3 or 4 minutes. I was still generally able to keep up, just had trouble with that one section. Then because of not having the shock attached the dog bone popped out and I began to limp it around for a few laps. Eventually my pit man asked if I wanted him to look at it to see if it was fixable. (I thought the arm was broken or something.) Anyways came in and he was able to fix it in about 5 minutes and I went back out and just started hammering on the truck and drifting and just abusing it having fun. There was a lot of attrition in this race so even with all the issues still managed 6th.
Pro Nitro Buggy – Now here is where it all got interesting. I started off clean and made it around to just before the mogul section and I tubed it and Wheeler was in tow and he got into the back of me. My fault. Anyways I fell back to 5th or 6th or so and still on the first lap I went over the triple and the car just donkey flipped straight nose dive and broke my upper shock mount. Lap 1 and I felt my chances were already gone and all my TQ’s and what not were gone to waist. Luckily that fleeting thought only lasted about a nanosecond. I quickly found that I was still able to put in solid lap times without the stinkin shock attached! For the first 7 minutes until my first pit stop I continued to run it and managed to stay in the top 2 – 4 range. I had yelled down after it happened for my mechanic to go grab his shock mount off his car so he made it back just in time for my first pit stop. Anyways I brought it in for the stop, at the time I was probably about 10 seconds behind Michael Paige who was on fire this weekend. By the time I got fixed and back out there I was 2 laps down to Paige and about a lap and a half behind 2nd and 3rd. I quickly realized that “hey, there’s still 38 minutes left in this race. That’s a long way to go and if I start throwing down some sick consistent laps I can get up there to battle in the end!
I worked my way up from last or so and began picking off driver after driver. Paige had a good lead but he was having tire issues. 2 of his tires were coming unglued. In the meantime I was just on rails and focused as I’ve ever been just clicking off lap after lap. Eventually with Michael having to come in to change his two tires and my clean driving I found myself back on the lead lap and up to 4th. I stayed focused and worked my way up to Justin Wheeler who was running 3rd and got by him and just pulled away with my sights set on Jason Branham in 2nd. We were on different pit strategies and thus I knew I was catching. I believe I came in first but in between my stop and his I made up ground and when he came in for his stop I got by into 2nd. Now Paige was 10 seconds ahead of me. I buckled down and with a couple bobble from Paige I was on his tail and then I traction rolled! Fell back a few seconds and then had to pit. Whilst I was in the pit he started having some kind of electrical issue and it seems one of the cells in his lipo went bad. I felt so bad because he and his family are great people and he was driving the best i’ve ever seen him this weekend.
So I came out of my pit lap and due to his issues I inherited the lead with about 6 minutes to go and never looked back. I extended out to just over a 1 lap lead over Branham in the end.
So boys and girls there is a very valuable lesson that I proved this weekend! Never Give Up! I’m glad I stayed focused and in it and came away with the hard fought victory! Looking at my car after the race my AKA Medium Impacts held up very well on this abrasive track and I know they kept me in the race the whole time!
So Overall 3 TQ’s and 2 Victories was a positive weekend for myself, Durango, Alpha Plus, Byrons Fuel, AKA, KO Propo and all my other awesome sponsors! Looking forward to the next event which might be the 1/8th electric Nats in Nebraska in 2 weeks. We shall see!
Saturday August 27, 2011
Back again in St. Louis, Missouri at the awesome Dirtburners R/C facility throwing down some laps during the Byron’s Challenge. It’s been a great time thus far and practice and quals are in the books so lets run down how it’s gone down.
E-Scale – Yes, Durango 1/8th scale electric buggy (DEX408??)!! I don’t honestly know if I was even allowed to run it this weekend but I decided if I might go to the nats in a few weeks that I needed to get some track time. I did one battery pack worth of practice and it felt decent. I forgot all the parts for this vehicle and that round of practice was only my 2nd battery pack on the car. So I didn’t run any more because I wanted to be sure I would be able to race. In the qualifiers I honestly wasn’t expecting much as the car was very new to me but I went out in search of some clean laps. I was able to find them and amazingly I was actually able to put in a few faster laps than the truggy I was running! I eneded up TQing the first two rounds by nearly a lap and thus I sat out the 3rd round to be sure at least my car would be able to start the A-main on Sunday! Overall I’m pleased with the car and look forward to putting some quality time behind the wheel with it!
Rent-A-Ride Truggy – Back at the scene of my last rent-a-ride and Chris Conwell hooked me up again with his X-Ray truggy exactly how it came off the track after the OS/Futaba Nitro Challenge. It again feels great on the track though a bit loose but the conditions are different this time. Either way I just missed out on TQ in round 1 by .4 tenths of a second. In round two I was able to clean it up and take the TQ away from Wheeler. Now in the last round I needed to get the win to get the overall. I put in the first sub 26 second laps of the weekend in this run and ran nearly a flawless race to get within 2 seconds of going the extra lap. Ended up taking the TQ in rd 3 by 14 seconds I believe and thus taking the overall TQ of the class.
Pro Nitro Buggy – Now that I have to clarify that it is nitro, my DNX408 and I have had and up and down day. I decided to once again throw the shocks on the rear of the shocktower and give it a go again. I did this at home and made sure that the swaybar wasn’t binding. I said I was going to stick with it this weekend and make it work and spend some of the time I needed too to be sure I gave it a fair go. My first qualifier wasn’t great. My car had tons of steering especially initial and it was just a handful. I worked on staying clean but did make one marshal type crash and ended up 1 second behind Wheeler for the round. In round two I tried a couple things but they didn’t seem to help. My car didn’t feel good and I had a few terrible laps. I had one lap where I lost 12 seconds and another where I lost 8. It was a bad run but still got a 5th for the round. In round three I new I had to TQ and to do it with the fastest time in the class of the weekend. On the first lap the kicker jump a 1/4 lap in had gotten pretty rough on it’s landing and it threw my car for a loop and on it’s lid. I immediately thought there went my chance. But I bucked down and put in some clean laps. Branham was out front though by a good margin but with a couple minutes to go he made a couple mistakes and I continued clean and picked up the pace and ended up taking the lead. In the end I took the TQ for round 3. This left a 3 way tie in points between myself, Michael Paige, and Josh Wheeler. The tiebreaker though was combined laps and times of the 2 qual point rounds that counted and thus I took the overall TQ by 4 seconds over Paige. Before that 3rd qualifier I had made a good 3 more changes and this time I nailed it. The car felt great and I’m now really looking forward to that A-main!