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! 🙂 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! 😉 Until next time….
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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! 🙂 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!
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! 😀
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! 😀 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! 😀 , 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!
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! 😀
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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!
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.
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! 😉
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!
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Sunday July 3rd was main day at the JC Summer Indoor Nats Rd #2. In the fourth qualifier I was able to take the 4th and final round of Short Course and thus won all 4 rounds pretty handily. My truck was honestly super dialed as some would say and again the Tekin Pro 4 motor was a beast. Even on this small track it was fun to cut ‘er loose and pull trigger and the super high bite clay surface just let me put the power down. We turned our tires into slicks for this race which was a first time for me. Taking a dremel to a new set of tires seems crazy but it was worth a few tenths of a second and that’s all that matters in racing! In 4wd Mod my DEX410 was starting to come around. I was throwing set-ups at it left and right just trying to learn the buggy and get it dialed in. The fourth round was okay and I managed a 4 for the round which was at least enough to put me into the A main and 6th on the grid.
Come main time it was SC up first. It was an 8 minute race and I wasn’t sure I can make it. (I’m sure some of you are like, come-on, it’s only 8min. Well put yourself behind the equivalent of a 2 turn motor and rip it like a 1/8th truggy and let me know your findings!) Either way I knew I had to pace myself to be sure I finished. So I turned it down to about 75%. I got out to the lead and only made 3 laps above 15 seconds. I stayed consistent and just showed what the truck can do. I ended up taking the win by about a lap and a half. My DESC410R was on rails as it has been lately. For those serious about racing the 4wd SC class the Durango is the only way to go. Put a diff in the center, get a couple of aluminum bits for added durability and you have yourself a super strong SC that is quite simply the fastest SC on the market!
Next up was 4wd buggy. This main was 10 minutes long and I was nearly positive I had zero shot at making 10 minutes. This was my first race weekend with the DEX410 and it was a bit of a learning curve to say the least. I had practiced with it twice before and I had a gremlin in it that we just couldn’t figure out. With the over the top help from Randy Pike from Tekin we were finally able to figure out what it was after changing out and trying just about everything. It was a trying time and things just weren’t going my way in practice or qualifying at this event either. Luckily I was able to make the A so I knew at least if I drove clean and smooth I could have a shot. At the start I stayed clean but a lap or two in someone tubed it and I got into them sending me to the back of the pack. I was dead last in 10th and actually content there for the early going as I didn’t do any practice laps because I wanted to make sure I would finish the race on battery. (I wasn’t able to test runtime due to the gremlin and so many other things that would take forever to go over.) Anyways I was attempting to drive super smooth. I had done one major change before the main and that was to shorten my camberlinks all the way around to give the car more camber-gain and I also just gave it more camber overall. This seemed to be really good. A few laps in and I started to find a groove. I slowly started moving through the pack and eventually found myself in 3rd. Tyler Vik and Steven Hartson were ahead of me and battling and I inched closer until it was a 3 way battle. Then Hartson broke out or something and it was down to me and Vik. I was running right behind him and with like 30 seconds to go coming over the front hump under the announcers stand the car shut down. Turns out I melted the wire off the motor and it shorted. Such was my luck but to come out and be competitive the first time really racing the car and with all the issues I have had thus far was very promising. It felt really good in the main and I’m looking forward to the Hot Rod Shootout this upcoming week and 6 min quals and mains! 🙂 I think I can do well. Just got to get in the electric frame of mind!
4wd SC TQ and Win at JC Indoor Nats Rd 2
Anyways it was a good weekend for me overall. I was pleased with how it went and I was happy to show that yet again the Durango DESC410R is the truck to beat on yet another surface (Super high bite clay).
Next up I leave for the Hot Rod Shootout on Tuesday. Quick turnaround. I should be getting a prototype 2wd Durango to run this week. Should be interesting! Shout Out:::Billy Fisher, I’m going to need your help!!! 😀
Until a few days from now….
Did a short 2 hour travel up to Chico to race at Outback Raceway. (Also home to A-main hobbies)
The event is the J-Concepts Summer Indoor Nationals and this weekend is round #2. I decided to come and run some electric to prepare for the Hot Rod Shootout next weekend and the Nationals in about a month. I am running my DEX410 and DESC410R. So far my Short Course Truck has been dialed. The video above is courtesy of rcinsider.com and is of part of my second qualifier. So far I have TQ’d all three rounds run with one more tomorrow. My DESC410R has been able to dip into the 14 second lap times and is nearly as fast as my 4wd buggy!
Speaking of 4wd buggy my DEX410 is starting to come along. This is my first ever race with the car and to be honest it’s been a bit of a struggle. I’ve battled an unknown gremlin for a while now and am hoping to have got it figured out. Set-up wise i’m doing about 3 – 5 setup changes per round just trying to get the car figured out on this extremely high bite surface. I’ve had 2 DNF’s. Both the fault of the mechanic! But my one finish was 5th. In the 3rd round I was running top 2 and my wheel nut came out! oops! :-0 Anyways there is still one more qualifier to go so hopefully it will all come together and I can have a good starting position in the A.
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