Sunday, Feb 27, 2011
As the sun has set on the Nitro Pit and the Nitro Challenge event and the winners have been crowned it’s time to reflect on my mains and how it all went down on Sunday. As I have mentioned I had some bad luck in qualifying and thus was in the D-main. Overnight rains soaked the track and we got a late start to the day. (Noon instead of 9am.) This caused the shortening of the lower mains and made it harder to get to the front to bump up.
First up was the D-main. The track was still a bit muddy and tacky in spots. So driving was a bit of a challenge. You would be going over the dry spots and your car would act normal. Then you would hit a wet patch especially in a corner and just flip or the car would be out of control! Kept you on your toes to say the least. In the D-main I had an okay start, eventually plugged away some decent lap times and took over the lead and extended it to 10 seconds or so and held on for the bump in the 7 min race.
Next up was the C-main. Didn’t do any set-up changes and went out again trying to just stay smooth and make my move. I had a rough beginning and found myself at the back. I worked my way up to around 5th near the end of the 10 min race where I was struggling with those wet patches on the track. Taking many tumbles. On the last 2 laps I reeled in 3rd and 4th and on the last 2 corners was right behind when one of them made a mistake and I got around and finished 3rd just acquiring the final bump spot into the B-main.
I was pleased to make the b-main as that is where the rest of the Durango team qualified into. We all had a bit of bad luck throughout the weekend but had hi hopes for the B-main. I did 3 set-up changes and in warmup they felt like I did the right thing. I think the other guys on the team found their cars to be a bit to edgy like I did in the D and C mains as they stuck basically with what they had been running. I had a good start and moved up to around 7th, then back to 15th on the first lap. I think before the first lap was over though I had made it back up to 8th again. Many people were crashing. About 2 – 3 min into the race on the right side I either crashed or got tangled in a crashed car and got creamed again by a car coming from behind me. Again I was facing the wrong way when it happened and much like CRCRC I got nailed and broke a front shock shaft! So I raced the final 17 min or so on 3 shocks. I somehow was able to do alright all things considered and by the end of the B-main I had finished 5th place (2nd after bump-ups.)
All in all I was pleased with the buggy. The track was very challenging with the dry/wet patches and the car was handling pretty well all things considered. Our team worked very well together this weekend and it was a pleasure to have that opportunity. I look forward to many more meetings with the entire Durango team. I know none of us achieved the results that we wanted this weekend but we did learn a lot about the car and things will only continue to get better from here on out!
Next up for me is the Psycho Nitro Blast in Georgia starting March 9th.
Saturday, Feb 26, 2011
Today was main day for trucks. This meant I got to run my DESC410 one more time hear at the Nitro Pit. There were I believe 7 of us in the class and at the start I moved up to 5th and settled in. After a couple of laps I was surprised to find that I was keeping up with the pack and I was learning the car and the track and it was all coming together. Eventually I started putting in some solid laps and moved up to second place! I was gaining on the leader having put in 3 consecutive 49 second lap times including the fastest lap of the main. Then I had the mistake to end it all. I broke loose and hit the support beam for the drop-down and sheared the left front off of my car. 🙁
I was so impressed by my Durango DESC410 and how it was handling. I had many people tell me it was jumping better than any other short course out there and I was clearing everything. Even doing double double tripple the first couple of laps! I really do think this is the SC truck to have. This was a track that wasn’t meant for short course but out of the box the truck handled amazing and was very easy to drive. I know when people get a set-up on this thing and get it all dialed in it is going to dominate the scene!
Tomorrow is buggy main day and for me it is bump up day. I spent much of Saturday going through my buggy and getting it all ready for the hopefully 4 mains I will compete in on Sunday! Lets pray I can do it!
Friday, Feb 25, 2011
Today I have two words to explain. Fortune and Luck. One I consider I have very good and the other I have very bad. Can you guess which? I feel I have very good fortune. I have a beautiful family, great support both in the R/C industry and at home, and my health. I however feel like I have very bad luck as well, and that leads me into my Friday at the Nitro Challenge. Let me preface this by saying that I have always struggled having to talk about a poor race day or race weekend after the fact. I would prefer forget about it asap and be done with it. However now with this blog i’ve complicated matters further for myself by having to recount details of my bad days! Oh well, hopefully, eventually, my luck will change and I can write about some happier times.
I was so excited for this day. Not having nearly enough track time, I was ready to race and lay it down. However luck was not on my side. First round came about and while I was struggling I was still on a top 10 run at the time. With about 2 laps to go all of a sudden my car stopped turning to the left. It would still turn full right and back to center but wouldn’t go left. We brought it back to our pit and everything worked fine! So I’m chopping it up to a rock. (or bad luck gremlins)
Second round I put a new engine in for it. I borrowed it from another teammate as I haven’t had time to break any in over the past couple months of travel and racing. Unfortunately it wasn’t fully broken in either and the tune wasn’t consistent and I struggled timing the jumps. It was frustrating. My car was handling very well but I just couldn’t time the jumps for the life of me. I was able to finish but 24th is not what is expected of me.
Third round happened around 9pm. The sun had set and the moisture came up and the track was in prime condition. I got out there on my SS Gridirons and my car felt dialed! Best it has ever felt. I was so excited to finally put in a good run. I had a good first lap, bobbled on the second and on the third lap I crashed in the double double triple section. Unfortunately there were two cars behind me and my car sat upside down front facing oncoming traffic and the second car down-sided the double perfectly and punted my car at full bore resulting in a broken arm. 🙁 My car was so good and it was just so frustrating.
Let me add what I am trying to construe as good news. I will probably be in the D or E main which hopefully will mean some bumping up! My car feels great, my engine is nearly broke in and should be very good by Sunday, and the thing I need more than anything is track time. So hopefully I will get it with those bump-ups and give me a shot at a good run in the A by the end of the day Sunday!
Thurs, Feb 24, 2011
Today was my day ‘off’ at the Dirt Nitro Challenge. Running only my Short-course truck it made for a very relaxing day at the track. I spent some of my time volunteer marshaling, working on my Buggy for Friday, and learning a bit more about the DESC410. Unfortunately today I had a crown gear go out on me. (I learned later that I shimmed it wrong). However we don’t have any spare parts for the truck at the moment so I wasn’t able to run my last two qualifiers. It does use the same diff as the DEX410 so on Saturday Billy Fisher will bring me a replacement so that I may run the A-main at least. What I did run it I was very impressed. This is a huge track and for sure not meant for SC trucks. However the Durango handled it pretty well and I know with some time on the truck it would be completely dialed! (I just can’t believe the number of holes you have to cut in these SC bodies to keep the trucks from floating! haha
Friday is Buggy qualifying and the day I have been waiting for. I’m really excited to run my DNX408 and looking to do very well! I have hi expectations this weekend and I hope to live up to them.
Wed, Feb 23, 2011
Well today was day number one and the first and only day of practice at the Nitro Challenge. I am running my Durango DESC410 and DNX408. This was my first time ever getting my short course truck on the track. Unfortunately I am having to use a body from another manufacturer as mine is at the painter and thus it doesn’t quite fit perfectly. Anyways on the track it feels amazing regardless. I can’t believe how well it is driving. I’m really excited for tomorrow to see what kind of laps I can put in with it.
As for my DNX408 its a new week! It feels Awesome and I really do feel like this is going to be a good week for me. It is awesome to have the American team together at this event. We are working great together and this being one of Billy’s home tracks he gave us a set-up to start with and it is really really good! I’m so excited for Buggy Qualifying and can’t wait to redeem myself from the last two events. The car is coming together and this team is a blast to work with! Good things are and will be coming out of the Durango camp for years to come! 😀
Check back tomorrow to see how I fare with my SC truck! Also watch live on www.liverc.com