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! πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ˜€


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! πŸ˜€ 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! πŸ˜€ , 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! πŸ˜€


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Sunday July 10th, 2011

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! πŸ˜‰

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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Happy 4th of July!!!!


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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! πŸ™‚ 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!!! πŸ˜€

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 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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Sunday (EARLY AM), June 26, 2011

I’m Happy. It all came together today. It started in the Short Course class where I had to bump from the B after my issues yesterday. It didn’t go without some scares but I was able to comfortable bump into the A-mains. They ran 2 A-mains and combined the two points and times to determine a winner. I started 13th on the Grid and in the first main was able to dart and weave through traffic with my DESC410R and overtake some others down the straight utilizing the crazy power of the new Tekin Pro 4 motor! About halfway through the main I was able to catch up to the leader Randy Pike and overtook him and extended my lead and held it for the win. In the second main I had a great start. Jumping into about 3rd on the first corner. (Hara told me I jumped over 10 cars in that corner! haha) Anyways I continued the hot start and took the lead on the second lap and never relinquished it. I pushed and extended and ended up putting over a lap on the field in the 7min main. My Durango DESC410R was on rails and I dipped into the 29 second laptimes. It was a great feeling!

In Buggy I just wanted to stay clean and put in a solid run. I was noticing a lot of attrition in the other mains and thus knew I just wanted to stay running. Well I had another very good start coming off the 5 spot on the grid. I got up to third but made a couple of mistakes and let Pavidis and Truhe get by me off and on at the start. I was able to find my groove though and overtook them and held 3rd firmly. I just got into a rhythm and started putting in solid laps. After a while 2nd place flamed out and I inherited 2nd. Maifield had a good lead and he was putting 3rd a lap down and I was the last person on the lead lap. I worked hard to stay on that lead lap and did so for at least 35min or so. I have to hand it to Maifield, he is at one with his vehicles right now and he laid it down. I just did the best I could and was very pleased with my car and how it was driving. I was able to put nearly 2 laps on 3rd myself by the end of the race and stayed just over a lap behind Maifield and took a very solid 2nd. I was very pleased with my Durango DNX408 buggy and I’m looking forward to the next event!! Have to give props to my sponsors AKA for the great wearing and handling Soft Impacts. To Alpha Plus for the Amazing A852 engine that kept running solid while others were flaming out all around me. It’s with these sponsors and my many others that allow me to do what I do and enjoy it so much! Bring on the next race!!


Alabama Manufacturers Shootout

Saturday (Early AM), June 25, 2011

Yesterday was a long day of qualifying. 15 hours to be precise. In Short Course my Durango DESC410R was still the truck to beat and was able to blitz the field in Q1 for TQ of the round. Come round two and three however and the bad luck decided to rear it’s ugly head again. Both round I had the solder on my jumper wire between my two batteries come undone and ended each run prematurely. Thus I’m qualified 3rd in the B-main and will have to bump up into the double A’s.
In Buggy my DNX408 is getting better every run on the track. I’ve been able to bring my laptimes down to where I want them as of last night. Now I just need to clean up my lines and I feel like I have a chance at making a run today! My three qualifiers I finished 4th, 8th, and 5th. None of them felt good so I’m hoping today I can make my run feel good and hopefully the result will show that as well!


Thursday June 23, 2011

Out here in Alabama tonight after having finished a long day of practice at the 2011 Alabama Manufacturers Shootout. The day of practice went pretty well for me. I didn’t get quite the amount of track-time that I would have hoped for (or that I heard some people were getting!) but I still managed to put in some good runs in our 1 round of timed practice. In Short Course my DESC410R was awesome! Using the same set-up from Nor-Cal the week prior my truck was dialed and absolutely flying with the new Tekin Pro-4 motor. I was able to be within 1.7 seconds of my fastest lap in Pro Buggy with my SC. If counting the full run it would have put me 10th in the Pro Truggy A! haha
Looking for another good day tomorrow when it really matters! Qualification day!
In Buggy my DNX408 also proved to be on pace. I laid down some consistent laps and overall times put me #1. However they utilized your fastest 3 laps in a row which will put me 3rd in my qualifier tomorrow. Looking forward to a positive day and hoping to have a great rest of the event with 3 rounds of qualification tomorrow and mains on Saturday. (And home on Sunday to be with the family!)

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