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!
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! 😀