Sunday April 10, 2011

YEEEE HAWWWWW!!!! Let’s just skip right past what happened in Truggy (broken arm) and Short Course (still not sure what) and focus on what transpired in Pro Buggy.

I had to start as BQ and try my chances at bumping into the A-main. My Durango DNX408 has felt amazing all weekend as I have mentioned and the B-main was no exception. It was hotter today and thus I did feel as my suspension was a bit soft. But all in all it felt great. I had a so-so first 15min of the race. Running between 1st – 3rd. Catching up and falling back. Then with 5 minutes to go I found my groove and took the lead and pulled away. Took a nice commanding victory and I knew my buggy was ready for the A-main!

With it being a bit hotter I decided to go up 50cts in shock oil all the way around. On the bench this felt pretty stiff but on the track for the A-main my car was the best it had been all week long! I felt I had the car to take the win. At the start taking off from the 12th spot on the grid I passed a couple guys on the inside of the first jump. Then on the top front left corner got tagged in the rear which made me have to single single single the tripple jump on the left side. I fell to last but everyone crashed again in the whoops section and I got by a handful. Another group crashed on the downstairs and I passed a couple more. I was around 6th place coming by the first lap. I then got into my groove and began driving my amazing machine and was at one with it! πŸ˜‰ I picked off a few more people and moved up to 3rd place before the first pitstop. Some of you with a Durango may know that unfortunately at the moment it is hard to use a fuel gun on it. Well my pitguy (brother-in-law) did the best he could but some spilled on the pipe and flamed me out. He got me right back started up and I only lost a few more seconds.

I retained 3rd place and just put it in cruise control for a while. During my second stop the same thing happened though I was just barely able to keep it from dying. After that Eric made a good executive decision and went back to the bottle for the remaining fuel stops. This took about an extra 2 – 3 seconds than the leaders but it was safe and I didn’t have any more issues. I drove as good as I could and even with the minor things setting me back I was able to stay within about 15 seconds of the leaders the entire race. I finished 3rd place on the Podium! All in all it was a great race for me. I know the car was capable of winning and I know when we get the tank to accept a fuel gun better and we continue to get a bit more time on the car that I’m going to be getting those podium finishes all the time!

I want to give a huge thanks to my brother-in-law Eric for sacrificing himself for me this weekend. He made the Sportsman B-main and elected not to run it so he could help me as I was the race after him. He drove great in his own right this weekend and I thank him so much for his help. Also just can’t say enough about the guys at Durango. This is such a great company to race for and this car just gets better and better! They are Serious about racing and I’m serious about winning! And those results are coming!

Silver State 2011 Buggy Podium


Saturday April 9, 2011

Qualifying has ended and my results are a mixed bag. In my rent a ride truggy class I had a solid first run getting a 7th. Second run had the rear diff go out while on a TQ run during my qualifier. Third run had some early mistakes but battled back to finish 8th for the round. Overall putting my 10th in the A-main.

In Short Course class I was having a rough go of it. First round started out well and was doing top 4 but then fell off at the end and settled for 7th. During the second run I was top 2 for the first couple laps but then the pin in my dogbone came out ending that run. Come round 3 I was just working to stay clean. I ended up putting down the fasted lap time and overall round for the weekend in 4wd Mod SC. Got the TQ for the round which overall with my first round 7 put me 5th on the starting grid. I am hoping for a duplication of that third round in the A-main! Would be nice to put my DESC410 in the winners circle! πŸ™‚

Buggy was a roller coaster. My buggy felt so amazing in the first round. I had a few mistakes but still managed 6th for the round. The car was capable of so much more. In the second round we ran around 10pm at night. During the run my goggles began to fog up and I just made way to many mistakes. Got 20 something for the round. So come third round I needed a decent run. I went 50cts softer in the rear suspension hoping for that to help in the rough. I was wrong. Should have left it as it was. I ended up making a couple mistakes early. Battled back into the top 5 or 6 and then on the last lap crashed with 3 corners to go and the marshal was watching the race. I ended up 15th overall for the round but only one second out of a top 12 for the round. I ended up qualifying 12th and they only seated 11 into the A-main. So I am BQ. I tied in points with Adam Drake but he had the better tie-breaker which was the third round finish. I was just bummed to have that rollover be the difference between that one point I needed to make the A. Either way I’m going back to the set-up I had and am going to win that B and give it all I got in the A-main tomorrow! Check it out live on


Thursday Eve. April 7, 2011

Well practice is over for the day. My feelings on my Durango DNX408 Buggy were true as it feels awesome on the track. I had a very frustrating time with traffic and mistakes on my part but I was so happy with the Buggy. I can’t wait for qualifying to start tomorrow. Tomorrow we have 2 qualifiers so i’m hoping to put in some solid runs tomorrow to take the pressure off of Saturday.


Thursday April 7, 2011

Today is the start of practice here at the Silver State Nitro Challenge. I will be running 3 classes this week. Running my Durango DNX408 and DESC410R along with my rent a ride ST-RR.
I’ve had a good feeling leading up to this event and coming off a couple of wins leaves me with some good confidence. I’m ready for an Awesome Week!!


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Monday March 14, 2011 (3:00 P.M.)

2011 Psycho Nitro Blast Double Victory + Buggy TQ

Well i’m back to give an update on how it all went down at this years Psycho Nitro Blast event in it’s new location in Unadilla, GA (about 1.5 hours south of Atlanta). I ended up helping pit for my friend Carlos in his 45 min Sportsman truck A-main in which he took 3rd. I also pitted for my brother in law Eric in his 45 min sportsman Buggy A-main in which he had some bad luck with the battery wire and such but really impressed me with how much he is improving. Next were my 2, hour long mains and I was just hoping my body would hold up and I wouldn’t make to many mistakes with my lack of sleep really starting to take a toll. My vision was blurred and focusing was a task in its self.

At the start of the truggy main in which I was running my Mechanic Dennis’s 3 year old ST-RR I set out behind Drake through the first couple of corners. Then he flamed out which gave me the lead. That was all I needed. The truck even with the lack of love and attention that it received during the week was doing really well. I began to extend my lead and thankfully my AKA Soft Cityblocks were hooked up and my Alpha Plus A852 engine was running flawlessly. At about the 10 minute mark I just put it in cruise control and made it my goal to run clean and consistent and not have any crashes. This was a good strategy as I stretched my lead and won by nearly 2 laps I believe.

Pro Truggy A-main Podium

About 30 min later it was time for the hour long Pro Buggy A-main. This was the one that I really wanted and meant a lot to me. At the start I held on to the lead from the TQ spot on the grid. A few laps in and Jeremy Kortz, Barry Pettit, Adam Drake and I were all in a pretty good freight train around the track. They then began to make a couple mistakes or what-not and I was able to begin to find my groove and extend my lead. About 30 min into the main I had over a lap lead and was extending lap by lap. Then after either my 30 min or 38 min pitstop I did a couple of corners and flipped over. My idle was a bit low and it flamed out on me. Luckily I had built up that decent lead and the marshall was able to get the car to pit lane in decent time and my pit guys got me fired up and I made it back on the track and retained a 12 second lead. I then set out to get my lap back. My Durango DNX408 was just easy to drive. I could put it anywhere I wanted it and that was crucial on this track. According to many I had some of the most creative and best lines going on the track in which 90% of every lane was ridden with pot holes. I was able to extend my lead out and get my lap on the field again I believe by the end of the main.

Pro Buggy A-main Podium

It felt great to finally get some wins this year. It has been very hard to deal with a lot of the criticism that has been floating around and all i’ve been telling people is that I didn’t feel I had been given a chance to really show what the Durango and myself were capable of yet. But this weekend with Billy Fishers excellent starting set-up from the Nitro Pit (which I only changed 2 things for this track) and being able to have more practice time, and running 2 classes instead of one I think all really contributed to the end result.

I am so happy with the car right now. I really think it’s just going to get better and better. How can it not with the great group of guys we have on the team and the company with the mentality of wanting to win. It’s going to be a great 10 years! πŸ˜‰


Monday March 14, 2011 (1:00 A.M.)

Just got back to the hotel. Off to the airport in 3.5 hours. Major sleep depravation has set in and I’m lucky I stayed awake and didn’t fall over the railing of the drivers stand!
For now it’s going to be a short and sweet update. I took Double Victory!! Put my Durango DNX408 into it’s first big race winners circle here in the U.S. I’m very happy, . . and very tired. I hope to be able to write more in the next day or two! πŸ˜€

Sunday March 13, 2011 (9:00 A.M.)

Well qualifying didn’t continue quite as good as it started. A few bumps in the road but in the end in the class that mattered I was able to take overall TQ with my Durango DNX408! This was such a relief. Felt I should have won all 3 qualifiers but had some bad luck in the second. So come the third round I needed a win. 4 AM came and I was able to lay it down again and it felt great. My Durango feels amazing on this track and I’ve had many compliments on how it’s running. I’m really looking forward to the Hour long main. I’m just trying to get some sleep which isn’t really possible unfortunately. I came with three other guys and my mechanic and they are all racing in sportsman class. One had bad luck in buggy and was in the 3rd main this morning at 5:30AM. The other is in the C-main which will be around 10AM. So in between it all throughout the last 36 hours i’ve just been taking little half-hour cat naps here and there when I can. It’s caught up with me at the moment. I’m going to try to get in a few more so I can be rested for the main! I’d also like to congratulate my brother-in-law for making the Sportsman A-main in Buggy and my website builder Carlos for qualifying 2nd in Sportsman Truggy! Great job guys!

In Truck I broke a fuel tank and have to settle for 2nd on the grid. The truck is serving it’s purpose and that is track time. For that I am grateful. But my primary focus is to put that Durango in the Winners Circle! Wish me luck!

Saturday March 12, 2011 (4:00 A.M.!)

Just got back from my first qualifier (note the time!)
I’m off to sleep to get my 3.5 hours for tonight before heading back to marshall the first race at 9am.
For the first time this year I can say my first quals went great.
TQ truggy with my rent a ride ST-RR.
TQ Buggy with my engine running 180*! (usually run around 250 – 260. Was just a tad rich! haha
Anyways off to bed and looking to get overall TQ tomorrow in the second round so I can skip the 3rd round and sleep! That’s the goal anyways!

-Lutzinator out……(Lights out that is! πŸ˜‰

Thursday March 10, 2011

Well this will be a short one as I’m off to bed…Around 9pm. Reason so early is that it’s strategy time. The Psycho Nitro Blast offers over 40 hours continuous practice time. In past experience I have come to realize the best time to get clean track practice is in the wee hours of the morning. So we will be getting up around 2am and heading to the track for some practice. We will then probably leave around noon, head back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep again before returning at 6pm for the first qualifier round. (Which will probably take 10 hours +! So we will be at the track for probably over 24 hours starting tomorrow night! It’s fun, psychotic, and I guess makes us all a little crazy.)
Looking forward to every minute of it!

Wednesday March 9, 2011

Currently about 34,000 miles in the air on my way to Unadilla, GA, home of this years Psycho Nitro Blast. Always look forward to this race and the lack of sleep on tap. I’ve heard there are over 500 entires so this race has grown very big. I’m looking forward to it as I saw a sneak peak video of someone testing the front jumps and it looks pretty good with some BIG air! I’m extremely excited to try my Nitro Challenge set-up here and see how it works. I think we are getting the Durango figured out better and better and am ready to start dominating! πŸ˜€
Check back throughout the week as I try to report how things are going if I can get a chance with all the sleep depravation that will be going on. πŸ˜€
Love this race!


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Sunday, Mar 6, 2011

Yesterday I headed over to Home Depot and got 400′ of pipe thinking that should be enough to finalize my track. Boy was I wrong! It’s going to take another 400′ to finish it I believe so that will have to wait for another day. We went out there and laid out the pipe that we had got along with the 150′ of black corrugated pipe that we had found on the property. For the most part the layout can be seen and it at least allowed me to run my car for a few laps before the rain came back. I didn’t do my complete layout that I had set out before because there ended up being a low spot that was still very wet and the rain also destroyed my berm. So for now I had to improvise.

My brother-in-law and his friends had also built a wood halfpipe looking thing for his BMX bikes. It was a little sketchy so they decided to start over with new wood. So we used the two halves to make a jump for the R/C track. We wanted to put it close so we could line up for it as it’s only 6′ wide but we ended up putting it on the end of the back-straight for now. So lining up for it is a big challenge but it is only temporary.

At the moment rain and time are the biggest hurdles. It’s raining again today and will be again tomorrow. Then i’m off to Atlanta. So hopefully by April the weather will clear out and I can spend some time making the track truly dialed. For now, it’s something to play on while we wait for the time and weather to clear! Enjoy the video for what it’s worth. I know it’s sketchy and all but it’s something for now.

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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. πŸ™
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. πŸ™ 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! πŸ˜€
Check back tomorrow to see how I fare with my SC truck! Also watch live on

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Sunday February 20th, 2011

Well racing at Motorama has commenced and while it was a fun race with a cool atmosphere it was a bit of a disappointment for me. I hate making excuses so i’m just going to say I didn’t live up to my expectations this weekend. I had minor issues and bad set-up choices and it all cumulated in a less than desirable outcome. Something that I was happy with was the durability of my Durango. I beat the snot out of it with my poor driving in the main and it just kept going. It is awesome having a platform that I know is going to hold together for entire mains.
It was a very long 3 days with the early up and late to bed and only one class of running. Now I need to get up at 2:30 am to go drive 2 hours to Baltimore to go home for 1/2 a day before heading out for the Nitro Challenge. I’m beat at the moment but that is the great thing about racing R/C cars. You can have a terrible day or week of racing but there is always next time. And for me that next time is in 2 days with the start of the Nitro Challenge. I know starting tomorrow i’ll begin to feel better and be ready to lay it down again. This will be the first race with most of the US Durango team in attendance so that will be fun. I’ll be looking to redeem myself and put in a good performance.
I realize this was a different kind of post but maybe it can also give some insight into my mind and how the ‘life of an r/c racer goes.’ Check back all next week for updates from the Nitro Challenge where I’ll be running my DNX408 and should also be running the new DESC410 for the first time! Should be fun.
Take care,

Sunday Early A.M. February 20th, 2011

Yesterday was another long day. Waking up at 6:30 and heading to the track only to be there until midnight to run 3 qualifiers in just one class. It’s tiring to say the least but today is main day and even with some difficulties in qualifying I was able to put’er in the show and qualify 9th overall. My first qualifier was pretty good all things considered as I ran a fairly clean race which on this blown out track makes for a decent round. It put me 5th in the round which was a good feeling knowing I only had to finish one more decently to make the A.
That one other finish was not going to happen in the second round as I had a DNS due to a electronic failure. So now the pressure was on to make a decent third run. It was a very long day to only run one class while all the other top drivers were running two classes. I just never felt I had the tracktime I needed. However I spent the entire beginning of the 3rd round before I was up rebuilding my car and going through it to make sure there wasn’t something wrong because my car felt uncharacteristically loose. I found it near the end when I got to the rear suspension bushings. My mechanic had put them in wrong, having never built the car by himself yet it was a simple user error that could have happened to anyone. Basically the RR bushings were put in both the RF and RR applications. So I probably ended up with something like 4-5* of anti-squat and maybe 4-5* of rear toe, plus the suspension was put in a bit of a bind to get it to that point. So now the issues I’d been having all weekend thusfar made sense. Only thing was we had been trying to compensate for it with set-up and we had done a few key changes before that third round and weren’t so sure they were going to be the best with the suspension bushings now being correct.
So third round came about and the track was the roughest yet. I tried to stay clean but made a few mistakes early. The car felt more in control but the changes we did to the suspension ended up making it a bit too soft and it hurt on the jumps. Either way I stayed as clean as I could knowing I really only needed to finish decently to make the A. I took 8th overall for the round putting me 9th on the Grid for the A-main.
At this point I feel a bit behind having not had the tracktime and only now having a car that is working properly but I’m going to make a hail mary pass at a set-up for the main and I hope to nail it to have a good shot at doing very well. I know the car can handle this track so it’s up to me to lay it down and do the best I can! Check out Live R/C and watch the action live! I’ll be giving it all I have to put my Durango DNX408 in the winners circle! πŸ™‚

Saturday February 19th, 2011

Well it’s bright and early here in PA and it’s qualification day. Yesterday was three rounds of controlled practice with the last two rounds taking your best three consecutive laps to seat you for todays qualifications. It was a long day and the practice took us until Midnight to complete those three rounds. This is a HUGE event. There is over 400 entries in the Nitro / 1/8th area and over 400 entries in the Electric area! Absolutely huge! Plus they have motocross, midgets, tuner show, quads, and more to go watch throughout the day. There is also supposed to be around 40,000 people passing through in the next 2 days. This is an event not to miss and i’m glad I was able to make it this year. I’m looking forward to todays three qualification rounds and hopefully will be able to lay it down with my Durango DNX408 buggy. I also have my new Durango DESC410R on display for people to see. Most seem very impressed! πŸ™‚ Check back to see how qualification shakes out.

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