August 23, 2016
This past weekend I headed down south on a direct flight to Atlanta! (I almost always have a layover so this trip started great!;-) Then we had a hour and 15min drive north east to attend the Wicked Weekend race. This event is held in an awesome facility being an open sided horse arena. There was grandstands to watch the racing and the open sides (with great roof!) kept off the rain but provided a nice breeze to keep cool in these dog days of summer. I ran my usual 3 classes and it actually left me with plenty of time to help others as there were around 640 entries! They decided to shorten the program to two 7 minute qualifiers instead of 3, 5 minute runs.
In qualifying everything was going my way. In round 1 we started with E-buggy pretty early in the morning and the track was pretty slick still from the overnight watering. I was able to put in a clean run however the whole time bouncing around the TQ Joe had set. In the last two laps I was able to secure the deal and take the TQ by 0.8 tenths. The Nitro classes followed and the traction had come up and the track was about 1.5 seconds a lap faster than it had been in the morning. I began to dip into the 29 second range and was able to barely squeak out a 15 lap run which I also did in Nitro buggy. So in all of Q1 I never crashed and everything was running great.
The second qualifier brought much more of the same. Because there was only 2 rounds the tiebreaker would be the person with the faster qualpoint round. So I knew I needed to also win this Ebuggy round because I knew it would be quicker with the track being 1.5 seconds a lap faster. Again it was another great battle with Joe but again I was able to stay clean and out front and take the TQ! In Truggy it was a battle between Ogden and I. We were both on decent 15 lap runs and were dipping into the low 29’s. The track was fast and my Tekno truggy was on point. I would run clean and take a 3 second TQ. Nitro buggy was another battle between Ogden and I and again much like truggy my clean race propelled me to the front and to finish off the clean sweep of qualifying. The TQ trifecta was complete.
Sunday our mains didn’t come up until mid afternoon. We started off with Ebuggy A1 and I chose the wrong tire. The traction had really come up again and I went with a regular soft where a soft long wear would have suited the condition better. I also crashed on the top right whoops section multiple times. Crashing more times in that one race than I had all throughout all of qualifying in all 3 classes. So for this one I had to settle for 2nd.
In A2 Joe and I had a battle. We swapped positions multiple times throughout the race and put on a good show for those watching. Over the closing laps he put some serious pressure on me but I made my car wide and kept him behind just barely. In the end I would cross the line for the A2 win putting us in an A3 battle! A3 was the final race of the evening and on the first lap I flipped off the track in the top right corner again. This was all Joe needed as he was dialed in and I just had nothing for him once I got back into 2nd. So overall it was a Tekno 1-2 and I took 2nd in this one.
The Nitro truggy main couldn’t have gone much better. At the start halfway into the first lap p2 crashed giving me a couple second lead. Next lap same thing and I got an early 5 second lead that would just continue to grow. I ran totally clean for the first 27 minute as I had gotten a lap on the field and I made a couple mental mistakes as my back was sore and I was uncomfortable on the stand. I tried to use it as a learning experience and finished strong with just over a lap victory on the field.
Nitro buggy was up around 7pm and my choice of soft long wear Impacts was the right choice. My car was easy to drive as I also went up in front sway bar judging from the performance of my ebuggy runs. I felt I made all the right decisions and over the first 2 laps Ogden was pressuring me hard. I made a mistake and fell to 2nd and we pulled away from the field. I was totally cool running 2nd at this point just running my pace and keeping within 2 seconds of Ogden. On my pit in lap he crashed and I got into the lead as I came into the pit. He went one more lap and while he was in pit lane he flamed out and lost half a lap. I got out to a 12 second lead over Pickett and over the next stop I extended up to an 18 second lead by the time the second pit stops were through. I was driving a super clean race and suddenly I had a outer driveshaft pin break on me and the pin and barrel were gone. That ended my race with an 18 second lead on the field. So a bit of bad luck there but it was nice to know I had the pace and will come back stronger next time.
Next up is the proline shootout at Thornhill this upcoming week including a driver seminar on Thursday that Joe and I will be doing!
August 5, 2016