Thursday January 20th, 2011
Day one of the Midwest Gas champs is in the books:
Practice went well for me and I did a dozen or so tanks and felt like I got my DNX408 pretty dialed. Here is a video of today’s practice and the snow we’ve gotten! Check back throughout the weekend for more updates!

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIcSKZUgid0]

Saturday January 22, 2011
Qualifying here at the CRCRC Midwest Gas Championships is done. The mains are set up and it’s time for a good night’s rest to prepare for Sunday’s mains. Usually a 45-minute main isn’t that daunting. But when that 45 minutes is inside — where the temps are near freezing and the sound continues to drum in your ears well after the main is over it — makes it a bit more important to be prepared and well rested!

Let me recap how my Durango DNX408 and I fared today during our three qualifiers. Quals were sorted from practice so all of the fast guys were together in the same heat. Rd one started out well for me and for the first 3 laps I was running right behind Maifield. I was beginning to get in a groove when I took a bad tumble and broke my rear upper turnbuckle arm. They were resorting every round and thus for the second round I was in the first heat of Pro Buggies with all the people who struggled their first round like me. Asround two began it was my mission to run a clean run and avoid traffic as much as possible. I was able to accomplish this and while I didn’t throw down anything crazy fast I was able to put in a 6th overall for the first two rounds. The race crew had decided on doing a rocket round and thus it only takes one good run to get in the main.

Next up was round three, and again there was a resort. I was in with the fast group again, and in the warm-up I was feeling decent about the few changes I made to the car. As the race got underway I had a solid start and was running top 3 for the first half of the race. Then on the back straight a bump caught me and I went tumbling! Lost 5 seconds on that crash, and on a track so small with a group of racers so fast those 5 seconds were huge! I pulled it back together for everything but the last two laps where I bobbled on each. I ended up with a sub-par run due to the crashes.

Overall after 3 rounds of qualifying I was able to seat 7th for the A-main. I really think the A-main will go well. My engines are running awesome (10min!) and I believe in my car’s ability to stay together! I’m excited for Sunday!

Sunday January 23, 2011
Well Sunday racing has come and gone. It was a long day of racing only running in one class, but the anticipation built throughout the day until the culmination at the beginning of the A-main!

Starting 7th on the grid right in the middle of the pack is kind of a make or break position. You have half the field in front and halfbehind you so I was just looking to stay clean and hope for mistakes by those in front of me. At the start it was clean up front and eventually 8th bobbled and it was a 7-car breakaway. Soon, on subsequent bobbles from those ahead of me I steadily worked up to 6th, 5th, 4th, and then 3rd for a short time. I then made a bobble of my own and fell back to 5th which I held until around the 8:30 mark. The track had gotten slicker for finals day and I hadn’t done a runtime test since practice. I must have been spinning a lot of tires and driving to hard as I ran out of gas crossing the line. I fell back about 2 laps by thetime I got fired up and back going. I got into a good groove and began working my way back through the pack.

Then with about 18 minutes to go, someone crashed over the back double and I nailed them head on, breaking my shock shaft! My right front shock was standing straight up in the air! I continued to drive and actually began having a really good time with it! The car was working surprisingly well with only 3 shocks and I was actually passing people!!! I was amazed that I was driving the snot out of my DNX408! I couldn’t believe nothing else broke in the front end with 18 minutes of slamming into jumps and landings on 3 shocks! Even though the result wasn’t what I wanted (finishing in 8th), it was fun to manhandle a 3-shocked buggy and do some drifting again and have a good time.

Tomorrow (Monday) I’m off to Taiwan to do some testing with Alpha Plus at their factory! I can’t wait to visit their factory and see what producing engines is all about! I look forward to reporting back about it in as much detail as I can when I return. (Or maybe if I have good Internet while I’m there!)

Thanks to the CRCRC crew and the RC Factory for a quality race and I look forward to coming back next year!

-Lutzinator

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