I’ve actually picked up a new blog site. If you’re interested in reading the rest of this story, you can find it at: http://myrcblog.com/johnbernardjr
It’s midnight here and I’ve finally finished all of my “to do” items. So I’ll try to make this quick so I can get to bed.
Yesterday we had a quick round of practice then went into two rounds of seeding. I’ve done this before and it works well. Basically the organizers use these rounds to do a pre-sort before qualifying. The racers are sorted by their 3 fastest consecutive laps. Even though people look at overall times it has no bearings on seeding position. Here was one of my two Truggy seeding runs. Tekno Truggy Seeding
I had decent runs and basically put myself in the middle of both classes. This is the biggest race I’ve ever been a part of so I’ll take it. Back at the hotel I had some issues with the brakes on the Truggy. My throttle settings were way off and I ruined the pads. I’ve done so much work in this hotel room it’s ridiculous. I also had a cooling fin break on the head. Not sure how but fortunately I had a replacement.
So today we started off with another practice round before heading into the qualifiers. Qualifying is based on qual points. If you don’t know what qual points are it just means that all of your runs are averaged instead of taking just your fastest time. There’s more to it but the clock is ticking. Again I put in some decent runs.
So my final thoughts for the past two days……..it’s way too hot, these marshal vests are kinda cool but made me hotter, Donna has lost her mind, and I’ve really enjoyed the race so far.
We finally got to hit the track today. 2 hour time change made getting up easier and we were out the door. The practice was supposed to start at 9 but got delayed to do to the driver check-in. This gave us plenty of time to finish setting up our pits and start tuning the rides.
They wanted to give everyone the same opportunity on the track so they so the open practice everyone got a single practice ticket for each class that they were running (not everyone is running both). That really wasn’t too bad. It was fair and kept everything moving. The open practice gave you 2.5’ish minutes of practice and a 5 minute run. After which you marshalled. I’m glad to say I ran my entire warmup and heat the first time out with the borrowed truck. It was pretty good but had a noticeable lacked steering. Back in the pits I found that my EPA’s were a little low and weren’t really “locking” the steering. That plus removing a rear ballast had it turning on a dime. The buggy was good the first time out but seemed to have a large neutral band and a slight drag break. Hitting the trim fixed it some and I fixed the rest with my finger. I honestly didn’t really look at it until just before the third run. For some reason my trim was WAY off. fixing this just before the third run meant I had full throttle again! Holy expletive that thing is fast. I knocked about a second and a half off my fastest lap time.
Having done six total runs today I must say I’m pretty happy for my first Nats. The track is honestly pretty easy so that helps keep the stress level down but it also means it’s easy for everyone. For me there are only two things that are difficult. An off-camber 180º turn on the far left is tough to judge and keeping your speed up to get a fast lap time.
Seeding practice starts tomorrow and we’re off to the room. I’ve got a set of tires to glue and batteries to refresh. Good night!
Today was just an opportunity to setup your pit space. We arrived in Hutto around 10am so we decided to go to the track before the hotel.
The track looked amazing and I was happy to see it wasn’t quite as big as the posted photos made it look. The sod looks amazing and the photo doesn’t show how the back straight is actually angled down towards the drivers stand. The facility is very nice. Covered areas all of the place, air compressor station, food trailer, and a very nice drivers stand with a rubber mat for those super long mains.
Back at the room, Carmen finally got to relax after the 13 hours she put in behind the wheel. Me unfortunately had batteries to charge, shocks to rebuild, and tires to glue before practice started the next day.
Well last weekend we were in Alabama for AMS 5.0. It was a pretty exhausting trip. 589 entries for a 2 day race make for a long day. We left after watching the Pro Buggy A-Main, which I wish I would of been in instead of watching, and headed to Atlanta to spend the night with my wife’s friends. They treated us to a fantastic breakfast and we were off again to finish our drive back to Florida.
Well it sounds weird but that drive back to Florida was the start to our ROAR Fuel Nationals preparations. I’m borrowing a friends Truggy, thanks Ricky!, and since we were already in the car we decided to push through and drive an hour past our house to go pick it up.
Getting back home Sunday evening I didn’t want to be in the same boat I was in to get ready for AMS, staying up until 1am every night and getting up for work is not something my body handles well anymore. So I unloaded the car and started to tear my Tekno NB-48 apart. Anything was a step in the right direction and I was happy to have done anything Sunday.
So I just rebuilt the nitro buggy for AMS so what should I do? Well being that we were going to Texas and the biggest race in my RC carrier I struggled with how far to take it. I’m not in a position that I can buy a new car whenever and the Tekno’s are made from some kind of unwearable plastic anyways. So I cleaned it, replaced the pins in the CVD’s (I had a ton so why not), replaced the diff oil, and painted a new body (the fiery orange I did for AMS was too hard to see). That was it. I’m picking up the tires there thanks to the JConcepts team and I’ll rebuild the shocks when we get there. The shocks is something I see the pros always wait to do so why not, one less thing on the to do list.
With the buggy done it was time to redo Ricky’s Tekno NT-48. This was a little different. Ricky literally just rebuilt the diffs so I’m satisfied with leaving those alone but the list of “to do” items was a bit longer. First I tore it apart and cleaned it.
It’s amazing how fast you can tear one of these apart. I usually strip it down to the chassis and go from there. My new air compressor has cut my cleaning times to about a quarter of what it took before. Next step was putting it back together which included my electronics, motor, and updated fuel tank. This was not going to look like the same truck. I pulled the Savox servos and Sprektrum receivers pretty quickly but spent a little extra time making the Radiopost equipment look good. I attached the receiver with Kyosho gel tap and surrounded it with foam like I did in my buggy. Nobody will every see it but it looks fantastic. Same deal with the shocks. eh. I painted a new body but I also picked up mud guards, newly released from Tekno, and painted those to match as well.
I’m running a Go engine that was given to me by my good friends Brian and Brandon, I put in a Radiopost receiver and Signature Series servos, Ricky already was using a Trinity 2500mah receiver pack, I added a JC wing with rims/tires getting picked up at the track, and Byron’s 30/11 fuel.
This thing looks bad ass. I got it all stickered up to match the buggy now. Nobody would guess it was the same truck. Fortunately my wife is awesome and agreed to let me buy a Truggy kit for the trip to have for spare parts. It just made more sense to buy the kit instead of guessing on what spares to get. Plus the best part, when we get back I’ll be able to replace whatever and build my own truggy!
To finish off preparations, I stole the servo, receiver, and transponder out of my 4×4 SC and will be bringing the Tekno EB-48 for spare parts. I have the car loaded with as much as I can tonight. One day of work tomorrow then we’ll finish loading up and start on our 16+ hour journey to Hutto, Texas. This is going to be awesome.
What a fantastic weekend. Newred was a blast getting to go back and run some stock SC with good friends. Whitesides is as fast as they say. Cody Wiles made a great pass on the start and just had a perfect run to win the main and the money. I think I’ll put my stock SC back in retirement. 4×4 SC was a blast and it was great to see 6 out of 9 were Teknos. The top 3 finishers being Teknos. The EB-48 was so much fun and plus we showed E-buggies can be run on any track. Best part of the evening was Ricky Laymen handing his Tekno 4×4 to a young novice driver who broke his in the warm-up for his race. That’s what this hobby is supposed to be.
I couldn’t of capped off the weekend any better than the epic nitro finish at Capital City Raceway. Brandon Denmark and I made the trip over to Tally Sunday. The track got a lot of rain during the week but the weather was perfect Sunday and the track was ready to run on by time we rolled in. The layout was so much fun, high speed sections, camber changes, elevation changes, technical sections and a long straight. It must of been so entertaining for people visiting the park that day. Brandon and I ran 3 classes each and were running around all day getting vehicles ready for the next run. Brandon especially since I gave him the job of pit guy for the day.
For qualifying drivers were on their own clocks but free to start any time once the loop was live. Brandon and I both ran our Tekno 4×4 SC trucks and started each of the 3 rounds of qualifying with a drag race at the tone. It was so much fun going back and forth in the qualifiers. Again the top 3 were Tekno 4×4’s. E-buggy was a blast as usual and I had a great time chasing Chris Giraldo who ended up with the A-Main win.
Now the nitro was just the second time I’ve gotten to race my new Tekno buggy but it was the most epic race I’ve ever been apart of. I loaded up Carmen’s pit bag (plug) and went over the game pIan with Brandon for the 30 minute main. I had great qualifiers and put the NB-48 on the pole. Brandon got me lined up great on his first “down and quiet” and we were off. I had a bobble on the first lap and fell to 4th. The NB felt great and the tune finally seem about perfect. I kept it smooth and made it back out front a few laps later but by this point I could tell my front left tire was coming off. Brandon saw what was happening and wanted to swap it during the first pit but since it was running good and Chris was so close I decided to just keep running. Brandon called me in for the first stop but I ran out of gas before I could make it back in. Luckily I was close to the pits and Brandon was able to fill and fire me up quickly. When I made it back out I was in 4th and a lap down. I had plenty of time and went to work trying to catch up. Chris had a huge lead but I was catching and put myself back in third by the next pit stop. In and out again I was back to chipping away at that lead. Unfortunately the tire got worse and I started having to lay off down the straight. I had to come back in a couple laps later to have Brandon swap the wheel. Brandon had me in and out quickly. I was back in second but I fell back about 30 seconds from Chris. Going back out I started pushing too hard and started making mistakes. Then Brandon yelled what I always tell people, “slow and steady”. That really settled me down and I really started catching the leader. With 2 minutes to go I was 4 seconds behind. Then Brandon starts yelling, “Go, Go, Go”. Chris had crashed and I passed him for the lead. I was out front with only a minute to go. When the time expired I just had to finish my lap. With four turns to go I ran out of gas again. I couldn’t believe it. Then I see that Chris ran out of gas too. It turned into a race of the pit guys. Brandon had to run to the farthest corner of the track but he still managed to get back to the pits at the same time as Chris’s pit guy. Brandon filled it up and got me running before Chris’s and I was able to finish the race in first. Brandon won that race for me. Couldn’t of done it without him.
What a great weekend. Thank you Tekno RC, Hobbywing NA, JConcepts, Trinity, Radiopost, Boca Bearings, Boys Making Noise, Sylveris RC, NF Hobbies, and Kal-Gard for the great products. Thank you Brandon Denmark, Matt Wolter, Chris Giraldo, Daniel Lewis, Ricky Layman, David Whitesides, Tracy Carver, Doug Smith, Tom Hitchcock, and everyone else that made this a fantastic weekend.