Day 1 – ROAR NATIONALS

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.

20140618-210146-75706572.jpg 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.

20140618-210516-75916299.jpg We picked a spot pretty quick to the left of the track right next to the JConcepts guys.

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20140618-210620-75980739.jpg 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.
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20140618-210912-76152396.jpg I finally got everything ready and by the door. Time for dinner.

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Getting Ready For Texas Nats…..

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.

20140615-220855-79735076.jpg I love my Tekno buggy. I’m running a Werks B5 Pro engine, Radiopost radio and Signature Series servos, Trinity 2500mah receiver pack, JC wing/Bullet rims/tires, and Byron’s 30/11 fuel.

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.

20140615-221732-80252573.jpg 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.

20140615-222639-80799994.jpg 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.

20140615-222754-80874725.jpg 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.

20140615-233641-85001822.jpg I’m going to do my best to document our ROAR Fuel Nationals adventure.

N. Florida R/C Racers United – 1st Annual Family Reunion

I get to check this off of the bucket list. I’ll be putting on my first race next weekend at Shiverville Raceway. With any luck this will be a success and I’ll do a nitro friendly event later this year.

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Round 3

Photo Credit: Cheryl Joye-Shiver

Well I headed down to Shiverville Raceway for round 3 of the 5 race points series. I had a chance to lock up the 4×4 SC and E-Buggy classes with another TQ and win. I had some great runs with the B44.1 in the 4wd buggy class but there are several that can still take the class. Since there are 2 drops I decided to go ahead and get in on the mod SC class as well.

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Round 1 of qualifying went well.

In practice I had my mod SC set to blinky with a 7.5 motor. I’ve run it this way on many occasions but this time it seemed kinda slow. I added some turbo timing to it just before the race. During the warm-up it still felt sluggish. Then I discovered that my EPA was set to 80. I had turned the speed down for my nephew to run the truck at round 2 and completely forgot. I cranked it back up to 100. Lol, not a good idea. It took several laps to get used to it. I got a handle on it and qualified second.

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The 4wd buggy had more grip than I expected and I had several mistakes early. Again I was able to settle down and secure a second for the round.

The Tekno EB48.2 was perfect but we only had 3 show up for E-Buggy. Very disappointing but I still a good time.

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I was excited try a new shock setup on the Tekno 410. It’s been an amazing truck and I really haven’t changed much from the box stock setup. This truck never disappoints. It set the TQ by a full lap. Love that thing.

Round 2 went about the same.

In mod SC, I think I may have been on a TQ pace but got too anxious, carried too much speed coming out of the sweeper, and got into the back of some traffic that knocked me back into second.

The 4wd buggy was awesome this round. I ran some worn blue JConcepts Bar Codes. I was doing some tire management and saving a new set of JConcepts DD’s for the main. I won the heat but came up 4 seconds short for setting the new TQ.

Despite the low turnout I was still enjoying the track time with the EB48.2. I threw some worn blue JConcepts Stackers on for the high bite surface and set a new TQ time. The drove very smoothly and handled the tight turns easily.

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I made some adjustments to the droop and installed a stiffer front sway-bar in the SCT410 based on how high the traction was. I was able to push the truck even harder and bettered my round 1 TQ.

The race order changed a little bit for the mains.

First up was the 4wd buggy. I’m in the running for the points lead in this class so I really wanted the win. Early on I hung tight to the leader Daniel and felt I was a little faster in certain section. All I had to do was not lose ground where we were equal. I was able to move into the race lead several laps in and a mishap gave me a nice lead over Daniel. It looked like I had it in the bag with 25 seconds to go. Then I rolled and had to sit and watch Daniel pass me as I laid on my roof. With only a lap to go there was nothing I could do. It was a great race that I wish I could do over.

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Next was E-Buggy. Unfortunately one of the three cars had broke in the second qual. and he was unable to fix it. This really wasn’t how I wanted to win the class so I’ll be running the last two rounds with the EB48.2 to hopefully show that I deserve it.

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The sun was going down and the shade started taking over the track. When track starts to cool it loses it’s traction. I stuck with my JConcepts blue Bar Codes on my SC10 and hoped the traction was still there.

I planned on learning from my mistakes and played it safe on the start of the mod SC main. It was a great start for all as we were single file through the first 3 turns. Coming into that tight sweeping 3rd turn I was still in second but was worried about 3rd and 4th place running into the back of the truck as I paced the leader, so I went wide and allowed them to pass me on the inside. By the straight-away I had moved back into 3rd. The leader caught a pipe going around the large sweeper and slowed up 2nd enough that I was able to pass them both and move into the lead. I settled in and held the lead for the race win.

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Last up was the 4×4 SC class. The sun was going down, the lights were on, and the whole track was in the shade. I was betting on the track being slick so I went with some JConcepts 3D’s in green. I was clear from my warm-up lap that we no longer had the traction we enjoyed all day. I was glad I changed to greens and looked forward to taking advantage of my pole position. I knew I couldn’t push the truck like I had earlier so I just tried to maintain a steady consistent pace. The second place driver, Cody, and I broke away and I was able keep a small gap between us. I held on for the win and locked up points series.

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I’d like to thank all of my sponsors. Tekno RC, JConcepts, Trinity, Hobbywing, Radiopost, Boys Making Noise, Boca Bearings, and Kal-Gard

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Round 1

Well I’m still slacking on my posts. I’ve been pretty busy going through and editing the Clash footage. Plus getting ready for the Shiverville Points Series.

Shiverville Racetrack, High Springs, FL is one of the best racing environments I’ve had the pleasure of attending. So when their points series started the weekend after we returned from the JConcepts Clash, I almost had no choice but to pack the car up. This time I’d be flying solo in the Mustang which takes a little extra imagination to get everything in.

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Shiverville is an small-medium sized outdoor clay track. Lap times pretty much range from 16-23 seconds depending on class. I decided to run all of my 4wd’s for the series, a B44.1, my Tekno RC SCT410, and my Tekno RC EB48.

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There are a ton of prizes being raffled off at the end of the series. One of the special raffle is for a Novak esc/motor combo. To get tickets for this particular raffle is a little different. The driver that turns the fastest lap in a class gets a raffle ticket and a ticket is given for each round of racing.

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I don’t usually shoot for the fastest lap but it was a fun goal to shoot for and I managed to come away with 6 tickets.

Overall it was a great day. I TQ’d (top qualifier) all 3 classes, which gets me an extra point, and won 2. I broke in the 4wd buggy main just after I moved into the lead. Fortunately it’s the best 3 out of 5.

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I’ll be headed back this weekend for round 2. Some scheduling conflicts required them to put these rounds back to back. The remaining 3 rounds will be spaced over the next 3 months.

JConcepts Clash

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I really wanted to right this big ol’ elaborate blog about the Clash but if I stick to that mentality it’ll never get done. So this is the “express” version.

So my wife got us in very late Wednesday partially due to the extra hour we gained heading west. I got up and made my way to the track Thursday morning to claim a pit spot. I thought it was a little weird but practice wouldn’t start until about 1 o’clock so all you could do was get a good spot and wait. What I wasn’t expecting was JConcepts to make room for me under their tent. Great way to start the event.

I decided to race my Tekno RC SCT410, that has been very good to me, and my brand new Tekno RC EB48.2. This only be the second time racing the EB but I have a lot of confidence with Tekno RC.

The track was very slick to start. It was something I could handle with the SC pretty easily but the starting setup I was using on the EB was honestly terrible. It was from a setup sheet online for higher grip situations and that was not the case here. I knew something had to change so I made some camber tweaks and headed back out. Thank goodness it started to act like it should and I started to get a feel for it. Some toe changes and I was ready.

Friday was more practice in the am with a round of qualifying scheduled for a 4pm start. Both Tekno’s felt good. The plan was to just put in two safe runs. Qualifying was going to be based on qual points and your performance scored over 3 of the 4 qualifiers. That means being fast once don’t mean much. You have to be consistent. So finishing 7th overall in E-Buggy and 4th overall in 4×4 SC was a great start.

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Saturday was three rounds of qualifying. The E-Buggy class was nuts. It was the biggest class and just full of talent. Watching them go around was amazing. I still didn’t quite feel used to the EB48.2 quite yet. I had been driving a Tekno converted Mugen MBX-6 prior. So this felt like going from a Caddy to a Porsche. Despite that my performance netted me a 8th place position in the A-Main.

The SCT410 was great like always. I finished Saturday with two 2nds and a 1st that put me number 2 in the A-Main behind JR Mitch.

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Sunday was triple A-Mains meant consistency was going to pay off again. E-Buggy A1-Main was first and what a great way to start. Sneaking through a pile up after the start and picking the JConcepts tires to start the day, gave me a 3rd place finish.

I was feeling good going into A1 of the 4×4 SC mains. The Tekno was great again and I finish in second behind JR.

Unfortunately bad luck and mistakes knocked me out of a podium finish in E-Buggy but I’m still proud of my 7th place overall finish. 4×4 SC was close but I finish A2 and A3 with a 2nd and a 1st to secure a 2nd place overall.

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This was my second JConcepts Clash and it doesn’t disappoint. A great facility and great racers make this one of the best races of the year.

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Clash Prep

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This past weekend was the first offroad race at River Rat RC Track in Palatka, Fl. I was announcing the race but had an opportunity to race with the new Tekno EB48.2 before I had to get everything ready for the Clash. Despite a computer failure just before the first qualifier, the race went very smoothly and there were a lot of happy faces by the end of the day.

 

The car worked very well but because of the upcoming Clash event I only used my heavily worn tires. I could definitely tell the weight difference between my EB and MBX-6 conversion. The car is much quicker but also easier to over drive. 

Race Day done I got to spend my Labor Day getting the Tekno’s into to race condition. That meant cleaning, checking screws, and replacing any worn parts. Amazingly the SCT410, that I’ve been running since January, only needed new upper shock mount bushings.

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Excuse the mess 😉 but it gets messy sometimes.