Seeding & Quals Day 1 @ ROAR Nationals

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. 20140621-002504-1504730.jpg I’ve done so much work in this hotel room it’s ridiculous. 20140621-002635-1595547.jpg 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.

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20140621-003326-2006695.jpg We’ll see what happens after the next two rounds tomorrow.

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.

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ROAR Nats Practice

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.

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20140618-223946-81586748.jpg Got to thank Mike Truhe for stopping by and giving me a hand tuning the Truggy. This was my first time driving the Truggy and I would gladly except any help.

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 180ยบ 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!

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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