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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Epic Race Weekend

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.

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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.

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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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