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2012 Silver State Nitro Challenge.

Photo Courtesy Of: John Cary

Two podium finishes for JConcepts at the 2012 Silver State Nitro Challenge

Event: 2012 Silver State Nitro Challenge.
Dates: April 20-22, 2012
Venue: Southern Nevada RC

Just outside of Las Vegas in Boulder City, is the location for this years Challenge. Every year, there are stories about the challenges of racing in the desert. Track that blows out, intense sun, wind, blowing sand. So far, things are going good this year. The track which is being watered every other heat is holding up well. In the afternoon, the wind picked up, but according to the locals, that is the norm. On Thursday, it just got kind of windy for an hour or so.

The pits consist of rented containers, as they dominate the bigger sections of the pit area. Spaced out with enough distance in between for the standard E-Z Up Tent to fit in-between. With probably close to 30 of them, most of the teams have one or more, or at least access to one.

Thursday consisted of two rounds of controlled practice, with the second session being timed for the fastest three consecutive laps seeding you into the qualifier. The surface, while holding up well, is a bit strange, compared to other races. A kind of soft, sandy, loose fluff is what the drivers are racing on so far. One again, our drivers are going with the Hybrids on both Buggy and Truggy.

Friday was the first day of qualifying. The format is two rounds on Friday, and one more on Saturday, followed by the lower mains. Then all of the remaining finals on Sunday. After the heats were sorted from the previous days timed practice, JConcepts has placed 2 drivers into the “A” qualifier, with Ryan Maifield, and Jeremy Kortz.

As the day has wore on, good runs by both drivers have assured a place into the final. With others just needing a little luck to go their way. JConcepts driver Patrick Castleberry has already said that he will be getting a lot of track time. Patrick has his cars working well now but had some poor qualifying, so he will be using the bump to move his way up.

At the end of Saturdays qualifiers, they ran the lower mains finishing up the C mains. It was a warm, breezy day, and the track is starting to get some rough sections with some spots resembling the surface of the moon. Sunday’s program jumped right in with the B mains. JConcepts driver Billy Fischer was on a good run in Truggy, but had a servo failure that ended his day. Again, with buggy, Billy drove a very good race, with the car working well, but luck was not on his side, failing to make it to the A final.

At the beginning of the Truggy final, Ryan Maifield used his second position on the grid to get off to a good start. As the field funneled down to race pace, a three car battle became apparent at the front of the field. With each driver having led some laps, and past the first fuel stops. Maifield developed issues, and spent some time in pit lane, to fall down through the field.

In the Electric 1/8 class. A great battle throughout the main, but the last five minutes was intense. Three drivers swapped back and forth with Jeremy Kortz placing his JConcepts equipped Agama right in the middle of it. Any mistake would drop a driver from first, back to third. At the end of the race, making a great pass for the lead Kortz had it on the last lap, but a slight mistake got him on top of the pipe, which was enough to drop him to third.

The final race of the day, had the top drivers of the event, on the most blown out surface of the weekend, with the 95+ degree temps also the warmest of the weekend. Early in the 45 minute main, there was a three car freight train that began to pull away from the field, with Maifield in the middle of it. Ryan ran a brilliant race to pressure the leader, and take the lead. A flame out by Tebo in pit lane dropped him out and Ryan had a comfortable lead. A wreck in a bad location with no marshal cut his lead down. As the pit stops cycled through, a few drivers took their turn at the front, but there was a few who stood out to have the pace. Ryan, with his own flame out in pit lane lost some time, but a quick restart by his pit crew kept him in contention. A tight battle with his AE teammate for the last ten minutes lead to an exciting race for the spectators. At the tone, it was Maifield in second, only one second behind.

A good event came to an end, with a huge pat on the back to the local club for a great track, the race direction of the JBRL crew and all of the racers.

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