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JC ShootOut Electric Day Wrap up…..

CatsMeowWe got an early start Saturday morning.  We made a quick trip to local quicky store and got a little something to eat and drink and we were off to the track.  Donkey Kick appears to be a popular energy booster as well as Rooster Booster.  I really wish I had Photo Shop so I could  change the name on the photo to Donkey Flip.

I needed an energy boost or a trainer because I had some bad back spasms at night.  I never really experienced that before and it was hard to sleep.  I don’t really want to be a whiner but if I was in the NBA I would not be playing tonight.   Well, if it was the finals and the team needed me I could.  Marv Albert moment and voice – Certainly, out of the pages of Willis Reed.

Pulling into the track we were surprised by the excitement in the air and tent city as they called it.  Hobby shop opened around 9 or 10 so everyone was concentrating in the pits and on their equipment.  Track was in great shape as Dustin and the crew fixed all the little problem areas and watered and did some resurfacing.

Dedication is the name of the game around here with regards to the race directors and officials.  I don’t know if these guys have had any sleep the past few weeks.

Moving on to early morning practice.  I set out my B4 early and wanted to see how things were feeling.  This was my best run on the track to this point.  Track was slightly wet and really smooth from track work from overnight.  I ran Double Dees rears and Groovy fronts.

I believe Zach threw down a practice also with his truck and he appeared ready.  He had a fresh set of DD’s mounted and ready to go.

A lot of racers were signing up late which moved the starting time to
around 11am.  The short course trucks were everywhere.  I would say there were at least 50 of them either signed up or scattered around the track. Thumbs up to short course!

I was in race 4 so I would quickly see how I stacked up to the competiton. Local AE and JConcepts driver Mack Vanderbeek was also in my race so it was going to be tight.  First 2 laps in Mack was in the lead with me in second.  I decided to push the car a little more because the track was really clean and almost more blue groove looking.  I was on a 19 lap pace turning 19 and 20 second laps with the hero lap being 19.30.  I was leading but a crash with a back marker slowed my pace dramtically down to 18 5:09.  My buggy was really good but a small mistake plus doing the wing dance with the other car had really opened the door for another driver.

Alex Stuergeon who is a Losi driver that works for the Omaha hobby town ran a great run and took TQ 18 5:07.

Time to throw out my 4wd for the first time, doing it in the first qualifier was a little tough.  On my 3rd warmup lap I decided to jump the big jump and cleared it no problem but kind of blew the corner.  Everyone seemed to like it but I didn’t think it was going to be consistent so I went with the safe line.

This also being my first run in 4wd it was a shake down run so I was testing what I could and couldn’t do on the track.   It was kind of weird because 4wd wasn’t just light speed faster than 2wd like I thought.  I figured since the track was a little loose and difficult that my 4wd would just walk all over my 2wd. My overall time was much faster but I had to push to get the extra.  I ran Double Dees all the way around on the 4wd and it felt about right.  I was going to stay with that combo.

Zach was in the very next heat in 4wd but had a problem with the cross over wire between batteries and couldn’t start the qual.  That was really unfortunate because it was looking good.

Many times this weekend I found myself thinking; I’m twice Zachs age.  He was born in 1993 when I was already racing heavily at Lake Park with the Reelfs, Mitchs and the hard core Lake Park crew.  Wow, time really flys!

Zach was up next in truck and looked excited but that quickly fell apart because a problem with his truck forced him out.  The wire lead and on/off switch was the issue I believe. Zach didnt really complain he just fixed it and moved on.  No time to sit around and worry more quals to come.

Man, did I already say there were a lot of short course trucks?  I was getting lost in SCT ville with all these Slash and SC10’s.  Jimmy Buffet needs a new version of his popular Margarita Ville song specifically for this class.  I’m not a song writer but I think it would sound a little like this.

Wastin’ away again in SCTville. Searching for myyy lost body clips and clought.  Some people claim that there is a ti-re to blame…..but I know.  It’s nobodys fault.

Ok moving on from that.  It was obvious that SCT was out and the ability to be running them completely stock was great and also having a mod class allowed the more experienced driver some space to stretch their legs.  It has been a great fit on the 1/10th electric side of things.

Round 2 was critical because Zach had not finished a qualifier and if I had a shot at TQ in 2wd I needed to get this round.  Heat 4 came up again quick and I slightly changed my setup on front tire and went with Double Dee fronts.  I was hoping for a smoother steering feel and less grabby in the ruts.  I think it worked but the track just didn’t feel the same. More of the rocks and ruts had developed and making things difficult especially at the end of the straight away when braking under bumps and dust for the critical left hand turn and jump over the cross over.   I turned an 18 6:05 on a good run and TQ for the round but felt it would have been nice to get the 19 laps.

With 4wd up next I was looking to take it up a notch and make 4wd look like the class to be in.  I had a sketchy few laps and me and the “sandman” were duking it out for race lead.  I got the car under me a little better and pushed a little harder and turned 19 6:08.  I felt a little better about the 4wd but I thought I could have ran 20 laps given the chance to do it over.  Another interesting note is that I decided to run blue compound Bar Codes on the rear.  It felt really good everywhere but a little loose in the dust around the tree 180 degree turn.    Double Dees were the ticket just for that reason.

Zach was up next trying to steal my thunder.  He was right on the same pace with his Double Dees and yellow wheels.   Even know yellow wheels are slower he was trying to take a stab at it.  Zach finished 18 6:10 and 2 seconds off TQ.

Side Bar –

While I’m typing this in the lobby at the hotel the girl at the front desk has been on a personal phone call for about 30 minutes.  She might be on the phone and surfing the internet but that is not confirmed.  Sorry I just had to rat her out.

Ok, so Zach gets the mod truck out and is on a solid 18 lap run for round 2 and finishes second for the round.  Pretty impressive.  He is still on his only set of rear Double Dees and they were still in great shape.

It was getting late about (5:30pm) so during the break in the action they held a drivers meeting.  They tried to determine if they would have a 3rd round or go straight into the mains.  They took a vote and all the racers voted for a 3rd round and then into the mains. It was going to be a late night!

They did a re-sort for round 3 and shortened the program quite a bit and we were underway.  Alex, Mack and myself had a pretty good battle in round 3 with all leading at different points in the race.  Since the track was breaking up I decided to give my used goose bumps a chance because the surface really was kind of deteriorated and especially on the front straight away.  I made a small mistake on the in-field and had to spin it back around.  Alex had gotten away slightly and now I was bouncing betwen 2nd and 3rd in the heat.  I put a few good laps together and moved closer to the lead but got hung-up just after the over under.  I put on a charge toward the end pulling near race lead but I had to settle for 2nd qualifier overall with Alex getting the TQ.

I sat out round 3 of 4wd to regroup and get ready for the mains.  Zach put it down in the 3rd round of 4wd and qualified 2nd overall.  He’s still using his yellow wheel Double Dee combination.

The last round of mod truck saw Zach put in his best run of the weekend and put him 2nd on the grid.  Since qualifying was based on points Zach had troubles in round 1 and had to use his 2nd qualifier run as his back-up run.

During the break I observed many SCT drivers using the Goose Bumps with great results.  Several drivers commented how those tires are the reason why they race SCT because otherwise the vehicle just isn’t any fun to drive.  More traction is more fun.  Interesting note.

So it’s about 8:00pm now and about ready to begin the mains.  I was up first in 4wd and then 2wd about a race later.   It’s really dark outside and the track installed their lighting system for the track.  I was kind of lost now because I was used to the driving and conditions during the day.  I tried to watch a few races to get a feel for what was going on but, oh my it seemed different.

We put the 4-wheelers on the track for A-main 1 and I took several warmup laps.  Car felt dialed and way faster looking at night.  The timing on the jumps was going to have to be memory because the shadows made it hard to see where you were at.

Tone goes off and I lead the pack out and 2 jumps in and I’m in the pipe.  I’m thinking, this is going to be a long main. Zach and the Sandman were off in first and second and I was in the back of the pack trying to adjust to the lighting and figure how to get around cars.  I thought about going banzi over the big jump to make-up time but realized pretty quickly that might make things worse.  I hung in there and was in 3rd pretty quickly.  The crowd was going nuts for the Sandman as he was the home track driver.  The crowd was similar to what a road team goes through during a sporting event minus the obsentities, towels and thunder sticks.

Zach got into the lead and was kind of checking out.  The race clock was winding down and I started to punch it.  I got around the Sandman and set my sights on Zach.  Zach made a few small mistakes on the same turn I did earlier and pretty soon we were battleing for the lead.  I took the lead with about a minute to go and kept it clean for the rest of the race and Zach finished 2nd with Sandman in 3rd.

My eyes were a little focused in on the track now and ready for 2wd.  I didn’t know what to expect out of my B4 at night.  I ran Double Dees and my used Groovy fronts.   Checking in and warming up the buggy felt really good.  I was hopeful.

At the tone we all packed into the first turn and we all made it under the cross over with minimal trouble.  Alex in the lead and myself in second with Mack in 3rd.   I was looking for away around early and was experimenting with different lines for passing.  Alex was running well and I didn’t have room for a lot of error so I tried to be careful.   We ran about 3 or 4 feet apart for about 4 minutes when I turned in a little early trying to turn inside coming on the straightaway and got hung on the tree turn.  This dropped me several seconds behind and not really enough time to catch-up.  Alex in first and myself in second.

Zach was up next in truck and right away you could tell something was wrong with the speed control.  Once you turned it on the light went right to blue.  Zach missed the first main.  Time for a speedo switch.

Coming back around for A2 in 4wd I was ready for the shadows and crowd fury. ;). I got a nice jump off the line and no mistakes through the first few laps.  Zach got into a few problems early and I pulled a pretty large lead.  I remained aggressive and pushed a little to open a margin and Zach was hanging tough.  I was able to finish first and take the overall while Zach was sitting strong for potential 2nd overall.

Next up was A2 in 2wd which; as long as we are using basketball terminology, is the swing main.   At the tone……beep.  Alex gets a nice start with me just behind.  We come across the center jump section and into the 180 and Alex makes a small mistake which allows me to squeeze it and jump into the lead.  My buggy felt good and I was getting a handle on the shadows and the tricky end of straightaway.  I pulled a nice lead and cruised while Mack and Alex battled for 2nd.  Crossing the line I finished in first setting up a showdown in round 3.

I would say the time was now roughly 12:00am and it was getting cold.  I broke out the JC sweatshirt and flipped on the Ottlite and starting getting ready for A3.

Mod truck A2 was interesting as a few drivers from the Chicago area decided to leave because they had a 5 hour drive.  This changed the complexion of the main because now the race was really up for grabs.  Zach finished 3rd in this race as a speed control setting was giving him major drag brake and limiting his performance.  As it turns out he is still in the running for 1st place even with the problems.

A3 in 4wd is up.  Zach hits the “game on switch” and leads wire to wire for an impressive win and locking up 2nd overall.

Time check reveils that it’s about 1:00am.  Roughly 17 hours of racing under our belts and everyone appeared to have energy.   Rooster Booster?

A3 in 2wd was up and Zach threw down my buggy for warmup.  I wanted to be slighly more aggressive on the first few laps of this race to be in a better position to take the win.  I didn’t want to be the one in the first turn pile up or in 4th with 2 minutes to go.   At the tone I moved to within about a foot of Alex as we jumped the cross over jump and then the little table top. Normally this is risky in A1 or A2 but with him being a good driver I didn’t fear that he was going to make a mistake and collect me and I definately wasn’t about to hit him.   We made the first 2 jumps together and as we made the downside on the mini table top I saw an opening and squeezed into it.  Alex didn’t force anything and slid into second with mack also very close.   I believe Alex made a small mistake which gave me roughly a couple seconds of lead or ~ 20 feet on the track. At about 2-3 minutes into the race Alex came down the straightaway and the his car made a weird sound which sounded like a motor issue.  Alex was forced to retire and I crusied in for a wire to wire win taking the overall.  Fun and intense racing forsure.

Zach appeared to have the small issues worked out in his truck for A3 and he was ready to finish up on a winning note.  Zach checked out and with a first and 3rd place finish was awarded the overall victory.

I was about 90% packed up already and with it being about 1:30am I was ready for sleep.  We had a quick awards presentation and podium photo shoot and we were out by about 2:00am.   18 hour race day!  100% committed for sure.

It was time to get some sleep and get ready for 1/8th scale tomorrow.

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