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Sunday JC Shootout 1/8th day wrap up

whitestallionAre we really at the track again this early?  Yep, we are back around 9:00am for some 1/8th action.  Normally we like to race until about 5 or 6pm and then go out until 2 or 3am and come to the track the next day pledging to “never do that again”.   Ok, I stole that line from someone at the track because I thought it was clever it does apply at times though.

Zach was pumped because he was going to be running a borrowed RC8b-E buggy.  He never has raced or driven the car and he was going to be racing it in about an hour. I have to thank again the guys at the track and Hobby Haven for being so nice to us. The borrowed RC8e from Bill Colman was icing on the cake for sure.

Zach was up in race 3 and he was busy mounting and decaling the body.   He got a JC Hi-flow body in the hobby shop so it felt a little more like his car. He masked the windows and sprayed the white on white paint job.  It looked good.

Before his heat race I went over the car and noticed some issues that we would have to fix if he wanted a chance for the win.

Heat 3 was an awesome race between Zach and a good driver Ben Burtle running the Losi 8ight-E.  I could see the AE vs. Losi battle starting to heat up.  Watching the race I felt my competition switch turn on when I realized Zach was fast enough to win but the car needed a little wrenching.

I started inspecting the buggy for damage and realized I was going to need my RC8 parts back at the hotel.  I jumped in the Corolla and made the trip back to our LaQuinta Inn Spa and Hotel.  Actually it wasn’t a Spa or that nice of a hotel but, hey we were never really there anyways.    It smelled like the combination of smoke and dog which isn’t exactly rich in botanicals or fragrance.   Why is everything advertised on TV that is for hair rich in botanicals?  This might be the female catch phrase that works in conjunction to space aged polymers for men?  Chipotle is another I have noticed lately that is getting tagged on everything.   Space aged materials combined with rich botanicals with a touch of Chipotle?

Anyway I made my way back to the track and started wrenching on the RC8e.  It needed a front a-arm and I decided to clean-up the front hinge pins and also replace the front suspension brace with one of the new RC8b mounts.  Assembling everything back together the front end now had full recovery and made perfect ride height.  Ah, I was feeling better.

Round 2 saw Zach and Ben again in another heated battle with Zach taking an early lead.  The yellow compound Crowbars now appeared to be broken in pretty well and the car was really responsive in the grooved areas.   Zach’s driving looking really on and he was turning sub 19 second laps and dipped into the low 18’s.  Impressive TQ run for Zach.

In the 1/8th nitro buggy class there was an intense battle between the Mugen of Tony Bacon and the Associated of Mack Vanderbeek.  Mack appeared to be running a brand new car and engine so a few bugs were being worked out of it.  Tony’s Mugen looked ready from qualifier 1 and it showed as he was able to take 2 TQ’s and taking the overall TQ from super fast driver Mack Vanderbeek.  Mack appeared to be working on a few tricks for the main to put him out front but only time would tell.

Upon looking over Zach’s buggy I found another couple problems.  A rear diff bearing was blown and diff was completely loose in the rear transmission case as a result.  This was going to require a little more work.   I removed everything from the rear end and Zach’s eye’s got a little bigger; he was apparently shocked that I was doing more maintenance.   Pulling everything apart in the rear gear box on a 1/8th buggy is not a clean job.  Luckily I had a full can of motor spray and I gave the diff parts to Zach to spray out.  Good Luck getting your hand clean now! Ha

I reassembled everything and Dustin let us borrow some Fusion 5000 wt. diff oil which I quickly filled and put everything back together.   This car was going to be on rails now!  Zach ran a solid round 3 and the track as it did in electric did not feel as good in round 3 as it did in rounds 1 or 2 so the time was slightly off.  I believe he was on a 20 lap pace in the 2nd and 3rd round but crashes ultimately led to a 19 lap run.   Zach took the overall TQ for electric 1/8th buggy!  Good Run!

We thought we would be cool so we mounted up a fresh set of tires for the triple 10 minute mains for Zach’s buggy.  Everything was set and ready to go for A1 and Zach took off and quickly opened a small lead.  Going over the center jump section he made a steering correction and the car landed funny sending it tumbling.  I was thinking at this point, wow this is going to be a long main now.  It was long!  10 minutes of E-buggy action started making my head spin.  Ben, Zack and Dustin were clearly the quicker cars on the track and the deciding factor appeared to be lap traffic.   For whatever reason these buggies get tied up so easily that it appeared at one point that they are magnets.  Once you get a tire stuck in the wing of one of these cars you are really done for a few seconds until the marshal gets you.

Anyways, to make a long story short Zach had some issues in this main and Ben did a great job.  He pulled a way as Zach continued to have a few crashes and tie-ups with traffic.

A2 was up quickly and I decided to do a little more work to the car and time was running a little tight.  Looking at the center diff I didn’t like how it dirty and bound up it appeared to be.  I got into a little more work than I expected as the 1 piece motor mount and locktite was making my work a little slow.   I did however get everything tightened up and cleaned up and ready for A2.  We went back to our used yellow compound Crowbars for A2 as they were a little more scuffed in and looked better on the track.  Zach got a much better start in A2 and Ben felt the wrath of the traffic this time around and Zach cruised in for a well deserved win.  A3 would determine the overall winner.

Everything was set now and we didn’t need anymore maintenance.  Zach just charged the battery and cleaned the body and I blew off the car with an air compressor.  I like this maintenance much better. J

A3 was up now and the drivers looked a little more nervous which was expected.  Zach pulled out his best start so far and pulled a nice early lead.  Ben actually ran him down slightly as Zach got into traffic.   At this point it was an advantage for Zach being out front because the traffic was a bit of a decision maker.   Ben got into 2 accidents with traffic that were almost too much to overcome.  Zach remained cool and finished off one of his best races to date.  Congrats Zach!

You could feel a little more drama in the air because the 1/8th nitro main was up next.  Pole sitter Tony Bacon was making some warm-up laps along with David Bradford who was 3rd qualifier.  David’s buggy also looked really good in warm-ups so you could tell early this was going to be a pretty good race.   At the tone those 2 drivers jumped out front and were somewhat afraid of each other and actually probably slowed their pace down slightly.  They were being really careful not to hit each other which probably got 3rd a little closer than expected.   Mack Vanderbeek which was probably the favorite going into the whole event suffered a really bad start.   It got to the point for Mack where I was thinking; it’s going to be hard to come back from this start.  He actually got into several more crashes and had an issue on the front straight away where I don’t think the car counted because it was on the pipe and didn’t cross the scoring loop.

David took the lead from Tony and started to open up a little gap.  He looked in the groove and Tony had a slight bobble in the pits making the gap a little more than it could have been.   Mack started to get in a rhythm and he looked to be closing the gap on the 2 leaders.   I took my attention off the track for a few minutes and all of a sudden David was coming off the drivers stand with an obvious problem.  He was going to be tough to beat with the lead that he had.   Mack quickly took advantage and pulled into contention and was now battling directly with Tony.   Mack made a move into the lead and I lost track of the gap to 2nd.  I was moving around the track trying to take some action photos and lost track a little of the battle.

The end got very tight as Tony and Mack pitted within a few minute of each other and it was very much a close race on the track.  With 2 laps to go Mack made a mistake which almost proved to be a race changer but the marshal got him going quickly and he finished off the last 2 laps with style and took home a well deserved win.  I don’t know this for a fact but after the race I was told that Mack’s buggy did not count on lap 2 so he actually was working on a full lap lead.   Regardless of the situation the top 3 drivers put on a great display and I was glad to have been around for the entire main.

Almost immediately we moved into the trophy presentation where Zach, Kurt Bacon and Mack were award their first place trophies.   Zach, Mack and myself also used this opportunity to get some great photos of a great weekend for the JConcepts product.

Many drivers in the nitro main choose the Crossbow tire and all I heard was raving reviews about the longevity and performance.   Zach ran the same set of yellow compound Crowbars for 5 of the 6 races he was in and they are still in great shape and ready for the next race.

Well, it has been another great trip but its time to pack up and go to dinner.   Thanks to everyone at Hobby Haven and especially Chilly, Dustin and Mack who were instrumental factors in us attended the race.   See you next year!

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