OS Futaba Race in STL

After the HotRod Shootout, it was a quick turnaround to switch to 1/8 and gather up the family for a road trip and family race weekend. Megan and Roz haven’t been able to attend any races so far this year, so this was a great trip for them to go with me. With the 1/8 Buggy Worlds coming up later in the year, and with my ROAR Nats being so rough in buggy, I was only planning on racing one class in STL. I was looking forward to one class after racing four the weekend before.

We were all packed up in the Ford Flex and we were off, driving basically the whole width of Missouri, taking around 3.5 – 4 hours door to track. Coming into STL it was around 7pm and we decided to grab some Chic-Fil-A before getting to the track.

Rolled into the track around 8pm and there was an hour of open practice left. I wasn’t planning on practicing, but I decided to bust out my car and get one run on the track. Fired it up and it sounded good, hit the track and ran for ten minutes. Everything seemed great, engine ran good and stable, car felt good, and I had the track down in just a few laps. After that we headed over to the Phillips house. Fellow KYOSHO driver, Zack Phillips and his family welcomed us with open arms to crash with them.

Friday was practice for most of the day, then Q1 was going to start around 5pm. Practice went smooth and everything was working good. I had a very proud Daddy moment. Roz really loves tools and working with them. She always tries to help me work on my cars and she wanted to help me when I was putting my shocks back on. She’s good with the wrenches and can actually turn them the correct directions. She pretty much put my shocks back on my car all by herself. I had to help get the shock pins in, but she tightened the set screws, put the nuts on and tightened them all.

A little fun fact for all you Tebo fans out there. The Dirtburners track has a very special place in our hearts. On this very weekend, 11 years ago, Megan and I had our first real dating moment. We had met a couple weeks prior at her Dads track, but now we were talking much more and she came out to STL with her Mom just to see me.

Under this tree with heart shaped leaves, 11 years ago, Megan and I had our first kiss. Pretty wild to think about our life journey and how now our three year old daughter is running around under that same tree where we kissed for the first time as just kids, 15 and 16 years old.

Well night time came and with it came Q1. In practice my new engine was running really good and seemed stable. Unfortunately Q1 wasn’t as smooth as practice and I had three flameouts before calling it quits. All three flames were on different parts of the track, but they were all when I was on the throttle. I was pretty bummed as there was nothing wrong with the car or engine to make it flame. Not a good start to racing.

The next day was here and I was upbeat and taking it as a new day. Q2 was up and I had to finish this round if I wanted to make the main as there is only three qualifiers. I was running my car from Nats, but I had another car with me. I decided to switch cars for Q2 and hopefully it will stay running. This car was the car I raced with at The Duel, where I had no engine issues all weekend. The race went ok, I made mistakes early, but finished up strong to get 2nd for the round. My engine ran, but it seemed pretty lean on top end and was running on a little. I richened up the top end two hours and was ready for Q3 and battle for overall TQ. In warm up my engine flamed out again, and I felt it right before it happened, just like in Q1. I figured it had something to do with the top end. I yelled down to J.Lame, my pit guy for the weekend, to lean out the top end 5 hours. He did and it stayed running the whole race, but was too lean on top and running on. I finished 2nd again and that’s where I qualified overall.

That night we had some major ping pong battles at the Phillips house. It was a ton of fun and nice to get some stress out after a frustrating day at the track.

Race day was here and we started out the day with a Dash for Ca$h. Top six qualifiers starting in reverse order, racing only 7 laps for $150. I started 5th and worked up to 2nd, when my engine flamed out. It was very similar to the other times.

Helping out a racer with his engine tune.

Me and J.Lame doing some practice tank fills with the fuel gun. I also had a new fuel gun with some mods made to fix the issues from the Nationals. J.Lame was on it with the gun in A1. Zack had to take over for A2 as J.Lame headed southeast to Loretta Lynn’s for some MX action.

The race format had two 20 minute mains with both races counting. A1 I would start 6th because the start was determined by the Dash finish order. I got a good start and worked my way to the lead pretty fast. I couldn’t quite pit at 10 minutes, so I came in at 8. My engine felt good up till that point, the pit stop was perfect and it sounded great with the gun in the tank. After the pit I had around an 8 second lead over Josh Wheeler, but my engine seemed to richen up. I was struggling to clear the big jumps and really slammed the front of my car a few times casing the big triple. I crashed a couple times not being able to clear the jump, and Josh caught me and took the lead. I should have just backed it down and took an easy 2nd, but I didn’t want that. I kept pushing to keep making the big jumps and ended up breaking my front arm from all the abuse. I was pretty mad at myself as my shot at winning the event was gone. Now I had a long 5 hour wait till A2.

During that wait, Roz got to have her first dentist check up. Zacks grandma, Doxey, was kind enough to take her to her Dentist office while on her off day to take a look and clean her teeth. Roz totally loved it!!!

Rock star status 🙂 passing time watching Turbo with her Beats….haha

A2 was finally here, at 9pm, and I was ready to take at least one race win. I was starting second now on the grid, only A1 was off the Dash results. The track was super sketchy now, really slick, with sharpe edged bumps and holes everywhere. I got a much rougher start, all my own fault. I worked my way into 2nd around halfway, but Wheeler had a big 10 second lead. I was pushing hard and going really fast. I was able to get it to 5 seconds, but then I would crash. My engine ran good the whole main and didn’t change tune at all this time. I finished up 2nd, and Josh took the win. I was happy to run the whole race, but I wanted to get that win. After the race my engine sounded good and was idling good and stable even after I came off the drivers stand. I pulled my body off to turn unplug my battery, and I noticed my pressure line was completely broken off my pipe. Now I’m really confused.

Racing was finally over and it was time to head back home. We got all packed up, loaded, and carried a dead weight little girl into the car to get on the road. Rolled out at 10:30pm and got into our driveway at 2am, and we were all pooped. Thanks to my sponsors, my fans, my great family, and the Phillips family for this trip. The racing results were disappointing, but I got to help out a lot of racers, see a lot of friends, and have some great family time.

See you all at the next race, God Bless.

2 responses to “OS Futaba Race in STL

  1. Bummer about your engine issues – seems like you have been fighting them for a while even with completely different cars and motors. Just a suggestion…but you might want to take a closer look at the fuel tanks. I’ve had issues with the cap not sealing correctly etc… If the tank does not keep a consistent back pressure then the whole motor tune would be out of wack. I’ve even had issues with tune changing depending on the amount of fuel in the tank. I’m no expert, but it might be worth a closer look! Especially if you truggy runs flawless while you buggy has issues. 🙂

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