It’s 6:30am and we are piled in the van headed to the airport. We are all tired and completely whooped from the event. This race was pretty tough, physically with the heat, our pit area was 95 degrees most days, track area temp over 100 and getting up to 110 degrees, mentally with the always changing and difficult track conditions.
Truck: My truck was good all weekend, and I had some decent runs. I was fast in all qualifiers, but I was struggling with clean runs. I made one mistake in every qualifier, and I went 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, and 2nd to qualify 3rd overall.
4wd: I’ve been really working on getting more comfortable with my 4wd and my car was driving really good. This class was tough, we were all pushing so hard, and the track conditions were very difficult. Q1 and Q2 started out good and I was fighting up front, but mistakes really killed me. Ended up with a 7th and a 17th, and that put me in the B resort for Q3 and Q4, but I thought that would be good because the A heat was pretty wild on Friday. Q3 I was going really good and just flowing around. With a minute and a half to go, I just brushed a pipe, but with them not sturdy, it just sucked my in. My time I was on before that would have gave me TQ, but losing those 3 seconds dropped me to 6th. In Q4 it was a carbon copy, ran a really great qualifier until the end and crashed again. My pace could have been 3rd, but I ended up 7th. Q3 and Q4 were very close to being a TQ and 3rd and start 2nd overall, but two mistakes and got a 6th and 7th to qualify 10th overall.
SC: My SC was feeling good as well, but I needed to be careful in the two sweeper sections not to roll over. Q1 I started out with a 3rd, led the whole heat, but I gambled with running SS rear tires and they went totally bald. The last two laps I just spun off the track in the dust and lost my lead. Q2 I got a 2nd with a totally clean run. Q3 I finally put down good laps and just drove around the track and got a TQ.
Q4 I needed a TQ to get the overall. Started out the heat strong and me and Cav were swapping back and forth almost every lap for the lead. About halfway through I got on too hard on the straight in the bumps and it pulled a wheelie really quick and clipped the bumper, cartwheeling down the straight. TQ was gone, and I qualified 2nd overall.
2wd: Q1 I started out really strong and was leading the A heat, but then crashed, ending with a 5th. I wasn’t happy as I felt my car and my driving was good enough to get TQ and fight for the title. Q2 went even worse as I had more mistakes and ended up 12th. Coming into Q3 I wanted clean runs and low points. Track conditions were getting much worse and the track was straight gnarly, bumpy, grippy in the groove, extremely dusty, and the groove was 1 car width wide. Q3 I had a terrible run and got 20th, I couldn’t believe it was coming down to Q4. I needed a good run to try to get a decent starting position, but I even just needed a decent run to make sure I make the main. I was going for a very safe run and just go around not pushing at all. First lap I went up the center raise and my car just flipped up there, that’s a spot I was struggling with in 2wd. I got marshaled back onto my roof, then hit my two oncoming cars. That hit knocked off my shock spring cup, which really made my car difficult to drive. I lost around 8 seconds with that huge disaster, but I still drove well after that I tried my best. It just wasn’t meant to be though, as I got 17th for the round and my 5 and 12 put me 12th overall. Saying I was disappointed doesn’t even get close to describing how I felt. That’s the way racing goes sometime, but I sure feel like I let my team and my fans down.
Truck: A1 I just got beat. Dakota and Cav just pulled away from me and I got 3rd. A2 I stayed much closer to them, but wasn’t able to make any passes. I ended up finishing right behind Cav at the end. A3 I needed to get the win to get 2nd, I tried my best to stay close. I was staying kinda close, but I needed to do something to go faster. I decided to start jumping the triple and cased it and landed weird and popped my ball cup. Ended up 3rd overall.
4wd: starting 10th I wasn’t sure how the mains were going to go. A1 was ok, I got a good start and moved up a few positions, until I crashed at the end of the straight. I moved back up to 7th at the end. A2 was a good race and me and Lutz battled the whole main. That was fun race, but I wish we were battling up higher in positions, I ended up 6th. A3 was an embarrassment for me. I made a change on my car that I ran in qualifying, but it was way worse and I could barely even go around the track. I ended up 10th and 7th overall.
SC: I was starting 2nd and I felt this class was my best shot at getting a National Championship. A1 went good, but I made a few mistakes and finished 2nd. A2 I had to go for the win. I stayed really close to Cav for 2/3 of the race. I was all over him and then went for an inside pass before the off camber section of the track. It didn’t work, and then I crashed pushing to get back to striking distance. I think I crashed again and finished 3rd or 4th, but Cav took the title. A3 I needed to win to get 2nd overall. All of a sudden my truck was extremely hard to drive with the crazy track conditions. I could not even turn my wheel going into the turns and just had to slow way down and make sure I got 3rd overall. I finished 3rd in the main and 3rd overall.
Thanks to my sponsors, my family, and my fans. I feel like I let you all down, but it was not from a lack of effort. You know how they say athletes can over train and hinder their performance. I think I may have done just that. I was very prepared and was practicing a lot before this race. I was coming in with very high expectations, and it just didn’t go as how I was thinking it was going to go. I did all I could and that’s all I can do. Racing is racing, but holy cow…..it can be frustrating.
Flying home now and I can’t wait to get home. See you all at the next one. God Bless.
Do you think that the chassis swap might have had some effect on your performance in 2wd?
I do think I like the standard chassis better, but I think raising my speedo had the biggest negative effect on my car
Can you post your setups?
Hey Jared congrats i saw alot of guys saying the track was really difficult i see you put your speedo up on the shelf could you tell a big difference in handling with it up? also now that you ran the lightweight chassis on you 2wd do you feel it is better over the standard chassis?
Yeah I moved all my speedos on the shelves. It allows you to get more weight back, and it did have more grip when I was testing it. For the Nats track I think it was a bad decision. It just moves too much weight too high. I also feel the standard chassis is better.
Get a good nights rest and worry about it tomorrow. We’re behind you brother.
Keep your chin up! The results will come. I think with RC the more practice and prep the better, don’t do less of that!
You didn’t let anyone down! That’s racing, it doesn’t always go as planned! Better luck next year!
Thanks for all the great info