I decided this year to attend the final round of the JC Indoor National series. I didn’t race any other round, but the final is in Omaha, which is only 3.5 hours away from me. I’ve been driving a lot lately and working on my cars setups for 2015. I thought it would be a great race to see where I was. JLAME and I carpooled up there Thursday afternoon to get a few packs on the track Thursday night.
Friday was practice for the entire day, with a seeding round at the end. Early on Friday I made some slicks and they worked great.
Friday was spent grinding tires for a lot of the day. The track was pretty wet, and they were awesome. The other top drivers weren’t running slicks, but they were a little off my practice laps. For the final practice, a seeding run, it seemed the time with slicks were over. I ran them in 4wd, but it was a handful, so I ran some SS treads in 2wd. It was better, but I wasn’t as good as I had been all day. Come to find out, all the JC drivers had gone to their clay compound (gold). Friday night I mounted up some Typo front and Chain Link rears in AKA’s clay compound (purple). I ended up seeded 2nd in 4wd, 1st in SC, and 7th in 2wd.
Saturday morning there was some open practice from 7am to 9am. We rolled into the track at 7am and went straight to the tire sander. I broke in my new clay tires on the sander, sauced them, then practiced once with all 3 cars with my new tires on. They all felt pretty good, but my rear tires needed to be shaved down a little more.
Q1 in 4wd I took the TQ. Maifield, Spencer, and myself were battling pretty hard, with us all making 1 big mistake during the run, but I took the win. Q1 of SC I took a 2nd and in 2wd I got 3rd after having a very bad lap with 2 crashes and losing 6 seconds. Q2 was decent, but mistakes in all 3 cars cost me. The track seemed like it was changing a lot, and I was changing my cars every qualifier.
Q3 of 4wd the battle for TQ was between Maifield and I. You could feel that we both wanted it pretty bad as we were driving hard and going really fast. My car felt great and I was giving it all I had, and I took the round win and the overall TQ. In SC I got my third 2nd in a row, but my SC6 was feeling better each run. Q3 of 2wd I didn’t have a chance for overall TQ, but I wanted a solid run. My first lap on the clock, I got hit by a flipping car coming from another lane. My car felt good, and I charged hard to get back tied for the lead of the heat with Spencer. Maifield was having a bad run and I had caught up to him, but then he crashed right in front of me and I got collected. Q3 didn’t go how I needed, so I ended up 4th overall.
Again Sunday morning they had some practice. I wanted to try a setup change on my 2wd. The change would be a big step in the right direction. I would then take all my shocks apart and put new o-rings in for the mains. Got all my cars ready and was able to watch my friends battle it out trying to bump out of the lower mains.
It was finally main time and the first race was 4wd. The race would turn out to be a great race. I lead most of the race me, Maifield, and Hartson all pushing hard. While leading, I would make a mistake and bunch us all 3 up. I held the lead with Hartson right behind me on the last lap, then I jumped too tight on a double, bounced off the pipe and Hartson passed on the inside, but just a couple feet later, he would make a similar mistake and hand back over the lead. I took the A1 win. A1 of 2wd would be just as wild. Got off to a good start and my car felt amazing, I felt I was the fastest out there. There was a little carnage and positions were swapping all over the place. One lap Hartson, Maifield, and myself all stuffed the same pipe at the same time, and that bunched the entire field up. We all got sorted and Maifield was leading, I was second and Hartson third. Me and Hartson were pushing hard and gaining on Maifirld, then on the last lap I landed bad off a double and Hartson took 2nd from me.
A2 of 4wd was next. I just wanted to win it and end it after this race. My car felt great again and me and Maifield were battling hard. A couple minutes in he put a good pass on me as I went wide on a jump. I fought hard behind him and felt like I could strike back, but I crashed and lost some ground. At the finish I was within a second of Maifield, but he took the win and pushed it back to A3. A2 of 2wd was next and I wanted this win. I made no changes to my car, didn’t even re check my ride height. My car felt great in warm up and I was feeling confident. Spencer had a good start from TQ, and I had to get passed Hartson and then Maifield stuck the pipe right before the finish line. I was in second, and was catching Spencer. About halfway through I got too sideways coming off the sweeper and stuck the pipe. I stayed in second, but was around 4 seconds back. I pushed to catch Spencer, but I wasn’t able to and I finished 2nd. SC had a single 8 minute A main. Me and Maifield both got off to a good start. My truck was better than it had been so far, and we were just mirroring each other around the track. A few minutes in I flipped over after the sweeper and dropped about 3 seconds back. I slowly caught Maifield the whole race and finished 1 second back at the end, I was happy with my truck and my driving.
Now it was time for the A3’s and both classes were up for grabs. In 4wd it was only between Maifield and I. On the start we were both clean and pulled away from the rest of the pack, you could sense we both wanted this win. He was all over me for a while, and he tried an inside daring pass, but it wasn’t successful. With around 1 minute to go, he would hit the back table top in a weird spot and crash on the straight. That let me drive with no pressure and take the A3 and the overall win. That win felt great. My Kyosho ZX6 has been amazing lately, and everyone there got to see how good it drives. Last race of the event was 2wd, and 4 drivers had a chance to win the overall. I started 4th out of the 4 drivers that could win, but I felt confident I could win. We all got off clean with Spencer 1, Maifield 2, Hartson 3, and me 4th. Hartson went wide on the spine jump, and I moved to 3rd on the second lap. Maifield quickly made a pass on Spencer, and I knew I needed to get by quick before he tried to pull a lead. A couple laps later I got by and into second, but Maifield had a 2 second lead over me. My car felt amazing and I was driving confident, I pushed hard and got up right on his wing in just a few laps. The finish jump we were jumping far into the turn, and Maifield went a little wide and I was able to get to the inside. He tried to block, but my car was already there and the pass was made. I pushed hard after the pass and pulled out a 2 second lead in a few laps, and then it was a carbon copy of 4wd A3. With about 1 minute left, he hit the weird spot on the table top and crashed on the straight. I cruised to the A3 win and the overall.
All in all it was a perfect weekend. My goal was to see how my testing has been going and if my setups are getting closer to where they need to be. I’ve been driving a lot and I’ve been working on driving more confident. I learned some great things on all my cars, and I drove confident in every race, so the goals were met. Winning was a total bonus, and I’m extremely happy with the wins. The new AKA Chain Link tires worked awesome, so that was cool to beat all the JC guys at their own race. I also had a super fun weekend with my friends, which I normally don’t do. Sometimes I’m too serious, but this weekend I went old school and stayed with 4 friends in the hotel and we just laughed and talked about funny RC stories and had a blast. Thanks to all my sponsors, my fans, my family, and the Good Lord Jesus Christ for my racing career. On to Vegas next weekend!