Hey Guys, 2018 is upon us and the racing season has officially started. My first race is always early January in Ohio, about 30 minutes south of Columbus, at The Ohio RC Factory. We flew in early Wednesday morning to get to the track for practice to start at 12 noon. Wednesday and half of Thursday would be open practice, with one round of seeding practice Thursday afternoon. The track this year looked awesome and I was excited to get the year started, as I was feeling prepared and had a lot of drive time the past few weeks. I raced 2wd Mod Buggy with my Kyosho RB6.6, 4wd Mod Buggy with my Kyosho ZX6.6, and Mod Stadium Truck with my Kyosho RT6.
Right from the start of practice I felt really comfortable and was happy with my cars. The track was fun and challenging, so I wasn’t focused on changing my setups, just driving my cars. My 2wd and 4wd were setup very similar to how I have been driving them lately at Fastlane Raceway, so I was happy. On Thursday I was focused on breaking in some more sets of tires so I would be set for racing. It was hard to judge my lap times in the open practice while breaking in new tires, but I still thought my cars and driving were pretty good.
Seeding went pretty good, as I was on a set of race tires, I could see where I really staked up on the lap times. 2wd I seeded 4th, 4wd I seeded 7th I think, and Truck I seeded 1st.
Friday would be Q1 and Q2. 2wd was up first, and I came out really fast to lead early, but then I crashed on both lap 2 and lap 3. That dropped me way back, but I got back into a groove and was working my way back up, getting into the top 5, then pushed too hard and broke my car. I went too wide after the roller double on the back right side, still tried carrying good speed after it, clipped the pipe and broke a caster block. With the really cold conditions, parts seemed to breaking more often than usual and there were quite a few DNF’s through the whole weekend. Truck was up next, and I was excited as my truck had been awesome in practice. I started off driving kinda nervous and making little bobbles, but found my groove after a couple of laps. I was catching the leaders on time and getting more confident, but then I jumped too inside off the triple and broke another caster block. 4wd would be my last class. I had an ok run, but I wasn’t super fast, more consistent though. I was running in 2nd for most of the qualifier, but then I rolled it over on the last lap and dropped to 5th, which was a big bummer. Q1 was not a great start! For Q2, I just wanted to drive more like I have been the past few weeks, confident and consistent. 2wd I had decent run, but my car seemed to be pretty hard to drive, I finished 4th. Truck again felt really good, started out very similar to Q1, and finished the exact same way, jumping too far inside of the triple and breaking my truck. 4wd felt similar to my 2wd, hard to drive, I had some mistakes and finished 6th after running 3rd for most of the heat.
Saturday would be Q3 and Q4 to finish off qualifying. I would now be in a slower heat in Mod Stadium Truck with two DNF’s and doing a re-seed of the heats after Q1 and Q2. 2wd I was having a good drive, driving good, but just a touch off the pace. I was in 3rd and then had a big chain reaction incident on the final lap that lead to multiple crashes and 7th for the round. I was super bummed after driving good for the whole race. Mod Truck I just needed to finish, but I was worried about the traffic. My truck felt great and the slower drivers were awesome giving me as much space as they could. I had a solid run, and finished 2nd, less than a second off TQ. 4wd was pretty rough, I was fighting comfort and just had no confidence, finishing 7th. Q4 was here, I wanted some decent runs to move up on the grid some, and I needed to finish my truck qualifier to lock in my spot for the A-Mains. 2wd was really bad, I finished 13th and would qualify 8th Overall. Truck I would have another good run to finished 2nd and secure 2nd Overall. 4wd was similar to 2wd with just no confidence driving, and then I broke on the final lap, finishing 15th for the round and 9th Overall. Not happy at all with how qualifying went, I was feeling pretty down and frustrated. I had put in a lot of work at home, have been club racing a lot at home, not just practicing by myself, felt great to start practice, but just lost touch of my cars and was struggling.
Sunday is a new day, and sometimes racing can be much different that qualifying.
2wd Starting 8th
Truck Starting 2nd
4wd Starting 9th
For the mains, 10 cars go direct into the A-Mains, with 1 car bumps from all lower mains and then triple A-Mains, so it’s a busy day.
2wd A1 : Had just a decent race, moved up some, but then got clipped by a crashing car and dropped back some. My car was driving a little better, but no pace to battle for the win, finished 6th.
2wd A2 : Made a couple car setup changes and I thought my car was pretty good, but the race was just rough, finished 8th.
2wd A3 : This was my best 2wd main and I was driving pretty good, but my confidence still wasn’t great with my car, I raced hard and finished 5th, locking up 8th Overall.
Truck A1 : My truck felt awesome and I was ready to fight for the win, confidence was high. Ryan Cav and I had a good start and pulled a small gap over the rest of the field. I was feeling quite a bit faster, but could find a place to pass. I was getting through the back right section and jumping farther off the single onto the back straight. I tried to jump over him, but I jumped too inside, not wanting to land on him, and I went into the infield. I dropped back into 3rd as me and Aydin Horne had a small tangle. I was super frustrated after that and just started to push much harder and reeled back up to Cav after being almost 5 seconds back. I got right to the back of him again on the final lap, and I wanted to be really close when coming onto the back straight. I went to jump tight on the landing of the triple, but landed on the pipe and crashed. Aydin was right behind me and I bobbled on the straight, we went into the loop side by side, by Aydin got the 2nd spot. I was really mad at myself for throwing a win away.
Truck A2 : I made a small setup change to truck and was ready to take the win and push it to A3. I broke in warm up, was able to fix it and barely make the start. I was pretty worked up and wasn’t driving great, making some mistakes and dropping back a few spots. About halfway through, I noticed my left rear wheel seemed to be shaking more than that it should, then I crashed and could tell my left rear arm was broken. I drove it easy the last minute just trying to finish, and finished 3rd with a broken rear arm. The win was out of reach.
Truck A3 : I needed to win to get 2nd overall, and I drove a nice clean race. My truck was awesome and I finally drove good and took a pretty easy win to secure 2nd Overall.
4wd A1 : I was really struggling right from the start and could not battle very close with other cars. I ended up braking my car and finishing 10th.
4wd A2 : I got a pretty good start and drove really good. My rear end was not feeling very stable and my car was super hard to drive, but I was able to hang on and finish 5th.
4wd A3 : I had another good start and my best main in 4wd. Car was better, but still hard to drive after the changes I made. I finished 4th and got 6th Overall.
All in all, the 2018 CRCRC was not what I wanted or expected at all, but it was not for a lack of effort. Racing can be super frustrating like this, putting in all the hard work, feeling prepared, then just not having the weekend you thought you would have.
Thanks to my family, all my fans, my sponsors, Kyosho MX racing, Team Orion, AKA, Ko Propo, GS Hobby.com, BoomRC, TD paint, Lunsford, MIP, Fastlane Raceway, and thanks to the Good Lord Jesus Christ!
See you guys at the next race, thanks for reading, God Bless!