For the 2018 Reedy, we decided to go out to CA a little early and head down to San Diego to SDRC. The Reedy Race of Champion’s is one goal of mine that I have not achieved yet, so I wanted to be as prepared as possible. I flew into San Diego early Monday morning and we went straight to the track. SDRC was like a full on Pro practice session Monday and Tuesday with US and international drivers all getting laps in. I started a little off pace, but got better and did a ton of laps, having two full 12 hour days at the track. That was actually my first time driving at SDRC, and I loved it, hope to go back for a race someday.
Wednesday morning we went to the USS Midway Museum to mix it up and see something other than a hotel and RC track. The museum was really cool and all the planes were awesome to see. We were there on Jan 17, and the USS Midway launched its last attack in Desert Storm on Jan 17, 1991, so that was pretty cool.
Wednesday at OCRC would be check in for Invitational drivers and open practice for the Open drivers. I would get two sets of tires for each car, the race running spec tires, JC Dirtwebs for 2wd and PL Positrons for 4wd with JC foam for both.
Thursday would be the first time we could hit the technical OCRC track. This years track layout was much different from years before, with big triples right out of corners and more sharp corners. We would get three practice runs with each class, 2wd and 4wd, before racing would start on Friday. My cars were feeling pretty good and I was pretty comfortable with the track layout. I wasn’t making many setup changes, just focusing on my driving and learning the track. The traction here at OCRC starts out kinda low, and gains more traction every time you get on the track.
Friday is Race Day 1 at the Reedy with four 4wd Invite Races.
4WD R1 : Started 6th, Finished 3rd : Had a pretty good race, got a good jump on the start, but then got clipped and crashed right after the step downs, went to last. With the track layout, the middle to back of the back was just nuts with lots of drivers crashing. I worked my way back up to 2nd and was battling with Maifield, but I bobbled in the whoops and lost the position.
4WD R2 : Started 2nd, Finished 7th : Had a great start, but I was struggling to get rotated quick around the tight corners before the big jumps. I crashed a lot and couldn’t get into a good flow.
4WD R3 : Started 5th, Finished 4th : My car felt great to start the race and I moved into 2nd and ran there most the race. After halfway, I started loosing traction and each lap it seemed to get worse. The last lap I dropped to 4th, after the race I noticed my whole rear bulkhead was coming loose and my rear diff case was propped up and my gears were skipping and catching. That was a bummer.
4WD R4 : Started 8th, Finished 8th : My car felt good again, I ran in 4th for a lot of the race, having a great battle with Lee Martin. We were battling hard, I was trying to stay in 4th and we raced hard down the back straight. I was up next to the wall and got out of shape some and went flipping after I clipped the wall, breaking my car with a lap to go.
Saturday is Race Day 2 and the day is split by the remaining two 4wd Invite Races, followed by a 2wd Invite Practice, and then the first two 2wd Invite Races. My first day didn’t go great, so I was needing all four races to go good and get some low points.
4WD R5 : Started 5th, Finished 6th : Had a great start, but I jumped onto another car on the first lap and went back to 10th. After that I made some progress, but wasn’t able to fully run clean.
4WD R6 : Started 3rd, Finished 5th : The heat was stacked with a bunch of the drivers battling up at the top, I was excited to race with them. Wasn’t able to run the super fast pace, tried my best.
4WD was finished, I was sitting 13th, the worst position I’ve ever been during the Reedy Race. I was super disappointed in my finishes and was looking for some better finishes in 2WD. I did a ton of running at SDRC, and we got my car much better feeling and easier to drive, so I was optimistic. Put the 4WD portion behind me, not worry about the overall positions, just race each race.
2WD R1 : Started 2nd, Finished 10th : Started on the front row with Maifield, pulled the holeshot on him, felt great the first few corners, jumped the first big triple perfect, pulled a small gap, then jumped the second big triple a little to far inside. My car didn’t even make a sound, but the right front broke. Not sure if I clipped the pipe connector or not, but my race was over. The part must have been already broken, and I was really bummed.
2WD R2 : Started 3rd, Finished 4th : Had just an OK race, nothing great.
Saturday night’s tradition the past couple years has been to go watch Anaheim 2 Supercross, which only about 10 miles away from OCRC. The way the time-table works out is that after we are finished with Invite, we have time to make it before Opening Ceremonies start. We made it, bought some tickets, got lucky as it was almost completely sold out. The racing and atmosphere were awesome as usual and it felt great to get a little time outside of the RC track.
Sunday is the final day at Reedy, with the upper Open mains and the final four 2WD Invite Races. My Reedy was going TERRIBLE, I was just ready to go home. I have been working really hard and it’s so hard to handle back to back bad race events to start the year. I’m not sure what to do, what to work on, what to change … the effort is there, maybe too much effort.
2WD R3 : Started 9th, Finished 6th : Crashed way too many times on my own. Every race I get some good opportunities, but I’m not comfortable enough in traffic and driving with slower cars. My fast lap times are right with the top drivers, but I can’t seem to stay there up front to race with them.
2WD R4 : Started 7th, Finished 8th : Had a great start, made some passes, then just barely clipped a car in the turn before the second triple. Rolled over, went to last, then crashed again and was WAY last. Felt like I could have battled for a win, but instead just drove around in the back.
2WD R5 : Started 10th, Finished 4th : My car was the best it had been, I was driving better, not getting tangled early. I was in 2nd or 3rd with Cav in front of me, and I was reeling him in some, and got right to back of him. Then off the front triple, I jumped into the infield, a mistake I made a TON all weekend. I was right in traffic, so I lost 2 spots. I got back into the battle and then Rivkin got into the back of me and I crashed. I wasn’t in the battle for the championship like he was, so I told him not to wait and just keep going. That raised some drama as other drivers felt he needed a stop and go, but I didn’t want his chances ruined because of that. Another reason why this race is so challenging and unpredictable, with emotions all over the place.
2WD R6 : Started 8th, Finished 4th : Not a great last race, again just too many mistakes.
Finished 16th Overall
This was my worst showing at any event in a REALLY REALLY long time, and I am honestly embarrassed of my performance. Not really sure what else to say.
Thanks to my family, Zack Rogers, all my fans, my sponsors, Kyosho, MX Racing, Team Orion, AKA, KO Propo, GS Hobby.com, BoomRC, TD Paint, Lunsford, MIP, Fastlane Raceway, and the Good Lord Jesus Christ.
I feel like I let everyone down, it’s time for a reset, and I will see you guys in Arizona for The Dirt Nitro Challenge! Thanks for reading, God Bless!
Better times will come – no reason to be worried. Keep calm and run your clean lines 🙂