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July 18, 2011

Ryan Lutz reports from the OS/Futaba Nitro Challenge at St. Louis Dirtburners, USA

Filed under: News — Team Durango UK @ 12:14 pm


Saturday July 16th, 1:00pm CST
Round number one out here at the OS/Futaba Nitro Challenge is in the books. My DNX408 was flying again. My DNX408 feels great and I’m glad to be back smelling nitro fumes and listening to an engine run! :-D I was on TQ pace from start to finish and I was able to take the first round TQ. I am running my Alabama set-up and I don’t think I have changed a thing. I am loving this buggy! :-D There are two more qualifiers today in which they will take best two of three qual-point format. Tomorrow, for the mains, they are doing double 20min A-mains. I think they break tie-breakers by combined laps and times. Should make for some excitement!

Sunday July 17th, 1:30AM CST
Qualifications have come to an end and as you can see by the time it’s late! We didn’t finish until after 11pm and I’ve been up ever since gluing tires and charging batteries to be prepared for Finals day. Here’s how today ended up for me:

In Pro Buggy my DNX408 was feeling great. I basically decided on AKA soft Impacts for the whole weekend. In round number two I decided to try to stand further down on the right of the drivers-stand. This was a bad idea. I did it to try to help my visibility on the top right corner but it just threw me off on the entire track. I had a good start and was on a TQ run but eventually started making tons of mistakes by not being comfortable. The car was fast but the driver was acting slow. I ended up, I think, fourth for the round. In round three it was all down between Taylor James (DNX408) and myself for overall TQ. We both made some mistakes early, but he ended up making a few bigger ones. It was so hard to see with it being so late and there being no wind, the dust was just hanging over the track. I was able to get ahead of him on the track (I started behind him) and I set my sights on Matt Gosh who was in the lead. With about two minutes to go I put my head down and started putting in consistent fast laps and with some bobbles by Matt I took the lead and didn’t look back. I was able to take the overall TQ.

So it turned out to be a great day. I am looking forward to later today and the mains. They are doing two 20 min A-mains and in the morning they are also going to do a dash-for-cash. Should all be fun and I look forward to putting my Team Durango DNX408 on top of the podium again! :-D

Sunday July 17th, 11:00PM CST
The mains have come and gone. It was a long hot day and I know I’m ready for some shuteye. As I mentioned before we were to do two 20min mains. Here’s how my mains went down.

For the first buggy main the first six on the grid were sorted by finishing order from the dash-for-cash. (I finished third in the dash for cash. It was seven laps with an inverted grid. There was lots of crashing and bumping, and I came back from last twice so third was fine with me). Anyway I was third on the grid and at the start I got caught in a bit of traffic half-a-lap in. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I was near the back and quickly on lap two made my way back to third. Then I was able to take over second and I found myself about seven seconds behind Wheeler who got out clean (starting from the pole). I paced him for a while and made-up a little ground and then he flamed out. I thus inherited the lead and he got back out on the track. I stayed clean the rest of the run and came away (I believe) with the win by 11 seconds.

Next was the second main. I chose to run AKA Soft Impacts which is what I had run throughout all of qualifying. They felt dialed and my Team Durango DNX408 felt dialed as well. My Alpha Plus A852 was singing and I was ready for a good main. At the tone I got a good start. I began to build a lead and I was determined to make it stick. I ended up getting out front by over ten seconds and I began to make a few mistakes due to the swarm of bugs on the driver-stand. They were landing on my neck and in my ear and it was a distraction to say the least! However I believe everyone else was dealing with the same thing as everyone was making mistakes. I got back focused again and just knew I had to finish within 11 seconds of Wheeler. I was able to stay out front though and finished with the win. Thus I took to overall victory!

I can’t say enough about the equipment I am running. I’m just so happy with my complete support team that I have behind me. These are companies that I choose to run for and I’m just grateful they allow me to support them!

Next up I’m going ‘home’ to Ohio for a State Pro Series race at my old Hometown track in Medina. Look forward to seeing the family and having some fun!


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