Ryan Lutz reports on a perfect weekend in Texas, where he snatched TQ & Wins in all three classes entered.
Saturday November 19th, 2011
Once again I find myself in the South, this time just outside of Dallas, TX at the other large awesome Mikes Hobby Shop in the state. Wow what a facility. Indoor Electric offroad and onroad track and an outdoor offroad track along with a rock crawling course and a slot car track! Not to mention a huge hobby shop! This weekend i’m attending the Texas Offroad Shootout and running my usual as of late Pro Nitro Buggy, E-buggy, and SC. Here’s how qualifications went for me:
Short Course – On my DESC410R I decided to add a little more weight to the rear. I already had the side weights and the rear skid weight but I also added another 1 oz under the rear diff. This is the best my truck has ever felt on a large outdoor track. It really helped with stability and my truck was just excellent all day. I was able to TQ Q1 by about 6 seconds over Wheeler. In Q2 I was on another TQ run when my battery connecter melted ending my run. In Q3 I was able to beat my rd 1 TQ by a few seconds and thus take the overall. This event utilized Rocket Round which I hadn’t done in a while but either way I managed the TQ.
Electric-Buggy – This was again the fastest vehicle of the weekend on this track. I got down to a 26.2 while my nitro was 26.3 and Wheelers truggy was also 26.3. So my DEX408 was dialed once again! I went out and TQ’d the first two rounds by over a lap each one. In Q3 I made a few mistakes trying to drive it harder and drift it a bit and thus didn’t contend to beat one of my TQ’s but I already had it wrapped up and came away with the TQ!
Nitro-Buggy – My DNX408 feels awesome this weekend. My Alpha A852 is screaming and yesterday in practice I was getting over 11min on this track – Woo hoo for fuel mileage! In Q1 I found a line on the top right of the track where I jumped over this section and it shaved maybe .2ths a lap off my lap time. One lap however I ended up over the berm loosing 10 seconds and thus qualifying 2nd for the round. In Q2 I came out and ran much cleaner and was 6seconds ahead of TQ and made a small mistake. I came back though and still took the TQ from Wheeler by 2 seconds. In Q3 we ran in the dark and it was a bit hard to see. However I was managing to keep it clean and I know I was nearly on a TQ run but I don’t know how it ended up. Either way I took the Win and thus the TQ.
So a trifecta of TQ’s which hopefully tomorrow I can convert into 3 W’s!
Sunday November 20th, 2011
Main day rolled around and the goal of the day for the race was to avoid the chance of rain! Luckily we got it all in about 30 minutes before the rain started! For me as robotically mentioned above it was a success. Here’s how it went down.
Short Course – Going into the main I thought to myself that this was going to be my toughest 10 minute main to finish that i’ve had yet in this class. Reason being is that usually they have been triple A’s and thus if I screw up the first one and dump (a la R/C Pro Finals) then I still have 2 more to readjust my driving. At this event there was only 1, 10min A-main and so I really needed to drive cautious. Out of the gate Josh Wheeler and myself got out ahead and built a little lead and put on a show for the crowd for the entire race. For the first 9 minutes we were never more than say 1 second apart. I could tell he was using more battery than me and so I hoped that if it came down to it he would dump. I stayed conservative for the most part but about 4 minutes in a made a small bobble and let him by but when we got to the straight where I had been taking it very conservative I decided I wanted the lead back and so I pulled trigger just that one time and flew by him on the straight. I would again give up the lead say 7 minutes in and then I decided to just push him to hopefully make him dump. With about 1 minute to go I knew I had conserved a good amount of battery so I decided to start to push it. I got really close behind him but he tubed it and got stuck but I was right behind and I bumped him off the pipe and instead switched places with him and I got stuck. He then got about a 5 second lead because I had to get marshaled. Then the next lap was the last lap and over the double in the middle he dumped! So I was able to take the win on that account and when recharging my batteries I only used 4400 MaH in the 10 minutes! I tell you what, conserving batteries is no fun to me but it’s cool to be able to use it as a strategy to help when it works as well!
Electric-Buggy – I realized after the race that I used the wrong set of used tires in my E-buggy race. I had 2 sets of used impacts in my bags and I grabbed the ones with black foams instead of red foams. This explained to me why my car was a bit more edgy and catchy in the little ruts that had developed. Either way though I guess I just wanted to make the race that much more of a challenge for myself. Starting from the pole was actually a bad spot for me personally because it didn’t allow me to do my line through the section directly thereafter. So I crashed basically right away and had to work back through the pack. I did so quickly and made it up to the lead pair where we would swap places for quite a few minutes. I haven’t made so many boneheaded mistakes in a race in quite some time but I was just crashing more than usual. In the end though with about 2 minutes to go I got by David Joor for the lead and just cleaned it up to finish out front and take the victory.
Nitro-Buggy – My DNX408 was solid for me once again. I am really happy with my buggy right now and it doesn’t matter where I race it I feel I have a good grasp on the car and that inspires confidence! In this 25 minute main I got tagged at the very start but did a 360 and didn’t loose position. I then gapped out a bit as 2nd made a mistake. I quickly got a 6 second lead and knew I wasn’t going to look back. I worked on running clean lines and not goofing up my inverse berm jumping section and it paid off as at the end of the 25min main I had a 1 lap victory.
Overall it was a great event. A little light on turnout unfortunately but I was told there has been a lot of racing in Texas and the surrounding area lately so that may have been a big reason for it. ( I should know, i’ve been living in this region lately it seems!
The facility of Mike’s Hobby Shop is quite amazing and the locals really do have something special that they shouldn’t take for granted. I appreciate the hospitality of those that worked there and all the great people I met either for the first time this weekend or got to see again! This hobby really does have a great group of people!
Next up is the Fall Brawl in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I’ve heard some names like Maifield and maybe Drake might be there? I’m sure plenty more along with the always fast locals in that area, Looking forward to it!