Factory Team / Race Events

Race Report: Mark Smyka Takes Mod Buggy Title at RCMadness SC Nationals

Last weekend RC Madness in Enfield, CT hosted it’s Annual Short Course Nationals. This race has turned into one of the biggest electric only races in the NorthEast all year with well over 350 entries in the past. This year was a little on the light side with two other bigger style races going on in the area but we still managed to pull in over 250 entries.

Friday started off with a full day of practice for most but with my day job being short handed I was not able to be there all day so I showed up around four o’clock in the afternoon. After I got my pit setup and everything charged, it was around five PM so I ran a couple of packs to get both my cars dialed in. With my PRO-2 Truck I started with the same setup I ran last year with the exception of installing the new big bore shocks on the truck.With my PRO-2 Buggy I used the same setup as my truck with a little bit lighter shock oil just because I didn’t have the top heavy body on it.

The first round of qualifying started of early Saturday morning with the first heat hitting the track at nine AM so I arrived at the track super early grabbed my back pack blower and prepped the track for round one. The order of heats were spec Slash, Stock Buggy, Stock Truck, pro-lite, Mod Buggy, Mod Truck, 4WD Truck and finally 1:8 Electric Buggy ( I know but we had a lot of people ask ).

I was in the first heat of stock buggy and my car was really good. I jumped out to a early lead and never looked back setting TQ by almost three quarters of a lap! Next up was stock truck and I was on pace to put me third when I had a screw fall out of steering knuckle (yea I know.. loctite) so I had a bad run there. Next was Mod Buggy. I wanted to stay with a safe run so I kept my stock motor in and ran a clean race putting me third on the grid. Next was mod truck and I felt my truck was good but I over powered it and ended up ninth for the round.

The second round I pretty much kept everything the same but I tamed my mod truck down and tried some M4 Holeshots in the rear of my Mod Buggy. I didn’t make any big changes in my time. Round three I got bumped out of the Stock Truck Main so I need a good run. I was solid in all the other mains so I focused on that. I was on a great run putting my PRO-2 to the top of the leader board two minutes into the race when I come up on traffic and disaster strikes! I get rear ended, spun around and landed on my roof killing my run. So after everything was done with qualifying for Saturday I was sitting TQ in Stock Buggy, 12th in Stock Truck, 2nd in Mod Buggy and 4th in Mod Truck.

We had one more qualifying round Sunday morning and I put everything I had into getting my PRO-2 Stock Truck into the big show. I made a few changes, cut a couple more vent holes out and made sure I had a good motor and battery in. I was in the last race for stock truck and having 12 trucks in this race I knew I would have to be fast but careful with the IFMAR style starts. I waited until everyone got way ahead of me before I left the starting line and within 2 laps I was the pace setter on a very good pace, not TQ but I was not worried about that at this point. I just wanted to get my Truck as close to the front of the grid as I could. Well with about a minute to go I came off the double double in front of the drivers stand and my truck just spun out. I didn’t know what happened till my pit guy looked at me and shook his head I had broke a rear drive axle costing my my shot at making the A-Main straight up. After this I talked to some people and talked to my pit guy and asked him what else he thought I could do. I told him the truck was very fast but feels a bit on the loose side. He suggested I put some more toe in the back so that’s what I did while changing rear axles.

I went out for the B-Main in stock truck. I was sitting second on the grid and I could only hope I did everything right. The tone went off to start the race and I took off like a bullet and never looked back. At the halfway point of the race, I had a half track lead and still pulled away more by the time the race was over. I was happy now because I was competing in four classes and I was in the big show in all four with a TQ, a second, a fourth and a eleventh now!

Main time came and my races were buggy, truck, buggy, truck with stock first and mod second, so I asked my wife for some help since I was using the same vehicles in both classes. All I asked her to do was cool my motor down and put a fresh battery in. I knew we didn’t have time to swap motors so I would just run mod classes with stock motors.

Stock buggy I jumped out to a huge lead when all of a sudden I see the back of the truck dragging on the ground. I broke a shock bottom landing off a jump. So I nurse it around to finish 4th overall. Stock Truck was next. I was starting 11th and knew I needed a good start to have a chance. Well that’s what I got! I was in fifth by the second turn and third by the time we hit the straight away. I was catching the top two trucks when a gust of wind blows my truck sideways in the air and I roll over catching a pipe moving me down to fourth and that’s where I would finish but I was happy with that. Mod Buggy was next and running a stock motor was going to hurt a little but my Buggy was really good. I took the lead right in the first corner and ended up leading wire to wire to take the title! Mod Truck was the last race for me and I was fourth on the grid. This was a fast group of guys. The start was very ruff and TQ and second place took off while everyone else plied up. I sat in 4th to 5th the whole race and finally finished 5th overall.


In all I had a great time at this race and cannot wait till next year to bring the heat again!

Mark Smyka