I recently attended the 16th annual Dirt Nitro Challenge in Phoenix, Arizona where it has been held at the Fear Farm facility for the last few years. This race is always one of the biggest races during the year and it really starts out the year just because it is in the early months. The race is also one of the hardest to win because of its format style. I was racing 3 Pro Classes: Truggy, E-Buggy and Nitro Buggy. The first day which is Wednesday is usually practice for all classes then the Thursday is qualifying for both Truggy and E-Buggy. Friday is qualifying for nitro buggy then Saturday is Truggy and E-Buggy Mains and the last day is Buggy qualifying which is on Sunday.
Wednesday was definitely a crazy day. Practice didn’t really start when it was expected so there were some major delays and ended up only getting 1 practice run per class which is not very much considering the size of the track. Truggy was the first and I went out with an open mind just trying to get the track with my Hot Bodies D8T TE down and figure out the best way to get through all jumps and what not. It actually ended up pretty good I think I had a top 10 for the best 3 laps and I was actually really happy with that. E-Buggy was up next and once again it was just about getting as much run time in on my Tekno converted D812.
I knew if I put on a safe Tire, which was M3 Blockades, I should be good.
As for Nitro Buggy I did the same thing on my Hot Bodies D815 and put on the Tire that I knew would work well (Pro-Line Blockades). Overall practice day was pretty crazy only getting one practice run but thankfully I entered 3 classes so I got an extra 7-minutes compared to most.
Thursday was qualifying for both Truggy and E-Buggy and I was pretty excited to get on the track even though I only had a little practice. As usual Truggy was the first to run and I feeling pretty good with practice ended up.
For the first run I put M3 Hole Shots on the Truck and it was awesome.
In the run I had one small mistake but still a great run just missing a 12 lap run by less than a second and able to get 6th for the round. As for round two of Truggy I put another set of M3 Hole Shots on and it was pretty good. For E-Buggy I put on M3 Blockades for both rounds 1 and 2 and the car was good just making small mistakes as it was my first actual race with the car. Overall day one of qualifying was really good I thought both of my cars seemed really good especially my Truggy but we were only able to get the first 2 rounds and part of round 3 done before it was too late.
As for Friday was pretty hectic once again because we had to finish up the rest of round 3 qualifying then do 3 more rounds of qualifying for Buggy. In the final run for Truggy I was able to make another really good run on the M3 Hole Shots and hooked up track and was actually able to place myself 11th in the Pro Truggy A-Main. As for E-Buggy I ran M3 Blockades again and put in another safe run which I was then able to qualify into the B-main then. As for nitro buggy I pretty excited to get running since I had met my goals for the Truggy class and wanted to try and achieve them in the Buggy class as well. The first run was going pretty well my car was hooked up on M3 Blockades and I was just trying to put a solid run in but unfortunately I had a pressure line come off the tank and made my engine get super-hot and not able to do much.
The second round I went out on M3 LockDowns and my car was hooked up
but I had a problem with traffic and pretty much went tumbling all the way down the back strait away. Unfortunately I was on a pretty good run and my car was feeling awesome but sometimes things happen that you can’t really control.
In the third round I went out on M4 Hole Shots just because the track was cool and in general it was pretty cold out. My car was really hooked up this round and the Tires were awesome
but my setup didn’t really work the best with all the traction and huge ruts that were starting to develop. Overall I qualified 9th in the D-Main for Buggy which I was not super happy with but I had quite a bit of bad luck so it was understandable.
Saturday was the Truggy and E-Buggy Mains which thankfully I could sleep in a little later since my races weren’t up until later in the day. For the first run of the day I had the A-Main Warm up which was ten minutes in length and was basically just making sure everything worked correctly after rebuilding my Truggy. The truck felt really good even though it was only a practice run I then felt really good for the Truggy Main later that night. The first actual race that day for me was the B-Main in E-Buggy which I was starting towards the back but I knew there would be a huge pile up in the first two corners of the track on the right side. During warmup my car felt really good on M3 LockDowns but since it was such a long race I had to make sure to try and conserve as much battery as possible so it was only a lap or so. In the beginning of the race I was able to pick up a few spots due to the corner pile ups. For most of the race I was just battling mid pack trying to get to the front but it was a pretty fast heat and with it being short it was really hard to get to the front. Overall I was pretty happy making it to the B-Main and finishing 8th as it was my first race on the car. The very last race of the day was Truggy Main and I went into the race with an open mind and just hoping for the best. In the beginning of the race my Truggy was actually really good and pretty hooked up on M3 Blockades and was having a pretty good battle towards the rear but after about 15-minutes one of my axles broke due to all the hard hits through ruts and crazy stuff that the car goes through on a track. Luckily it was a pretty easy fix and my dad was able to get me back out after a few minutes of repairing it and was then able to finish the race in the 13th position.
Sunday was Buggy Mains and the final day of the race. Even though I was in the D-Main I was still pretty late in the day as the day went on it became more and more windy. This can actually really affect the cars because there were some pretty big jumps on the track. In the Main my car was really good and tires were awesome which were the M3 LockDowns. I was able to get to the front of the pack pretty fast and started battling with 3rd place but unfortunately every time I made it into 3rd m car would get massively affected by the wind and almost fly away. For most of the race it was a battle for the 3rd place but unfortunately on the second to last lap I lost the position and could not catch back up, finishing 5th.
Overall my cars and Tires worked awesome all week and would like to take a second to say thanks to Pro-Line and Hot Bodies for all help and support throughout the year and at the race itself.