Factory Team / Race Events

Cory Craig Takes TQ and Win at the Lake Hartwell Season Opener

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It was about 10am when I arrived at the Lake Hartwell, RC facility. As I take in my first view of the new layout, the amount of love and time, put into the facility was obvious. Nothing expressed that more than the Main feature, the “Wall of Death”. A 16ft tall, 24ft wide, 70 degree incline, insult to gravity. The new layout looked like a lot of fun, with some technical areas and difficult doubles to make. The consistent pile of vehicles scattered at the bottom of the “wall of death” was making me anxious to get some laps in and see if I could master it. Let’s get this party started shall we?

Overall it was a wonderful day of racing. The truck drove well all day, my Pro-Line Tires and Inserts kept me hooked up, and the Pro-Line EVO SC flew great even in some of the head on wind coming from the left side of the track as you hit the fastest jump on the track. My hats off to the Pro-Line folks as always for making truly superior products!

I started the day off with my standard, new track tire setup (M4 Hole Shot Fronts, with M4 Blockade Rears) and my standard Truck setup. The track was very moist but loamy. I figured with 70 racers there, and its moisture level, the track would probably pack down rather quickly. I made a few laps, and added to the pile at the wall my first few times through. However, thanks to VRC Pro and some practice @ the 2012 Psycho Nitro layout, it wasn’t long before I had the wall down pretty good. The truck was driving fairly well, but as the track started to pack down in practice I felt the truck might do better with Hole Shots on the rear.

After swapping the M4 Blockades for M4 Hole Shots, I went out and made a few more laps. Now I could really push it 😀 love these Tires 😀 after a few laps to practice a few lines, I was feeling very confident with my truck so I pulled it to get it ready for round 1.

Heat number 1: My goal was to get a good solid, clean run. With the wall of death looming over everyone, I felt being smooth and unmarshalled was more important than having the fastest possible laps. If I keep it clean I should TQ. After the buzzer sounds, and my name is called I roll off to turn one and try to settle into a rhythm. Unfortunately, the tight track and large number of racers made that very difficult. Almost every other corner there was a wreck to dodge or a slower car to work around but man was it fun!

The truck was working really well, as I cruised to the Win to set the TQ.

Heat 2: for heat number 2 I made zero changes. Just let her Eat 😀 The track was drying out but starting to groove up in places, I blew off the Hole Shots I had and set my sites on locking in the TQ. The truck was just as consistent in this heat as it was the first, and with clean track at the beginning of the run I managed to click off some really consistent laps and cruise to the win and TQ for 2WD SCT.

A-Main: For the main event I went out on a limb and tried M4 Suburbs on the rear. The moisture had come up in the track from all the rain we had during the week so I felt it was a good move. The issue was the temperature had dropped about 30-40 degrees since the 2nd heat and of course I didn’t bring my hair dryer (yeah I know har har its dirt you don’t need heat in your tires. Jokes on me right???? see my blog later for more information about it). The buzzer sounds and I manage to make it through turns 1 and 2 clean and put a lil space between myself and second. And for the first time all day, I short the turn on the wall of death and end up turtle at the bottom of it lol. Once marshalled I am running about 8th or 9th (almost last) with a gaggle of trucks racing hard ahead of me. I settle down, and start hitting my marks and within a few laps I was passing for second and starting to run the leader down. Few laps later, as I have closed the distance to the leader, he cuts a corner too tight and rolls it. I squeak by for the lead and never look back as I cruise to the win!

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I would like to send a big shout out to the crew at the Lake Hartwell Facility. After several delays for different uncontrollable equipment failures, I feel you guys hung in there and finished out a great day of racing! Hartwell is a new Facility and owned and operated by the Jordan Family who have definitely made huge strides to provide a great place to race for its locals (who by the way are some of the greatest group of folks you will meet). All I can say is the full moon was doing its thang 😛 I have been racing for almost 30 years and I have never seen the lap counter go bad, the PA system go bad, and then the computer malfunction all on the same day at the same event. Yet they pulled through it like champs. They showed remarkable resiliency and resourcefulness in a very tough situation. For a fledgling facility they show amazing promise and I for one can’t wait to go back! Who wants to go with me?

Cory Craig