Event: WRL 4.6
Location: Sparks Park in Columbus Ohio
Race Setup: 3 rounds of heats and single 7-minute A-Mains
Entries: 185 (very large turnout for the last round)
First I want to say that to make this race and the whole series possible I talked to a couple of my fellow Tekno teammates from Ohio, named Ian Cameron, Jeff Beck, and Joe Bornhorst that lended me a place to stay. I have gotten to meet tons of new people and make a lot of friends along the way!
Well lets get to the racing part of this !
Heading into the race: Heading into this race I was 1st in points ahead by 2 in 4WD Short Course and 3rd in points 12 behind the leader. This last round is double points by the way…
Practice: After arriving at the track early Saturday morning we wanted to get some much needed practice on the fresh layout that Glen Sparks provided us with. After making a few laps with my Buggy and Short Course I got the “nack” of how the track was flowing and quickly found what racing line I was going to use. Both vehicles were driving very good and operating great!
I chose to use Clay compound Pro-Line IONs on my Buggy and Clay compound Pro-Line Suburbs on my Short Course to run in Q1.
(E-Buggy) Well after practice I was in a heat with some very fast drivers and some slow ones as well. In my heat I was starting in the rear, so my goal was to smoothly get through the traffic I need to and maintain my pace to see where I would be at with a clean run to figure out how much I would need to push. As the tone went off and they called my name I waited for a good size gap and went. Not to long after I started, I caught up to the drivers that were in front of me and noticed that I was going pretty fast compared to the others in my heat. So after I got about halfway through the pack I stayed clean and held down my pace only getting loose in a few corners and pushing wide through the heat and ended up 3rd in my heat and 4th overall! This was very well because I could go a lot faster and knew I had the speed to be up front.
(4WD Short Course) Same as Buggy in my first round heat of this class I was going to be starting in the back of the pack with some fast drivers. once again my strategy was to get through as much of the pack smoothly as I can and then hold a fast pace till the end. As the race winded down I came out 3rd overall yet knowing that I could go so much faster! This race was shaping out to good!
(E-Buggy) This round was hammer down time! Starting in the same spot in the same heat number with both classes I instantly knew that I had to get through traffic and do it fast! As the tone went off and my name was called I went for the front! About halfway through the heat my name came out of the speakers saying I was above TQ pace by one second and that put a smile on my face for sure! As the race went on, I was still ahead by only 1 second, AND THEN, you know what’s coming up next… I squeezed by for one last lap while still holding TQ and on that last lap on the last turn I clipped the inside pipe rolling over a loosing my pace holding me in the 3rd position overall for round 2. I was upset but still knew I could do it and that made me get my head back on straight and get my car ready for round 3!
(4WD Short Course) After going through the truck and getting it all spiffy and cleaned up for round 2, I was heading out to make my name up front. As the race started I was a bullet up through the pack and got in a computer battle with Ian Cameron until, how Ironic, I clip the inside pipe on the same turn with about 30 seconds left and I didn’t have enough time to catch back up. So I stayed in 3rd overall…
(E-Buggy) OK, so now that my bad luck has gotten out of the way and also me getting a full stomach after going for lunch I was ready! This being the last round they did a resort by time, which put me starting 3rd in my heat. I used this to my advantage so I could pace my self and make sure I was faster on the clock and away from them on the track. As 1st and second got close together on the track it slowed them down on the computer and on the track enough to allow me to come up behind them and make a super clean pass and get on the TQ pace. As time was winding down my buggy felt so much better after resetting the endpoints on it and gaining a lot of steering. I was putting in much faster laps than I had been for the previous heats. With only a few seconds to go in the race and me being on TQ pace they got cutoff at the line and I had squeaked by for one more lap. I went around an ant hill that then leads into a triple somewhat squirrely and couldn’t get the run up needed for the triple and ended up casing it and flipping onto my lid loosing TQ and putting me once again in 3rd to start the main. I was frustrated at myself but I couldn’t let it phase me because I had the main!
(4WD Short Course) Finally I got a clean run in without wrecking! In this race I started 3rd and quickly got a pace to be in second, but I had a challenge in front of me as TQ had a wide open track in front of him with me chasing him down. I didn’t want to push too hard because I would loose my current spot but at the same time I wanted that TQ point because the current TQ was the guy 2 points behind me so it would be race for the win in the main. But I ended up staying smooth and finishing second and starting there in the A-Main.
(E-Buggy) So starting 3rd overall I had 1st and 2nd in my sights and it got me thinking of a plan and what lines they were taking compared to mine. I knew a place on the track where nobody else was going but it was working very well for me and I thought if I could get close to them there I could easily pass them through the air and beat them to the next corner. Well the tone sounded shortly after. We started going around the track, across the crossover and started putting in some laps. Quickly the back of the pack figured out that E-Buggy indoors on a smaller sized track doesn’t work well unless everyone works together because everyone starting getting tangled up and falling way back from us top guys. Which allowed a lot of stress to fall of my back and get focused on who I was chasing instead of wondering who was behind me. 1st and 2nd got in a very heated battle as the crowd was roaring, we came to the same and hill that got me before, they went inside I went out and I got a better run to the triple than they did, I overshot the jump purposely and hugged the inside corner to take the lead. The crowd was screaming, beating the sides of the plywood wall cheering us on as everything was echoing inside the building. As the next couple laps came about, I put my head down and pushed forward each lap pulling away as fast as I could and then came the last lap and the last corner as I gave everyone a big laugh by taking that last stinking turn so wide to make sure I wouldn’t clip it to take the win in the E-Buggy A-Main!
This put me in the top spot for the points as well! Double win!!
(4WD Short Course) For this race I was pumped because this has been my favorite class through the whole series and I have been doing very well with it this indoor season, and now that outdoor 1:8 is coming I wanted to finish it out strong with a win. As you know heading into the Main, 1st place and I were tied in points for the series after he got the double point TQ. Instantly I put the pressure on as we started heading around the track leading the others and pulling away as well. It was weird because it was like our cars were controlled by the same person and had the same strategy, to win and do it big. We were nose to tail as the race clock was ticking, we quickly got to the halfway point of the race after battle and battle again coming in and out or corners over jumps. It actually got to the point that I was pressuring him so hard heading on the fast straight away that he would be afraid to hit the throttle and I would bump his rear end the whole way down the straightaway. I was jumping and landing on top of his truck because he would not hit jumps fast enough trying to hold me off. UNTIL, he went around a corner too wide, and left a wide open inside line to me and I grabbed a handful of throttle plunging my truck into the corner and pulling off the pass for first with very little time left. The crowd and spectators were yelling and screaming hitting the wall echoing their voices making us battle even harder. Then the time ticked all the way down to the end and I crossed ahead.
Giving me the win for the 4WD Short Course A-Main and the tiebreaker for the series points win as well!
This was one of my favorite and most intense battles I have ever been engaged in and it was FUN. It put a smile on both of our faces.
PT Racing Oils
I thank all of you for the continued support and allowing me to be able to travel to these states and races to accomplish goals I have set in my racing career. This was definitely one of them. For me to go to Ohio, and win both E-Buggy and 4WD Short Course title in one of the biggest series in the state. This was very important to me and again I greatly appreciate all the help from everyone! It’s greatly appreciated.
Till the next one,