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Shane Lafferty Wins 2wd Stock Buggy at 2015 Lonestar Dirt Nitro Challenge on Pro-Line Blockades


The 2nd annual Lonestar Dirt Nitro Challenge at Thornhill Racing Circuit in Hutto, TX has grown to be one of my favorite races. The Dirt crew coupled with the Thornhill crew, you can’t ask for a better combo. Great people, amazing facility, and racing on 2 tracks. To top it all off, I get to call this place my home track.

I entered this race not expecting much results wise. I just wanted to get in some clean runs, have fun, and do the best I could. We have been plagued with a lot of much needed rain here in Austin this year. However, it has placed a serious damper on racing, and this event was no exception. Every single race I’ve attempted to attend in 2015 to this point has been rained out, with the exception of the few times I’ve run on the covered Thornhill Jr. 1:10 track. So I come into this knowing I’m going to be rusty.

Thursday is practice day, I show up later than most but get some good run time in and get my setup adjusted. The track layout is amazingly fun. I love the big jumps. On my last tank of fuel as they are closing the track down, I get my best laps in and find my setup I’ve been chasing. Car feels great going into Qual day.


Friday comes and so does the rain. We almost get 2 rounds of quals in before the rain hits. I had my first qual in and was warming up for my second round. My first qual was ok, nothing special.

I was running Pro-Line M3 Blockades and they were perfect and made the car feel perfect as well.

I just had to knock the rust off. I left the day sitting 1 spot outside of the A-Main. My goal at this point is to simply make the A-Main. So a little improvement and I’m there. They decide to call it a day because we got slammed with the rain. So I take this opportunity to go run on the smaller track and start working on my 2WD Buggy. I get quite a bit of run time in through the day making very minor adjustments. I felt very confident with the car and was hoping to be a contender.

Saturday, early morning rains getting in the way of racing again. I’m back on the 1:10 track getting laps in until they decide the big track is ok to resume racing on. Knowing I was going to be the 2nd race run on the wet track, I decided to glue up some X3 Bow Ties. When we got started, I knew I made the right decision. The Tires were perfect for the track that was still wet and tacky in the low areas and starting to dry in the high areas. I put in a solid run, but the track just wasn’t fast enough yet to get me into the A. They decided to only run 2 rounds of quals with rocket rounds and move into the mains Saturday evening since Sunday was showing 100% chance of rain.

In the midst of all this, we had also started qualifying on the 1:10 track. In the first qual there, I took the TQ spot running M3 Hole Shots Front and Rear. In the 2nd qual, I ended up 3rd due to some mistakes on my part.

Buggy still felt great on the Hole Shots. Qual 3 I pulled out because my lack of diff maintenance allowed it to loosen up and start slipping.

By this time, I’m up for my B-Main, sitting 3rd on the grid. The track had really dried out and started to groove so I chose X3 Blockades for the 20-minute race. I got out to a great start in 3rd and started pulling away from the pack. My car felt as good as it ever has and the tires could not have been any better for the track. I kept running my pace lap after lap. With about 6-minutes left I made the pass for the lead and never looked back. I got my bump into the A-Main.

Things get hectic going back and fourth between the 2 tracks racing on top of each other. I get my 2WD Buggy ready for my last qual, only to realize I don’t have enough time because it’s going to overlap with my A-Main in Nitro Buggy. I also don’t have time to perform my typical maintenance between races. I’ll just have to roll the dice on this one and hope for the best.

Start of the A-Main, I decide to leave the same X3 Blockades on for this 30-minute Main. The Tires felt great when they came off and I knew what to expect from them going back on. I don’t get a great start. I start working my way into the pack and keep getting tangled with people. I couldn’t find a clean line to save my life, but that’s what happens when you’re coming up from the back. I just kept my head down and put in my laps. I worked my way up a bit then with 7-minutes left in the race something happened with my car. I lost power, felt like something was dragging so I pulled off. Upon further inspection, I see my clutch bearings came apart. Guess that’s what happens when you don’t have time to change them, part of it.

Now it’s time for my A-Main in 2WD Buggy. Due to the low turnout, they combined stock with mod. I was qualified 3rd overall, but 1st in stock. I’m still running the same M3 Hole Shots that have treated me so well all day. We get off to a good clean start. I wasn’t pushing it hard at all, just holding my lines and not taking any chances. I pulled away from the pack a bit and the 2WD Mod guys had a little gap over me. No real exciting racing here, we all held our own and I pulled off the win in 2WD Stock.

All in all, it was a great weekend of racing despite the rain. Joey, Arron, Chris, and the rest of the Thornhill crew did a fantastic job running everything and playing the cards they were dealt. This is one of my favorite events and this year didn’t let down.

Huge thanks to all of my sponsors, Pro Line Racing, RC America, Xray, Hudy. I appreciate all of the support, it’s a tremendous help.

Also a huge thank you to my Pro-Line and Xray teammates, Jon and Cade Whitenton, for all of the help. You guys make racing that much more fun.

Shane Lafferty