The world famous OCRC in Huntington Beach, CA was the location for the Pro-Line Surf City Classic this past weekend. Once again they outdid themselves with another awesome, challenging layout and a smoothly run race. The track is very well prepped and maintained and the whole facility is top notch. It is a well known fact that after a new layout is put in, the track starts out low bite but will continue to increase in grip throughout the weekend, so to be fast your car setup has to be changing constantly to keep up with the changing condition. Tire prep is also a big factor at this race, to adjust for the changing grip level. All this combined, makes for a very challenging and competitive race. As usual all the top drivers from the US were at this race and with one of Europe’s shining stars added into the mix made for a very competitive field.
Thursday was open practice and we worked with the team to get our cars setup for the conditions. Friday was another day of practice, my cars felt really good and I was confident in them and was excited for qualifying to begin.
Saturday we had 3 rounds of qualifying with the fourth round on Sunday morning, in the first round I finished 2nd in 4wd and 7th in 2wd. The layout was very challenging and with even one small mistake you could go from 2nd to 10th and have to fight your way back up, there was no room for error. We made some changes to the cars and in the second round I was able to TQ 2wd and got a 3rd in 4wd. Third round I was again able to get a 2nd in 4wd, but tried some different tires in 2wd and got a 6th. For the 4th qualifier I ended up the same 6th in 2wd and 2nd in 4wd. In the end I would be starting 3rd in 4wd and 5th in 2wd.
Before the mains we were discussing tire choices with the team, Tanner Stees had some rough qualifying and was in the B main so he volunteered to go out on a limb and try some tires for me that we weren’t sure how well they would work, thanks Tanner for doing this for me. In his main we could clearly see that his tires had a lot of grip, unfortunately my car wasn’t setup to handle the type of grip that the tires generated. We used this information and setup both my cars for the higher grip that the tires would generate.
4wd main was up first, I started 3rd on the grid, Dustin made a mistake early which allowed Spencer and I to pull away from the group, we had a great battle, we both made mistakes on our own but I clearly had under estimated the amount of grip my car would have and although my car was very fast it was a challenge to drive and I ended up making too many mistakes on my own, which would leave me finishing in the 3rd spot.
From what we learned form the 4wd main we went back and made more changes to the 2wd, and even though I was starting from 5th on the grid, my confidence level was very high. In the 2wd main I got a good start and got up to 4th early on, then about a quarter of the way through I was able to move into 2nd.
Towards the end of the race, Maifield and myself had pulled far enough away from 3rd that I felt I could push harder and make an attempt to pass. I was able to close the gap a couple of times but then make a small bobble and have to work hard to get back again. With a few laps to go, I was pushing hard to catch up and made a mistake on the table top and hit the barrier and needed a marshall, fortunately for me, Maifield also made a mistake immediately after that which would allow me to get ahead and hold on to take the win.
Once again thanks to all my amazing sponsors who make it possible for me to do what I love to do, Xray, RC America, Pro-Line, OS Engines, Hobbywing, MKS, VP Fuel, A Main Hobbies, Protek, Hudy,
Lunsford, Avid, StickIt 1, OCRC, Darkside Designs, 110% Racing, Live RC, Red RC.
I want to thank all my fans for their encouraging messages and their support. Thanks to my Dad, Mom
and Sister for all their continued help, love and support, most importantly I would like to thank my Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ, without him I wouldn’t be where I am today.