Held at Hobby Action RC Raceway in Chandler, Arizona | March 8-12, 2017
Qualifying Position: 5th
Finishing Position: 3rd
Qualifying Position: 3rd
Finishing Position: 1st
Qualifying Position: 2nd
Finishing Position: 2nd
This past weekend was the inaugural Desert Classic race held at Hobby Action RC Raceway in Arizona. Larry Tom and his staff truly have made an amazing facility with everything a racer could want.
The layout for the race was brand new and it was a bit different than the normal track surface. The grip was a lot lower than you would expect from an indoor track, there was clay in the surface but also a lot of aggregate as well, that would keep coming to the surface as the cars went around the track. For me it was quite challenging as well as for many others but it was a pleasant change from what seems to be the norm these days of carpet and super high clay, more what I would call real offroad dirt racing.
This was the first time in seven years that I have driven a stadium truck, so I found myself really looking for a setup and adjusting my driving style to what was need for this class, but I really enjoyed getting back to what I started with. The Xray XT2 performed really well once I got a setup that worked for me. Qualifying went fairly well, I managed to TQ one of the heats, 2nd in another and 3rd in another which would put me 2nd on the grid. In the first of the triple A Mains, it was a good start, Dakotah started to pull away a little bit but then made a mistake which allowed me to take over the top spot where I would stay until the last lap, Dakotah made a pass to get back into the lead but on the last corner I was able to pass him and take the win. In the 2nd A main, Dakotah made an early mistake which put me in the lead, I eventually made a mistake which would give the lead to Dustin Evans, we battled but I was not able to make the pass and went on to finish 2nd. In the 3rd A main, my truck felt the best of the weekend, I was on Dakotah’s bumper until he made a mistake and in the process collected me, I ended up pushing him upright and was upside down myself, when I took off after being marshalled there was an issue with my sensor wire and I was unable to finish the main. I finished 2nd overall in the Truck class.
In the 2WD Mod class, I started with my Reedy Race setup and adjusted from there. The car was pretty good but I found it a bit aggressive in the steering and it needed more rear grip. Qualifying didn’t go se well in 2wd, I managed to qualify 5th but this track was very easy to overdrive and because of the low grip you had to be very careful. I continued to make changes and try different things throughout qualifying and even into the mains. In A main 1, the driver in front of me got a bit out of shape on the triple and I tried to avoid him which ended up in me casing the triple and I couldn’t recover after that and finished 5th for that main. In A main 2 my car was a little bit better but I made a few mistakes and again finished 5th for the main. In the 3rd A main I got off to a good start and tried to make my way up to the front, I got up to 3rd behind Tanner Denney, Dustin had a big gap in 1st place, Tanner made a mistake on the triple which put me into 2nd and shortly after that Maifield put a pass on my on the inside at the end of the straight away, we bumped wheel to wheel, I backed off and fell in behind him. I know we were both fast and tried to stay with him, then Dustin made an uncharecteristic mistake on the double single which allowed both Maifield and myself to get by into the 1st and 2nd spots. I stuck with Maifield as tight as I could, my car felt really good and felt all I need to do was to stay with him. We started to pull away from the rest of the field, then Maifield made a mistake on the double single and we battle for 2 more laps until the end of the race, it was a great race and a lot of fun, and I was able to take the win. This gave me 3rd overall for 2wd.
In 4WD again I started with my Reedy Race setup, I made a few adjustments for the really loose conditions. I only managed to qualify 3rd but this was more due to me making mistakes and not the car, the car was awesome. Even though I only managed to qualify 3rd I felt that I had a really good chance to win. In the 1st A main I had trouble getting by Dustin and when I finally did, Maifield had gotten a little bit of a lead and I just couldn’t catch him. In A 2, it was Maifield, Dustin and myself freight training around the track for the first few laps and then I was able to get by Dustin on the straight away and on that same lap Maifield crashed after the double single and I took the lead. Maifield and I battled until he made a mistake just before the triple and gave me a bit of breathing room. I made a mistake just before the straight away needing a marshall which allowed Maifield to catch up and we battled again but I was able to hang on to the lead and take the win. In A main 3, I was able to get by Dustin a couple laps in when he made a small bobble coming on to the straight away. I had to push really hard to catch up to Maifield, I would close the gap and then make a bobble and then have to catch up again, my car was super good, I felt like I could do whatever I needed to with it, so when the opportunity came up I was able to put a pass on him at the end of the straight away just like he did in the 2wd race with me, he tried to take it back but ended up hitting the pipe and I was able to take the win which gave me the overall win for 4wd.
Although it was a struggle at times, I really enjoyed racing on a real dirt track with limited grip, I had some great battles and it was a lot of fun.
The whole Xray/RC America team, myself, Tanner Stees, Cj Jelin and Robert Gonzalez worked together to get the setup figured out quickly, we were able to put 3 cars in the Mod 4WD A main and 2 on the podium, great job to Cj for finishing 3rd in mod 4wd.
I want to thank my sponsors for giving me the opportunity to race with amazing products, Xray, RC America, Proline, OS Engines, Orion, MKS, VP Fuel, A Main Hobbies, Hudy, Lunsford, Avid,
Muchmore, StickIt 1, Darkside Designs, 110% Racing, MR33, Live RC, Red RC, Neobuggy
Thanks to Larry and the staff at Hobby Action for the great facility and allowing us to race there.
Thanks to my family for all their help and support and I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ without him I wouldn’t have accomplished all that I have.