25th Annual Indy R/C Lonestar Classic
Updated: Dec 22, 2019
This past weekend I made my final travel race of the year to Indy R/C World in Garland Texas to attend the 25th Annual Lonestar Classic. The event consisted of a sold out crowd of 250 entries and I opted to compete with the buggies this time around both nitro and electric. Upon first viewing of the track I wondered how the incorporated oval was going to be for us offroad drivers. Soon after taking some of my first practice laps I knew it was an awesome part of the track and would make for some great racing! The format was a standard Friday practice, Saturday quals and Sunday finals.
On Friday they were watering the track every few hours to be sure it held together well the rest of the weekend. So as they watered I would wait a few races after and then go out. The track was well packed and even with the water there was still a decent groove on the track so I opted to run some AKA clay typo's in that condition and I thought they felt pretty good. So whenever I would see the track have a groove and not to much dust on the line but have moisture in the track still is when I opted to run the clay typo's. Once Saturday began they left the track to dry out and the groove to deepen. Tire wear also came up during this point which shows the wheel spin and abrasiveness of the surface warranting usually a harder compound. When this happened I went to SSLW zips in front and either double downs or catapults in the rear. I chose these due to the longer wear characteristics of the tread patterns and alone with that they are a denser tread pattern that doesn't fold over or squirm like a pin pattern would. Typo's probably would have still been the fastest but they would have been one run tires when the wear came up.
As qualifying got underway we found they were doing rocket round meaning just your fastest run would count. So we all figured that round 3 would be the one that would matter due to figuring the grip level would be highest. Out of the gate I had a rough round 1 making lots of mistakes in electric and having a car jump lanes right in front of me before the big triple and colliding head on breaking me good in nitro. With rocket rounds though it made this less of a worry and I was able to just focus on round 2. In electric I got all the crashes out of the way in the first one and put in a very clean and fast run to take over the TQ. In Nitro I did a super clean run getting over 99.1% consistency and taking over TQ as well in my Agama A319. The final round would see us be a little faster over a 5 lap average in electric but we all had a mistake which allowed my Q2 run to hold and give me the E-buggy TQ. In nitro buggy Rose and I were duking it out on TQ runs and I had the lead but gave it up on lap 9 with a 3 second mistake. Bounced right back with my fastest lap of the race on lap 10 to take the lead back. Gave it back on the second to last lap and he gave it back to me on the last lap. So I was able to eek out a .9 tenths TQ in Nitro buggy to take the overall TQ as well!
Come Sunday we had double Amains on tap for electric and a 45min nitro final to contend with. In A1 of electric I got out clean and held the lead for 8 laps with Rose on my tail. I made a mistake and lost 4 seconds and fell to 2nd and had to play catch up. On lap 20 Rose had a long mistake allowing us to be side by side but something didn't seem quite right with his car and I got by and back into the lead and cruised the rest of the way to the victory. I could feel my battery power going low so I really toned it down the last few laps and good thing because I probably had less than 100 mAh left at the end! For A2 I opted to run my larger battery instead to be sure I made it on power. The concession I had to make was my car wasn't set-up for the added 100g of weight and so with the higher grip levels my car was rolling a bit more than I wanted it to and I made more mistakes. Looking at the final results the top 3 of us were so very close in are average lap times but through mine and Rose's mistakes Dillon had a 12 second lead over me on the last lap. But his battery dumped and he had to put put around for the last half a lap. The announcer thought he was goofing around and waiting for us. But on the last lap Rose had a major crash with another car allowing me to squeek by him into 2nd. Then around the bowl just before the finish I had to dodge out of the way of a very slow car not realizing until I crossed the line right in front of him that it was Dillon with his dying battery! So on the last lap I was on the positive receiving end of the result and for that I am grateful. It was set-up to have a 3 way tie in points which would have been interesting too. But in the end through some luck I was able to take the overall victory!
Our Nitro buggy final was a 45 minute race and I would opt to run AKA SLW Zips in front and Catapult in the rear. The reason I chose catapult in the rear vs. double downs is that the Catapults will roll a little more and with the higher grip I was looking for the car to roll a little earlier in the corners to get down into the roll center and not want to perhaps flip at higher speed corners. The race started off well enough again with me leading out the first 5 laps. But I would again make a mistake this time clipping the pipe after the triple landing and needing to be marshaled. I fell to 2nd and two laps later to 3rd and Rose had a good 5 second lead. I got right back into 2nd though and on lap 20 Rose would have an unfortunate failure which promoted me to the lead. I would average about a 10 second lead through the midway portion of the race over Caldwell but I had a couple encounters with lapped traffic which allowed Dillon to catch up and he got within 3 seconds of me. But as tires started to go to slicks he became more inconsistent and I was able to make the necessary adjustments and in the end put him down by nearly a lap for the victory.