This past weekend I attended the RC Pro Finals in Texas. This series is currently a primarily Texas series but they are looking to once again grow it to a National series throughout the country in the coming years. I was invited to attend a looked forward to the event. As I arrived and saw the dirt I was expecting it to be much like the RC Pro Series used to be or the PNB in it’s early years. Which is to mean, I thought it would be loose and get really blown out! But amazingly as the event wore on the track held together better than I think anyone anticipated and we had some great racing.
I ran my primary 3 classes and had a mixed bag in qualifying. The track was deceptively challenging and I made a number of mistakes that perhaps I don’t usually. I also was fishing for the right set-up on the tricky conditions. In the end of qualifying I had secured TQ in Nitro buggy and would start 2nd in both E-buggy and Nitro Truggy.
On main day E-buggy would have a triple A format. Nitro Truggy was a 30 minute final and the end of the day would be capped off with the 1 hour Nitro buggy final. In E-buggy A1 I put an early pass on Dillenger over the back table top as I was the only person launching the whole thing. I would make a mistake on 2 of the coming laps giving the lead back, but each time I would again jump over him on that back table. Then he followed me around until around the 7 minute mark where he made a bigger mistake and gave me some clean room to take the A1 win. A2 ended up being a little more of a blowout victory as Jake had an early mistake on i’d day about the 3rd corner and I got away clean and put in a really good run. I would win that one by nearly a lap to take the overall victory in E-buggy on my AKA Super Soft Long Wear impacts in front and grids in rear.
Next was the 30 minute truggy final and I was starting behind Drake for this one. I made a mistake really early on and fell back to around 4th. I quickly worked back to 2nd but was about 6 seconds or so behind Adam. I would be doing 3 pit stops in the final and he was doing just 2. The pit lane was a huge challenge in that it was very narrow and if a truck was on the rails, the next car coming down the line would knock it off. This happened to me on the 1st and 3rd stops costing me some valuable time. Midway through the race before my 2nd stop I was on Adam’s tail meaning I still had a full stop worth of time to catch up on him. By the time we each had a stop to go I was gaining and after our final stops I was able to take the led on his mistake with about 4 minutes to go and pull away to a nice victory!
Finally was the pro buggy A-main for 1 hour. Again it was a battle between Adam and I at the start. This time I was starting in front but I made a mistake I think over the whoops section and Adam got by. We would end up swapping the top spot off and on for the first 16 minutes or so. I had the lead at this point by a couple seconds as it was my pit in lap but I felt I was being run a bit long on this second stop. And then it happened as I was going over the back table I felt it go lean and sure enough I ran out of gas one corner before the loop. Thus I had a 96 second lap (Lost 60 seconds of track time) and was now a lap and a half behind Drake. Well I knew there was still a lot to play for and I put my head down and charged ahead and worked my way back into 2nd. Then I set my sights on simply whittling away at the lead. I was on Super Soft Long Wear Impacts in the front and Grids in the rear and they were just getting better and better. Soon after a pit stop session I found myself back on the same lap. Meaning I was within 36 seconds of the lead. I kept charging and in the closing 10 minutes I was narrowing the lead by 0.5 – 1 second a lap. Soon with 1:30 to go I was on Drake’s tail and closing fast. We went through the double triple single section and I was on his bumper but I stuffed the pipe and spun around loosing 2 seconds. We only had one more lap in which I closed the gap but finished 1.3 seconds behind in 2nd. I obviously regret not being more cautious in that corner and instead waiting for a better opportunity to pressure him or to make a move. But it is what it is and to make a race of it after loosing 60 seconds at the end of one hour was exciting for me and those watching!
That was my final event of the year and now for some end of the year business obligations and some much needed family time!