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  • Writer's pictureRyan Lutz

ROAR 1/8th Electric and 4x4 SC National @ Amain Silver Dollar Raceway

The ROAR 1/8th Electric and 4×4 SC Nationals were just completed this past weekend. The event was held in Chico, CA at the pretty awesome A Main Silver Dollar Raceway. For me the results were a good example in limiting expectations. I am not terribly pleased with my results as I look at the placement. But I know I gave it my all, and I can’t be to disappointed in that. There were a number of circumstances and factors that went into this past weekend, that made it a little more of a challenge for me.

The track itself wasn’t changed to much from the Manufacturers Cup a month earlier. A couple of sections were changed up but a good portion of the track remained the same. This track is known to have big jumps and big air, but generally over shorter distances. The jumps are ‘hang time’ jumps and many are on angles which add to the degree of precision necessary. I am not great at timing jumps and especially with electric as I feel I have much more of a nitro finger. So one of my biggest struggles on this track is down siding jumps. So each time I miss a little short or a little long I am losing valuable tenths to the guys who just don’t miss!

There are also those tracks where some treads or compounds are just simply a bit faster than others. I felt this was the case this weekend on this track as well. Especially during the wetter runs and earlier in the week. As a ever so slight groove began to form later in the weekend things started to even up a bit, but it’s just something we deal with on the R/C tour. Some weekends you have the advantatge, and some your at a disadvantage. Others it seems like all treads and compounds are equally competitive.

Well the event got underway on Wednesday with open practice during the day until 7pm. On Thursday we had a quick open practice in the morning followed by two seeding practice sessions taking fastest 3 laps to seed for qualifying. On Friday and Saturday there were two qualifiers each day along with a quick 3 minute sprint practice first thing in the morning. The days were done before 5pm which was nice, but there was only 11 heats in total. The entry count hovering around or just below 100. I really would like to see this event held somewhere in the north east or south east where electric 1/8th racing has a much larger following. But at the same time if my options were to attend the ROAR E-Nats or maybe 2 large regional races or club race all summer, I for sure wouldn’t choose the former. There isn’t enough value added at this time in my opinion.

Well throughout qualifying I would put in a couple of clean early runs but simply was off pace on a lap time basis. I would take a 7th and 5th in E-buggy runs to qualify me 9th overall into the A-main. In Short course I had a 3rd and a 5th to qualify me 5th overall, and in Truggy I had a 6th and 7th to qualify 9th overall. So I was at least able to make the A-main in all 3 classes and give myself a shot at improving.

This year they did bump ups for electric. This put all of the A-mains at the end of the event. So Triple A-mains were ran and they quickly went through A1’s and then had a 1 hour break for battery charging and to allow cars to cool off as it was plus 100* F outside. Same was done for A2’s and what followed was another 1 hour break and then finally A3’s to finish the event up. I had pretty great starts in all of my mains. Each one I moved up a position or a few for at least the first lap. Then it came down to if or where I would make a mistake. In some of the mains there was some epic battles. In A1 of E-buggy I was in 6th I believe and right behind Phend. I was tailing him for a number of laps with Tebo right behind me. Phend ended up getting out of shape in the crooked rhythm and spun sidewise and I hit him sending me backwards facing. Then Tebo hit me as I tried to turn myself around and again I found myself backwards. Finally getting going again but now in 7th which is where I finished A1 a little bummed on missing out on a possible 5th.

In E-truggy I had a great battle through much of A1 until my front center drive coupler came loose ending my run. We think it was just so hot out that loctite may have possibly been compromised. In any event that ended my run as I was in 6th or so. In my A2 of E-buggy I had another clean run going overall and was running in the pack of 7th-13th as we were all together on the track. I worked my way through them and made a pass on the last lap into 7th. But then we just barely tangled on the angled hip jump in the back center of the track and the whole field went by as I fell to 13th in that one crash.

Those were my best races I had going. In one of my SC runs, I believe it was A2 I was able to come away with a 3rd I think after giving Joe a side pass on the last corner. Overall my results were a 5th in Short Course, 7th in Etruggy, and 11th in Ebuggy after a mistake ridden A3. So my streak of excellent results ended this week but it’s been such a phenomenal season thus far and I know just a couple short years back I was happy when I could continue my making the A-main streak. So I was able to continue that streak to a couple years now I believe so that is pretty cool!

Next up is I am heading to St. Louis for the OS/Futaba Nitro Challenge at Dirtburners this weekend.

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