Rumble in Rome (NY)
Updated: Jun 14
After over a decade of trying to put this race on my calendar and attend I was finally able to attend the Rumble in Rome in Rome, New York at CRC Raceway & Hobbies. I was greeted with warm hospitality and a very fun track to race on. We were ready for practice on Friday and with the chance of rain on Sunday the decision was made to complete the race on Saturday with 2 qualifiers and the mains.
Practice went well and I began with a whole new set-up on my ebuggy that was suggested by Jamie Grayek. I frankly didn't think I would like it as there were some settings that have not worked for me so far this year. But when putting them all together the car was really excellent. Especially on this track with some tight corners, corner speed was paramount and this set-up had a good amount of steering and consistent rear end rotation.
Tire wise I was in the SS and SSLW family with multiple tread patterns working well. Gridirons when it was more loamy across the track. When a line started to form I would go to a chainlink or even tried typo. But perhaps the most consistent of all through all the surfaces was the Component AB.
On Saturday In qualifying in ebuggy A1 it was a close one as I had a mistake on lap 1 loosing 4 seconds and it came down to the last minute where I put on a charge to take the lead and TQ. Nitro buggy in rd 2 it was a battle the whole race with Mr. Sousa and it was super close and I pulled off the TQ by just 0.2 tenths. So overall I was able to TQ all 4 runs of the day and start the A mains on pole.
The ebuggy main was at dusk and the moisture began to come back up out of the track. The choice was between sticking with SSLW and or going with regular SS. Temps were still in the 70's and for ebuggy I just kept that same set of SSLW on because I only had one set of SS tires for Nitro buggy. I didn't know what to expect but the grip level was great and my ebuggy was on point. I have been struggling a little the past couple races when I have to run the more standard battery/motor set-up but now with this new car set-up from Jamie my buggy was excellent and I pulled away from the start to take a nice victory in the 10 minute main.
So with the good feedback from the Ebuggy main I knew I would be running SSLW Components for the Nitro buggy 45 minute final as well. Thanks to Paul Ciccarillo for the tires and Will Walker for gluing them up for me as I marshaled the 30 minute Truggy main. I was also hoping the little nap I took a couple hours earlier would serve me well with my night driving on this evening.
As the nitro main got underway I was pretty stoked. My Kyosho MP10TKI2 was performing extremely well and I mentioned to my Pit guy will about 10 minutes into the main that this was one of the best Nitro buggies I had ever driven. I began to pull away from the field and was running consistent fast laps. It wasn't until about 20 minutes in that my engine started to richen up a little after a pit stop and my rear began to lock in a little too much (wasn't as free around corners as I liked, in other words became too easy to drive haha). But I was nearing a lap on the field about 30 minutes in and for the rest of the race it became a battle between me and Sousa. I wanted to put him a lap down and of course that's exactly what he didn't want. In the last 5 minutes I began running commentary to Will in the headsets pretending it was a World Championship and I was chasing down Sousa for the victory. But I kept making little mistakes as I was talking so I was saying "and Lutz makes another bobble, can he keep it together" and things like that. It was fun but in the end I lost the worlds by a couple tenths of a second but I did win the race by nearly a lap!
All in all a great event and a fun time was had. After the event I let about 10 people run my Nitro buggy and they all seemed to enjoy it. I haven't had that opportunity in a while to do that so it was a great time for me. A big thank you to Frank Colandra for the hospitality and to Dumper and his wife for the burgers. So many good people and again, a great event! Next up for me is the X-Ray Challenge at Brown's where I aim to do one of my favorite things and that is to win another manufacturers event. Stay tuned!