Silver State 2022
Over the last week I spent my days at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas participating in the Silver State Nitro Challenge put on by the 'Dirt' Racing. A record number of entries topping 1k at 1,030 entries comprised of just over 400 unique racers partook in this years event. I would race in my standard 3 pro classes with my Kyosho rides and look to compete against all the top drivers in the country.
Practice day was on Wednesday and we were allotted two 4 minute runs per class. I basically stuck with one set of tires AKA SSLW Gridiron 2's and Gridirons in Buggy and Truggy respectively. The track had a fun flow to it with a lot of elevation in the back and a what proved to be very tricky whoops section on the left in front of staging. The line I felt most comfortable with was tight on the inside which as long as I could put my car there worked most of the time. During these two rounds we were also seeding for qualifying and I would top seed E-buggy and be in the A sort in truck and B sort in Nitro buggy.
Thursday brought Truggy and E-buggy qualifying. I stuck with those same SSLW Grids throughout the day. In truggy I never quite got the runs I was looking for. A couple mistakes in each round would cost me dearly and my best results were a 12 and 16 in the first two rounds which would only seed me 17th overall or 4th in the B main. In Electric buggy the story was different. My Kyosho MP10e was on point and working very well especially in those tricky whoops sections. In Q1 I would run a decent run and take a 4th for the round. But in Q2 and Q3 after slowish first laps I would come back and have great battles with Phend and Tebo for the TQ of the round and I was fortunate to come away with the TQ honors in both Q2 and 3 and thus the overall as well!
Nitro buggy day was next and I would be in that B sort. While my pace was pretty decent in each run, the mistakes were costing me big time. Unforced errors plagued my results with my best rounds coming in Q1 and Q2 of 15th and 12th. Overall just like truggy this would seed me 17th or 4th in the B-main. Not where I wanted to be but I would try to make the most of it and work hard to get that bump to the A.
Saturday brought the mains for Truggy and E-buggy. First I had to contend with the Nitro truggy B-main. I had a very good start and as a couple mistakes were made I got into 2nd on lap 1 and then into 1st on lap two. I then made an error on my own going back to send on lap 4 before regaining the lead on lap 5. Then a bigger error on my part on lap 8 knocked me to 4th, but by the 12th lap I settled into 2nd and finally quit making the same unforced errors and ran a pretty clean remainder of the race to finish 2nd and get the bump into the A-main. I chose to run AKA SSLW Impacts in this one and they seemed to work very well.
Next was the Truggy Amain which would be a 45 minute race. I wasn't the fastest during the race but I was pretty steady and consistent. Starting 15th there was nowhere to go but up. As the race got underway I picked up one spot here and another there and steadily moved forward until I got into 5th on lap 34. I would stay in about that position toggling between 5th-6th until with 4 laps to go I had a longer crash upside down and flamed out unfortunately knocking me back to 10th place after getting re-fired up and finishing the race.
My last race of the day would be the E-buggy A-main. I was able to top seed practice, TQ qualifying, and now it was time to see if I could hold the pole position in the main. I opted for Soft Gridiron 2's in this one and I had a solid start. I had Phend right on me multiple times but I was able to hold my line. Though out the first 6 minutes I would get a little bit of a lead and then see Phend charging hard in my review. Every time he caught up though he would make a mistake giving me another cushion. With about 4 minutes to go he made a bigger mistake giving me a 4 second or so lead over 2nd. I kept my Kyosho MP10e on all 4, clicking off clean laps to take a wire to wire victory by 6 seconds and put in a perfect weekend in E-buggy! Feels good to get a big win in what is probably the most popular class in the country!
Sunday was Nitro buggy day and for me it would start in the B-main. They had watered the track a lot Saturday night/Sunday morning and there was more moisture and less of a line on the track that prior days. So I opted to SSLW Impacts in this one. Tire selection seemed ok but I did lack a little steering and drive though perhaps this was more just due to the conditions. I had an ok start from the 4 position holding my own and moving up to 2nd and the final bump spot by lap 8. Shortly thereafter though on lap 10 my race would be disrupted with another upside down flame. That would be all she wrote on my weekend and I would have to finish out the race knowing there would be no A-main this weekend for me.
Overall in recap i'm extremely happy to get a TQ and victory in E-buggy to show I still have the pace and ability to keep up with some of the fastest guys in the world. I'll keep plugging away working hard at my nitro program and hope to come back stronger in the next one!