Having attended the OCRC Stock Nats for my first time, I took a much needed 2 day vacation afterwards to relax and reflect a bit. Race stuff first, then a few thoughts. Keep reading….
First off I’d like to thank Robert and Nick Black along with the entire OCRC staff for hosting a smooth, on time, and fun race program. There’s nothing like showing up, being shown the ropes in less than 5 minutes and feeling right at home, so I thank you all! The track layout was technical but fun with a few options and a few risk/reward features to gamble on. One of my favorite features was the double to whip straight away feature, so much fun!
My Tekin powered Yokomo cars were fresh off the recent April Fools race and only needed a few minor adjustments to get up to speed. A few ball stud washers and 1mm up in ride height got me to speed. I was running Tekin RS Gen2 ESC’s in both my 2wd and 4wd car. I was asked about that quite a bit over the weekend as to why. First off the RSX is 18g heavier than the RS Gen2. In my 2wd this isn’t an issue since my Yokomo Yz2’s are always under weight, but in the case of my Yokomo Bmax4, this ‘ol girl needs all the help she can get. I managed to get it just under 1700 grams with a Protek Titanium screw kit, Protek titanium turnbuckles, and Avid titanium ball studs. Those hop ups along with ball diffs gave me a reasonably svelte car to run in the super deep 4wd 13.5 class. On the Bmax4 if you have one and try to run the ball diffs, use the metal gear diff pinion gear in the transmission. The molded part is great but it’s nowhere near as true running as the metal version. A full compliment of Avid bearings and proper diff shimming gave me a super smooth drive train.
Having never been to OCRC I had to rely heavily on my JConcepts race teammates for some knowledge. Lucky for me Paul Wynn was in house and confirmed for me what they were all doing and I was up to speed pretty quickly. In 2wd I was running tried and true gold Dirt Webs front and rear, on 4wd I ended up on Space Bar fronts and Dirt Web rears both in gold and all filled with the Dirt Tech inserts. I was punching holes in mine, 2 on the tooth, and one in the gap. This gave me a flatter profile and softer insert which was needed on the OCRC surface.
I struggled a bit with qualifying. I managed to make the B sort in 4wd 13.5 which I was pretty pumped about considering the amount of talent ahead of me, and the fact I don’t race much 13.5 wheeler. The class and speed are a lot of fun and I think a great speed to break people into the class. The reduced power is easier on the car and driver as well as tire wear. I was saying it the entire weekend that “I have an A-main car, with a B-main driver.” My car was a land rocket with the Tekin power plants and Protek Graphene 100c batteries. This along with a mega free drive train I worked on simply gave me rip off the corners others didn’t have. The JConcepts tires would protest but lay the power down to the dirt. I could easily triple where others would struggle. My 2wd would fight me a bit with some minor changes being required and a lower tread height compared to the other team drivers were using. I’m the kind of driver that has to be confident the car will stick when I ask it to, and running the lower tread height helped me in this instance. I was in the 40+ 2wd Buggy class for the first time and was in the B sort. This would help me in the end allowing me to record a 7 and 5 in the latter 2 rounds of qualifying putting me into the A-main “Legends” class at this race, I was pretty stoked as these were my two goals for the weekend. Yes, I set the goal of the B-main in 4wd 13.5 and making the A in 40+ simply because it was my firs time to the track. Don’t make the mistake of setting crazy goals for yourself at some of these races. It’s great to aim high, but you will have a lot more fun if you manage to check those “goal” boxes while you’re at the race, trust me.
Mains were up and having gone through my cars I knew I was as ready as I could be. 4wd 13.5 B-main was up. I didn’t improve my position so I’d be starting 9th in the 12 car main. I knew my car was a rocket and I knew I had power to get around if I could find the openings. The layout had a few places to pass but the door really had to be open to make them work. The straight away was my goal for most passes since I knew I had the ponies. Unfortunately on the tone I’d hit the gas and have to lift to not hit Jason Snyder who was in front me in the white ghost. I pedaled a few times but still manage to make contact(sorry J!) and had to pull over and wait. Back under way I would catch the pack right away as there were battles everywhere! I would get up to 5th or 6th on that lap dodging cars and marshal’s. Coming off the straight and braking late I’d pass another car that would run wide. I cracked open the throttle and give a little steering input to line up the next corner but my car wouldn’t turn…snap. I managed to snap the right front arm and was out. Heart breaker for sure as I felt I could have pushed to the front for the next 4 minutes. I managed to find a loose screw that caught the track, bugger. 2wd 40+ Buggy was up now and I was simply taken aback but nostalgia. I was not only in the A-main, but I was in the main with some of the biggest names in r/c racing today, period. Greg Hodapp, Mark Pavidis, Paul Wynn, and Barry Baker all of whom I’ve raced with prior but never all at once. Unfortunately I was taken aback by Barry leaning over to tell me this was his very last A-main in r/c racing. While we laughed in the moment, it was a bummer to here. Barry was one of the first pro racers to lend me a hand and offer me factory parts at an on-road race I was at. Both of us were running AE cars at the time, and we were the only 2 in the 200+ entry field. Barry made room for me and we sat next to each other and pretty much made me a “team guy” for the weekend. Barry is also a guy that calls a duck a duck and for that reason alone he’s always been one of my favorite guys in r/c. To top it off we are birthday buddies! LOL We’ll miss you Barry! I went out on fresh tires having missed my time to break in an extra set. My fault entirely and it happens when I’m focused on the entire team and not just myself. Either way no excuses, I ran my car and finished where I should have with the taller treads on my car.
Overall it was a great event. The team drivers all did well and we showed we always had the speed. I’d like to thank all my sponsors who help me: Tekin, Protek, Amain, Yokomo, JConcepts, MIP, Factory RC, Avid RC, Ko Propo, Sik Lidz, and Imagine it Grahpics!
Special thank to Kyle Layton at Cheater Racing for the help this weekend