Track Name – Outback Raceway
Owner – A-Main Hobbies
Country – USA
Location – Chico, California
Direction – Clockwise
Surface – Dirt
The 3rd & ‘Summer’ stop on the JConcepts Indoor National Series has travelled to Chico to the Outback Raceway, one of two tracks owned by online r/c retail giant A-Main Hobbies. Situated just 1-mile as the crow flies away from the Silver Dollar Raceway which last September hosted the 1:10 Offroad World Championships, Outback Raceway is situated in A-Main’s distribution centre from where it ships r/c products and soon bicycles to customers all around the world. Originally built as an onroad carpet track in 2008, in 2009 it was converted to offroad.
The fifth year of the track hosting the JConcepts Summer Indoor Nationals, the event is the biggest race hosted at either tracks with this year attracting a new record of over 300 entries. Built using rice field clay, specially selected for its water retaining qualities and high bite, the track covers an area of 92 X 50 feet with a good 2WD Mod Buggy lap time being a high 15 seconds. Undergoing a full rebuild every 1/4, the track also gets a section modification once a month which Director of Race Events Kevin Jelich, who is responsible for all track works, says helps keep things interesting for racers. Commenting on the latest layout Ryan Maifield, who makes his race debut with TLR this weekend, described the track as ‘pretty cool’. He said the track is ‘really flowing with a lot of technical stuff at the same time’ adding that the ‘surface is better than last year’ too having been very rough previously. Set-up with pit spacing for 85 drivers, the arrival of the JConcepts race has seen Kevin have to extend things into the ‘overflow pits’ which has drivers in part of the warehouse among the vast stock which has been sensibly fenced off!
Facility Co-ordinator Ruben Benitez, who looks after the day to day running of racing at the track, said while Summer is slow for racing, in the winter months the track attracts around 80 racers for its Friday night club races, a number that he is happy to report is continually increasing each year. Operating a monthly pass system for racers looking to use the track, it is open weekly Tuesday through Sunday. In addition to the JConcepts race, the two other key events on the calendar for Outback Raceway are the ‘Fall Brawl’ and ‘Outback Shoot Out’.
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Saturday, June 28, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Having earlier lost his Truggy title to Dakotah Phend in a thrilling race, Ty Tessmann would come out the better of an epic Buggy battle with Ryan Maifield to claim his second US National Championship in nitro offroad’s premiere class. Starting 3rd on the grid, the HB driver mixed it with the Associated of Maifield for 55-minutes of the 1-hour, after Top Qualifier and early leader Phend suffered a massively costly off. In the end the race would be decided on the last lap. With Maifield leading, Tessmann made a move down the inside coming up to the Thornhill Racing Circuit’s large step-up, a move the 2006 Champion would try to block resulting in the two coming together. With both buggies needing to be marshalled, Tessmann got away first setting the stage for a final dash to the flag but two corners later a mistake by Maifield would leave his buggy on its roof allowing Tessmann to win by 4.8 seconds. Behind the intense battle, Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz completed a successful day as he claimed his second podium of the day with a repeat of his Truggy 3rd place finish.
Declaring the win as ‘one of the toughest ones’, Tessmann said going into the final he didn’t have a lot of confidence adding he was feeling ‘a little down after how Truggy ended’. Maintaining his third place starting position over the opening laps, the 21-year-old said when Phend dropped back he started to get more confident both in himself and his OS Speed powered D812. Running with Maifield just as he did with Phend in Truggy, the Canadian said he had a couple of mistakes as a result of the track’s increasing ruts but he knew he could take the battle to the end. Commenting on the difficulty of the track and the fact that there was no time between the Truggy Main and the Semi-Finals, the 2012 Champion said the two races in a row made it extra hard mentally. Asked about the deciding moment, he replied it was ‘nothing dirty’ and ‘just close last lap racing’. Seeing opportunity to get down the inside he said Maifield came across on him and they both just got into one another.
‘Went good, better than I thought it would’, was Maifield’s reaction to the nail biting race. The Arizona driver, famed for his hard charging driving style, said after the Semi he knew his Novarossi powered RC8.2 was good but just not how good until he ran with Phend & Tessmann. ‘Ultimately’ he said it was his mistake on the right side of the track as the race entered the final quarter that cost him the win adding that without that ‘the result would be a little different’. Holding a comfortable gap over Tessmann, he would get it wrong over the speed bumps section leading to the back straight with his buggy coming down on its roof costing him almost 9 seconds as it was marshalled. Saying it ‘sucks to lead on the last lap but not cross the finish line first’, he said the last lap clash was ‘ultimately my fault’ adding had they not needed to be marshalled he would have waited on Tessmann. With world famous race commentator Scotty Ernst describing the race as one of the greatest nitro races of all time, Maifield said he was ‘overall happy’ with second.
‘I’ll take that’ was how a very pleased Lutz summed up his third place finish after the long race. Starting from 5th on the grid, he said he had a solid start ‘holding position in the freight train’. Running a Mugen fuel tank in his Alpha powered DNX8 Prototype, he said his only real drama of the race was his second fuel stop when he suffered a flame out during the refuelling. Saying the tank doesn’t seem to like the fuel gun his pit crew switched to a fuel bottle for the rest of the race. Having to run his own pace so as to look after tyres and mileage he was happy to stay ahead of the recovering Phend who kept catching him up only to crash and fall back.
After the joy of winning his first nitro title just a couple of hours early, it was bitter disappointment for Phend in the main event. Leading the race, on lap 8 his Orion powered 8ight would shoot off the track coming onto the fast back straight. Disappearing down the side of the track, the incident would cost him 15-seconds and drop him to 9th. After the race the dejected teenager said he must have hit a rock there as he didn’t do anything different to how he had taken the corner all the previous laps. While he ‘tried (his) best best to make back up the time’, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process, it was too hard to make up such a loss and he began to overdrive, this leading to mistakes.
Winner of the Warm-up at the Hutto, Texas, track last month Cody King would come home 5th. Running one less stop than his rivals, Kyosho’s former World Champion found himself in a Top 3 position as the leaders made their first stop and then again later in the race. Feeling he made progress with buggy, having originally started out qualifying waiting for the track to come to the buggy, the Santa Ana driver said his ‘stuff was good’ in the final. Then he continued saying the only negative of the race was a late mistake, in which the marshal fell as he went to put the Reds Racing MP9 back on its wheels, which cost him the chance to continue to battle with Lutz and Phend to the finish.
Completing the Top 6 was Ryan Cavalieri, the Team Associated driver describing the race as ‘pretty decent’. The 2011 Champion, who started 9th, said he ‘didnt have the best first lap’. Feeling his Orion powered RC8.2 was ‘a little off here and there’, he said he was still able to maintain a decent pace over the race allowing him to recover from having fallen back to 13th at the start.
A-Main Buggy Result
1.(3) Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed – 78/1:00:40.098
2.(2) Ryan Maifield – Associated/Novarossi – 78/1:00:44.918
3.(5) Ryan Lutz – Durango/Alpha – 77/1:00:15.057
4.(1) Dakotah Phend – TLR/Orion – 77/1:00:18.855
5.(6) Cody King – Kyosho/Reds Racing – 77/1:00:32.114
6.(9) Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 77/1:00:33.542
7.(8) Billy Fischer – TLR/Novrossi – 75/1:00:02.553
8.(12)Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 75/1:00:31.304
9.(10)Mark Pavidis – TLR/OS Speed – 74/1:00:00.744
10.(7)Adam Drake – TLR/Novarossi – 74/1:00:18.148
11.(15)Josh Wheeler – Xray/OS Speed – 74/1:00:22.729
12.(13)Josh Glancy – TLR/Novarossi – 72/1:00:48.539
13.(14)Tyler Vik – Xray/FX – 67/55:09.434
14.(4)Carson Wernimont – Mugen/OS Speed – 31/24:25.773
15.(11)Austin Blair – Mugen/OS Speed – 8/6:46.748
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Monday, June 23, 2014
Top Qualifier & freshly crowned Truggy Champion Dakotah Phend is on pole position for the Buggy Main at the US National Championships. The Team Losi Racing star won his 30-minute Semi-Final in the fastest time ahead of Ryan Maifield, the Associated driver’s time securing him second on the grid for the title deciding 1-hour encounter. Winning the first of the Semis, 2012 Champion Ty Tessmann will line up 3rd with his HB followed by the Mugen of Carson Wernimont who was second to the Canadian.
After a disappointing qualifying, defending champion Adam Drake has made it into the main event finishing fourth in his Semi to line up seventh one place behind Warm-up Race winner Cody King. A field made of six previous champions, the race will see seven different manufacturers complete with TLR the best represented team with five 8ight 3.0s on the grid.
A-Main Buggy Grid
1. Dakotah Phend – TLR/Orion
2. Ryan Maifield – Associated/Novarossi
3. Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed
4. Carson Wernimont – Mugen/OS Speed
5. Ryan Lutz – Durango/Alpha
6. Cody King – Kyosho/Reds Racing
7. Adam Drake – TLR/Novarossi
8. Billy Fischer – TLR/Novrossi
9. Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion
10.Mark Pavidis – TLR/OS Speed
11.Austin Blair – Mugen/OS Speed
12.Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion
13.Josh Glancy – TLR/Novarossi
14.Tyler Vik – Xray/FX
15.Josh Wheeler – Xray/OS Speed
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Sunday, June 22, 2014
After 45-minutes of intense racing Dakotah Phend is the new US National Truggy Champion. The TLR driver claimed his first nitro title from the defending champion Ty Tessmann after a thrilling race in Hutto, Texas, where they shadowed one another the entire race. In a completely different league to the other 13 finalists, the race came down to the final corner with the pair tangling as Tessmann, who was chasing a third consecutive title, made a last attempt to deny the Top Qualifier his first win. After marshalling it was Phend who would get the win on the dash to the line by 3/10ths of a second. Over a lap down Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz completed the podium at Thornhill Racing Circuit.
‘Feels awesome, I have been working really hard for this’, was a very happy Phend’s reaction to his win of what many industry onlookers described at being one of the Top 3 races of all time. Describing the race as ‘crazy’, the 17-year-old said after Tessmann got ahead on lap 4 he just tucked in behind the Canadian. Stopping simultaneously at the first fuel stop after that Phend always came in a lap earlier than Tessmann making for plenty of excitement every time the HB driver exited the pitlane from his stop such was their closely matched pace. On his third time leading the race the Michigan driver would make his biggest error of the race. On lap 49 of 59, he would get his Orion powered 8ight T on two wheels coming into the tracks huge step up after coming in a ‘little fast’. Although he was able to save it he could not complete the step up which allowed Tessmann back to the front. Saying his aim was to pressure Tessmann into a mistake, he said his rival ‘drove awesome’ and he just went for it on the last lap with a great pass on the sweeper leading on to the back straight. Asked about the last lap contact, Phend said it was just close racing and that he had ‘very high respect’ for him.
Tessmann was understandable disappointed at losing out by so little after such an exciting race. Saying the race ‘really didn’t feel like 45-minutes’, he said it was not just the race that was intense but that everytime he came into the pits it ‘seemed hectic’ with one of his stops seeing him tangle with the Mugen of Barry Pettit. Very happy with how his OS Speed powered D8T performed over the last two minutes he said it became difficult to drive and he wasn’t sure why. A very clean race for how closely the two ran together, Tessman like Phend acknowlegded the respect these two world class drivers showed one another.
‘Very good’ was Lutz’s response to the question of how his race had gone. Happy with how his Alpha engine DNX408T raced over the 45-minutes he said it ‘worked out as good as it could have’. Starting the race from 6th on the grid, he initially did ‘a lot of battling with the two Ryans’ but once he got a gap on the Associated pairing he just focused on finishing out the race with no crashes and he managed to do that, crossing the line 2.1 second ahead of Ryan Maifield.
Maifield said his 4th place finish was alright as he did the best he could with the equipment he had available to him. The 3-time former champion said himself and team-mate Ryan Cavalieri had an ‘awesome race’ battling for the ‘vintage truck win’ referring to Associated’s aging RC8T chassis.
Finishing just 6/10ths behind Maifield, Cavalieri said he really enjoyed the race but added for the overall win they where at a ‘little disadvantage with the car they had’. The multiple electric offroad World Champion said ‘I did my job’ running the race without any crashes but in the end it was ‘just the truck’ that held them back.
Completing the Top 6 was 2010 Champion Jared Tebo who felt the race ‘went as good as it could have went’. Starting 10th, the Kyosho driver got hit on the opening lap by the Serpent of Mike Truhe which lost him a couple of spots. Really happy at making 9-minutes from his Orion engine he said he was ‘shooting for third’ as his STRR Evo was ‘good’ but having to get out of the way of the leaders a number of times due to his pitstop timing he said he lost too much to Lutz and then a mistake, his only self inflicted error of the race, dropped him sixth.
A-Main Truggy Result
1.(1) Dakotah Phend – TLR/Orion – 59/45:03.143
2.(2) Ty Tessmann – HB/OS Speed – 59/45:03.482
3.(6) Ryan Lutz – Durango/Alpha – 58/45:08.759
4.(8) Ryan Maifield – Associated/Novarossi – 58/45:10.868
5.(7) Ryan Cavalieri – Associated/Orion – 58/45:11.492
6.(10)Jared Tebo – Kyosho/Orion – 58/45:25.402
7.(9) Michael Truhe – Serpent/TOP – 58/45:37.498
8.(14)Barry Petitt – Mugen/OS Speed – 57/45:14.847
9.(13)Josh Glancy – TLR/Novarossi – 57/45:26.271
10.(4)Josh Wheeler – Xray/OS Speed – 57/45:30.990
11.(15)Billy Fischer – TLR/Novrossi – 56/44:55.039
12.(3)Carson Wernimont – Mugen/OS Speed – 54/42:59.761
13.(5) Cody King – Kyosho/Reds Racing – 54/45:33.207
14.(12)Austin Blair – Mugen/OS Speed – 39/30:44.851
15.(11)Jeremy Kortz – Agama/Werks – 6/456.908
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Sunday, June 22, 2014