Steven Hartson and Tanner Denney took easy wins in the opening A-Mains of the JConcepts Winter Indoor Nationals in St.Louis but not in the expected order with 4WD Top Qualifier Hartson taking the 2WD win while 2WD Top Qualifier Denney won the first 4WD encounter. The first of the A-Mains to be run Denney built up an early lead with his new B5 and looked set to cruise to an easy win but starting from 4th on the grid and avoiding an early pile up Hartson reeled in his younger team-mate. With Hartson right on his motor Denney would survive his first mistake at the log section but the former series champion would capitalise on the second mistake to go on and take the win by over 4 seconds with Team Losi Racing’s Taylor Larsen completing the Top 3.
With the 4WD encounter run straight after the 2WD, annoyed by his 2WD performance Denney was taking no prisoners and starting from the No.2 position made a forceful move on his team-mate to move to the front early in the race. Despite catching the piping at the chicane reducing his lead considerably to then second placed Josh Wheeler, the 18-year-old was able to pull clear to take the win by 3.6 seconds over TLR’s JR Mitch. While Wheeler completed the Top 3, Hartson could only manage 5th.
Commenting on his two races, Hartson said fitting JConcepts founder Jason Ruona’s race tyres on his B5 for the final was the ‘best thing ever’. Having avoid the pile-up caused by the No.2 TLR of JP Richards, he said his B5 was the best it has been all weekend at the SmacTrac and he was easily able to catch up to Denney. Getting by the Arizona driver he said he was able to pull clear. ‘Car kind of sucked’ was how he summed up the 4WD encounter. The California driver said he had the wrong tyres adding for A2 he will switch to green compound JConcepts Dirt Webs all round having run Barcodes. Asked about Denney’s move the World Champion said it was a ‘little forceful’ but didn’t really hurt too much as with his B44.2 the way it was he was eventually going to get passed.
Denney said in 2WD he messed up by changing his tyre prep ahead of A1. Using motor spray to clean his tyres he said it took ‘away the stickiness’ and with the buggy really loose he was ‘holding on for dear life’. Planning to use the same tyre preparation that helped him to TQ three of the four qualifiers he said for A2 he will be ‘ok for the next one’. Describing his B44.2 as ‘really good’ he said he was pretty annoyed & fired up after his 2WD tyre error and admitted his move was ‘pretty aggressive’. Adding that where he made his move was ‘not a spot for a pass’, like Hartson said it didn’t hurt either driver.
2WD Buggy A-Main Leg 1 Results
1.(4) Steven Hartson – Team Associated – 21/5:13.129
2.(1) Tanner Denney – Team Associated – 21/5:17.713
3.(3) Taylor Larsen – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:04.613
4.(6) Cody Hollis – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:07.946
5.(2) JP Richards – Team Losi Racing – 20/5:11.980
6.(5) Brent Thielke – Team Associated – 20/5:22.762
7.(9) Matt Gosch – Team Associated – 19/5:03.324
8.(7) Trevor Nault – Team Associated – 19/5/10.898
9.(8) JR Mitch – Team Losi Racing – 19/5:14.111
10.(10)Luke Richards – Kyosho – 19/5:18.242
11.(11)Daimon Borkowicz – Team Associated – 18/5:11.817
4WD Buggy A-Main Leg 1 Results
1.(2) Tanner Denney – Team Associated – 22/5:10.885
2.(3) JR Mitch – Team Losi Racing – 22/5:14.173
3.(4) Josh Wheeler – Team Xray – 21/5:01.681
4.(7) Nick Gibson – Team Associated – 21/5:02.171
5.(1) Steven Hartson – Team Associated – 21/5:02.502
6.(6) Cody Hollis – Team Losi Racing – 21/5:04.007
7.(9) Brent Thielke – Team Associated – 21/5:04.856
8.(11)Taylor Larsen – Team Losi Racing – 21/5:05.239
9.(12)Matt Gosch – Team Associated – 21/5:11.719
10.(5)Mitchel Gardner – Kyosho – 21/5:12.930
11.(8)JP Richards – Team Losi Racing – 21/5:14.878