Well i've prepared, made the 8 hour trip to and from, and actually raced at the JC Indoor Nationals Finals. With Maefield, Hartson, Evans, Gibson, JR Mitch, Chad Due, and not to mention the fast locals in attendance, I gave this race everything I had given the circumstances.
After arriving and setting up, the first order of business was to find the correct tire (or at least be in the ball park). Since i was one of very few pro-line drivers there, I was sort of on my own figuring out the right tread to use. After running scrubs and protons, I switched over to ions all around which felt a little more twitchy but was up to .5 seconds faster per lap. I stayed with ions for the entire weekend.
I chose to run 4wd sc and 4wd buggy, not 2wd as i had almost no time on my 2w car. Both cars felt good initially. The buggy was maybe 85% there, but the truck had a lack of steering in the exit and felt a little unstable. The truck is actually one of 4 here in the U.S. as we are working on the correct geometry for it. I made some changes throughout the day and felt pretty confident with both for qualifying.
This turned out to be the best day of the event for me.
We started out with 4wd buggy, and of course I was in the Class with all of the faster guys. I filed in and was fifth for a while before turning a couple of blazing laps in succession which shot me up to second place behind Nick Gibson. Unfortunately on the third to last lap another racer crashed in front of me on the straight and i dropped down to 5th again. second qualifier was not the best as at the beginning i stuffed a tube so was shuffled to the back. I only finished 6th that run. The third was one of my best runs as I made a few changes to my car to get it to be a little more predictable. I was able to blaze through the pack and finished second in my heat.
The results from the three rounds put together put my starting out 9th in the A of 4wd mod, which is was very happy about considering I was the only Caster driver at the event, only Pro-line Driver in the main, and one of maybe a few Hobbywing drivers but the only one in the A main.
Truck went alright, but i was still fighting the truck and wasnt able to make many correct changes to it using the prototype parts i had on hand. I was able to finish 4th in the first round. the truck felt a little tippy so i went to a different sway bar all around for the next round which worked extremley well placing me second for that heat. For the next round i decided to go to a different ackerman bar we are trying which did not work well at all, placing me sixth.
Overall i qualified 6th in the A, which is definately lower than what i was shooting for. I do feel like my limited time with the truck held me back but i made the most out of it.
This day was definately not my best. Overnight we had a drastic increase in temperature which drove the humidity way up. This caused most of the top guys to turn to full slicks, which i did not get the memo on during the short practice and mains that day.
In the first main I had shot myself into the 6th position in buggy, but on the second lap a guy behind me took me out which caused me to flip and another car to accidently ram mine which netted a broken arm. the second main i made a few changes to try to pull up my lap times and they didnt work at all. My car was extremeley twitchy and hard to drive, which caused me to roll it a few times. I finished way down in the pack. I then found out just how low everyone was running their tires, but decided not to ruin mine as I had already bombed the first two mains. Again the car was hard to drive but i did finish 8th that round.
Overall, after all the bad luck i had I finished 10th in the Amain of 4wd mod. This track killed me the last time I was here so qualifying in the A was definately a plus for me. I was using my trusty Caster Racing S10b v3.5, hobbywing v3.1 esc and 6.5 v10 motor, and proline bull dog body and ions all around.
Truck was actually good for me despite the results. In the first main the truck felt good but right as we started a wheel rolled down the track. The truck i have is speced with some very narrow hexes which did not actually allow me to tighten down the nuts all the way. This is was solved for the next main. for the second main, I made my way quickly to the 5th spot and stayed in that spot the entire race. I decided not to push the truck as it still felt a little tippy and not crashing is a good idea (lol). For the next main i went up to even stiffer fluid in the shocks and the truck went from being okay and somewhat unpredictable to very fast and easy to push. I was extremely confident but on the closing laps of practice another truck went flying into the straight and caught mine at full speed which caused my truck to break an arm. But, these things happen.
Overall I finished a lowly 8th place in the A main of 4wd SC. I was using my prototype Caster Racing S10sc, Hobbywing v3.1 esc, Hobbywing 3656 4 pole 4000kv motor, and Proline EVO body and ions tires.
Overall a pretty good weekend despite being somewhat alone and having to fend for myself in many aspects. I finally conquered the Plex though!
-Carter Flotron, SPD