We just got back from the HobbyPlex in Omaha, Nebraska. They were host to the 2008 R.O.A.R. On-Road Carpet Nationals. The facility was awesome. HUGE, well maintained, well lit, with excellent personnel. It was a pleasure being there for a national event. The R.O.A.R. race management team did a fine job of running the race, and except for a few scoring glitches, and a bad batch of carpet, the race went off without a hitch.
So how'd we do.....chalk up National Title #24!!!
Team driver Mike Dumas repeated last year's performance by Top Qualifying and winning the pinnacle 12th Scale Factory Modified Class.
Official practice for the event was on Wednesday & Thursday followed by qualifying on Friday & Saturday, and then finally the Mains on Sunday. Being a R.O.A.R. National, this race would feature the Triple A-Main format with your best two finishes added up for a total laps/time. This is done to try to remove the "luck" factor in racing, and it works pretty well.
Practice went well but wasn't really too informative. For whatever reason, the new carpet HobbyPlex installed just for this race was quite "fuzzy". So although you could work on motor choice and gearing, much of Wednesday and Thursday wasn't really useful for set-up help. By Thursday afternoon, most of the fuzz had come off of the racing line, and we could start to dial the cars in.
Friday, the first day of qualifying went well. Mike put in a couple of solid runs, and at the end of the day was 4th overall. We actually sent Mike out with two very different set-ups on his car for the 2 qualifiers. We knew from past experience that Saturday was most likely the day when the track would be at it's fastest, so we looked at Friday as another day of practice more than anything else.
On Saturday, we again went out with two very different set-ups, and they both worked well. Overall, the track was very high speed with 3 make or break chicanes. You really had to make you car somewhat easy to drive, or you would probably be watching the race instead of racing. Many of the qualifiers over the weekend started with 8 cars, and finished with 3 or 4. So, on Saturday, we gave Mike a little bit of a "pushy" car, but it still carried good corner speed, and most importantly of all, it was pretty easy to zip through the chicanes with. The set-up worked well, and Mike was able to grab TQ in the last round with a blazing 50-lap run.
After qualifying was over on Saturday, the R.O.A.R. Management team gave us special permission to do some laps with our new Formula Pro-10 200mm car. We wanted to do some testing under really high traction that you just can't get in weekly racing. I posted a couple of short clips on YouTube. You can check them out HERE.
Sunday…The Mains!!! Going into Sunday, we were confident in Mike and our equipment. Mike's Trinity powered Rev.5 had plenty of horsepower on tap all weekend, and his IB4600 cells were never even close to dumping. Match that with great traction from our JACO tires, and super aerodynamics from our ProtoForm Speed 12, and we thought we had the combination to win.
The 1st Main went great with Mike leading bell to buzzer. He was pressured several times by a ballistic Josh Cyrul, but was able to hold him off for the win. Mike's finishing time was only a few seconds slower than his TQ run from Saturday.
The 2nd A-Main was quite a bit more dramatic. Mike clipped the very 1st corner and got shuffled to the back of the pack. Not good. LOL. Mike put on his driving cap, and started to work his way through the field. It took all 8-minutes, but by the end, Mike had made it all the way up to 2nd place and turned in some of the quickest laps of the event while doing it.
So, after two A-Mains, we had a 1st and a 2nd.
On to the 3rd A-Main. At the sound of the horn, they're off. Mike got a great hole shot, and made it to the first corner with enough cushion so he didn't have to worry about getting run over from behind. For the next 8-minutes Mike and his Rev.5 put on a driving clinic. Although he was pressured from behind by Josh, Paul Ciccarello, and coming from the back of the pack, Trinity driver Paul LeMieux, Mike never flinched. He drove his own race, and dictated the pace that would be run. With 30-seconds left in the race, Mike finally started to dig into the throttle, and put almost ¾'s of a lap on 2nd place Josh Cyrul. In doing so, Mike ran another 50-lap run, matching his TQ! Just a great drive by a very talented person. With that win, Mike scored a perfect 200 points, and became your 2008 R.O.A.R. Carpet On-Road 12th Scale Modified National Champion.
Congratulations Mike! Back to back Mod Titles.....just awesome.
As always we have several people and companies that contribute to our success:
Justin"Beavis"Johnson = Invaluable help at these races.
Jim Dieter = THE best Motor/Battery man in the business.
Ray Darroch = Always there to help get us hooked up.
Donny Lia for the comic relief (and the hard work).
Trinty Motors and Batteries
JR Radio Systems
Joel Novarro from RC Car Action probably has the best on-line coverage of a Carpet National ever done over at the Radio Control Zone. You can check it out HERE.
I hope everyone has a great Spring.
See you at the track.-Bruce