Congratulations to team SpeedMerchant drivers, Mike Dumas and Jake Pritchard for Top Qualifying and taking 1st & 2nd place in the 12th scale Modified A-Main at the 26th Annual United States Indoor Championships!
The U.S. Indoor Champs is the longest running 1/12th scale race in existence, and draws the absolute elite on-road drivers in the world.
This year the Speederchant Rev.4 ran on top all week long. Starting in practice on Wednesday, team drivers Mike Dumas and Jake Pritchard were already constantly throwing down the fastest laps recorded on the race computer.
With just some minor set-up changes in dampening, and camber, our Rev.4's were ready for Modified qualifying.
Thursday afternoon..... after the 1st round of qualifying was over, it was readily apparent, the Rev.4 was going to be the 12th scale to beat at this years Champs. Mike Dumas came out of the gates strong, and never looked back, setting a TQ time of 40 laps at 8 minutes and 2 seconds. 2 seconds quicker than Team Associateds Barry Baker.
After the round, we asked Mike about his qualifying strategy.... 'I was really just cruising, not driving hard at all. I just wanted to put a solid A main run in. I really wasn't trying for the TQ right away.'
Apparently Mike wasn't kidding, due to his smooth driving style, a Rev.4 chassis that was working superbly, and some pretty awesome Team Br00d horsepower, Mike had almost a minute of run-time left in his batteries after his TQ run!
Mike held onto his TQ thru Thursday night's round 2 of qualifying, and then flat out opened a can of 'Whoop A$$' on Saturday's round 3 of qualifying by posting the only 41 lap run of the weekend!!!
Jake Pritchard bumped up his pace to qualify 4th in the A main after round 3 also. 'My car is just awesome' said Jake, 'My Checkpoint motors and batteries are so fast, it's hard to believe that my Rev.4 is just staying glued to the track'.
Onto Saturday day night's final round 4 of qualifying,... and just more of the same for the SpeedMerchant crew. Mike Dumas and his Rev.4 set TQ for that round also with what looked to be an effortless drive.
Mike - 'My Rev.4 is just so easy to drive fast.' 'I can see the other drivers trying to post the same lap times, but their cars are just too hard to drive at that speed.' 'Jake and I can both go faster if we have to'.
Sunday afternoon, the 12th scale Modified A-Main of the 26th Annual United States Indoor Champs.
Going into the A-Main, we were obviously pretty confident we had the best cars on the track, but as they say, 'It ain't over till the fat lady sings.'
Starting from the #1 position, Mike knew he had to get out of the box fast and smooth. Jake on the other had, was going to have to work his way thru traffic to get to the front of the pack.
At the buzzer's tone, they're off....
Mike gets a great hole shot, and makes it to the 1st turn with out getting tagged from behind (our biggest worry). Josh Cyrul, starting from the #4 position, makes a crazy good move and jumps up to 2nd place ready to go after Mike.
Jake's start can only be described as amazing. Starting from #8 on the grid, Jake passes 4 of the best on-road drivers in the world to come around for lap 2 in 4th place!
Jake - 'My car was just awesome on the start...crazy rip from my Checkpoint motor, and just tons of steering and traction out of my Rev.4 chassis. I literally spent the whole 1st lap just passing the guys in front of me, and driving away.'
After a few laps, we had Mike comfortably in the lead with about a 25-foot gap to a hard charging Josh Cyrul, and then another gap back to Mike Blackstock who was trying to hold off Jake and Todd Hodge.
About a minute into the main, Josh's car has some sort of electrical failure, and went full speed into the front chicanes catch wall....the race was unfortunately over for Josh.
This gave Mike even a larger gap back to 2nd place, and although he was already driving a fairly conservative pace of 11.8's and 11.9's, he even slowed it up from there to run 12.0's and 12.1's. Mike is a seasoned professional, and knows, you race the main for the win, not to set fast lap. Just really smart driving on his part.
From about the 1 minute mark to the 4 minute mark, we had Mike in the lead, being chased down by Mike Blackstock, who in turn was being chased down by Todd Hodge and Jake.
As Blackstock closed the gap on Dumas, the crowd really started to get into the race. Was Blackstock going to pull some magic out of his hat again???
Unfortunately for Blackstock, Mike Dumas had spent the first 4 minutes of the race just conserving batteries, and knew he could pick up the pace at will.
As Blackstock closed to within a few feet, Dumas immediately picked up his pace and dropped his lap times back down to a still comfortable 11.8 and 11.9. Within a lap or two, he had gapped Blackstock by about 15 feet.
Meanwhile, Todd Hodge and Jake "The Pritch" Pritchard had actualy closed up on Mike Blackstock. Together they were running crazy fast lap times, while at the same time running totally clean with each other while only separated by a few feet.
At about the 6 minute mark, Blackstock went a little wide into the inside left after the short straight, and left the door open for Hodge and Pritchard. Todd and Mike touched, with Mike getting the worse end of the deal, and both Todd and Jake moved up to 2nd and 3rd with about 2 minutes left to race in the A-Main.
Again, the crowd really started to get into the race. Todd and Jake had been running 11.7's and 11.8's while throwing in the occasional 11.6 to work their way up to the front. Now they had about a 20 foot gap to close in on Dumas to challenge for the win.
With about 45 seconds left in the main, Mike was in the lead with about a 10 foot gap to Todd, and Jake.
Mike was still just driving very smoothly, and conserving his battery in case Todd or Jake were actually going to close the gap completely, and challenge for the win.
Just then, Todd's car started to fade just a little, and Pritchard saw a small passing lane, and took it.
Jake shot into 2nd place, with just crazy rip still left in his car and only about 30 seconds left to go in the race. The crowd went ballistic! Jake is truly one of the nice guys in RC, and well liked by just about everyone in the hobby.
That's how they finished!
Mike Dumas Top Qualifier and 1st in the A-Main.
Jake Prithard 2nd in the A-Main.
Mike Dumas drove a literally perfect race, leading from lap one, and never really looking back, all the while conserving his batteries just in case he had to defend his race lead.
After the race, we talked to Mike.......
"My Rev.4 was just awesome. It's absolutely the best 12th scale car I have ever driven. All week long, I could go out and run at 85 or 90 percent, and just crank out the lap times that the other guys were driving at 110% to achieve."
"I always had room to pick up the pace if I had to."
"The car just stays so flat and smooth in the corners that it just doesn't use any battery to go fast." "I can't wait for the rest of the season".
Again, Mike wasn't joking. After the main, Mike's Team Br00d IB3800 battery had over a minute of run-time left in it!!!
Lets hear from Jake......
"That was fun!. My Rev.4 had so much rip, it was crazy. From the starting buzzer, I just drove my car strapped. Clean.....but strapped. LOL".
"I had to come from the back of the field, and my Rev.4 was so easy to drive fast, it made it look easy". "I also can't believe how fast and efficient my Checkpoint motor and IB3800 batteries were".
"Usually, if you have to drive that hard to get to the front of the pack, you can plan on dumping, or at least going way soft in the last minute". "Screw that......I did an 11.7 with 2 laps to go....my $#!^ was Top Fuel....LOL".
SpeedMerchant would like to thank Mike and Jake for their hard work in preparation for the Champs. They are two class acts.
We'd also like to thank Mr. Bill, and the Cleveland crew for putting on the show, as well as Trinity for helping to sponsor the race, and Frank at CRC for donating the FastTrack racing carpet. With out them, we would have to spend Thanksgiving with our families. LOL.
Thank you to all of Mike and Jake's various sponsors. A great driver and a great chassis still need great bodies, tires, electronics, and support equipment to be competitive at this level of racing.
So.... props to (in no special order):
Novak, ProtoForm, JACO, JR, KO, Team Br00d, Team Checkpoint, and all the other companies that help us put the very best cars down on the track each weekend.
Also, the individuals that come to the races to support their products:
Charlie from Novak, Dale from ProtoForm, Jack from JACO, Eddie O with help from Joe Pillars from Team Br00d, and Duane Silva from Checkpoint.
Pictures and set-ups from Mike's and Jake's Cleveland cars are up.
Check them out HERE.
Believe it or not, that's not the end of the Cleveland race report....
In 1/12th Masters, SpeedMerchant driver Chuck Lonegran came home in 3rd place in the A-Main! This follows up Chuck's TQ and Win at this years R.O.A.R. On-Road Nationals. Super job Chuck!
In 1/12th Stock, Drew Ellis ran up front again. Finishing 4th in the A-Main with his silky smooth lines and some big poinies provided by his Hurricane batteries, and DC tuned motor.
In the new class this year, 1/12th 19-Turn, SpeedMerchant's Chris Mockerman came away with 2nd place in the A-Main. Chris has been racing on and off for a long time, but has always been one of the quickest drivers around when he gets a chance to practice. Look for many more A-Main finishes from Chris in the future!
Finally, I would like to thank all of the SpeedMerchant customers that I got to meet at this years race. Remember, you're always welcome to come over and say Hi or have one of us go over your ride for you. We want you to have the best handling 12th scale on the track, every time you put it down. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to seeing you at the next big race.
Don't forget, SpeedMerchant has a great thread on RC-Tech. If you ever have a question or comment, or just want to post a pic or two of your ride, check it out.
Click HERE. to visit RC-Tech.
Have a safe and fun Holiday Season.