Cody King’s Fashionably Late ROAR Nats Report

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Remember print media? A race would happen and you get the news a month later? Well here is my race report, and only two weeks old! So now you get to read my stuff after you got done reading the junk from other drivers. 😀 I don’t really understand how some of the guys can write about the race and post it the same day as the finals. During a National, we don’t have much time or energy to do anything except race and get the cars ready, so we just worry about the reporting afterward.

Getting On Pace

1571I was really fast early, and seeded well, but as the track condition changed, we had to change the car settings. The temps were pressing 100f each day, and the change in temp through the day was affecting our choice of tire compounds. X2 for morning and evening, and X1 in the middle of the day. I was watching what some of the other guys were doing, and I did get some information about sway bars and diff fluid. Most of the fast guys had attended the warm-up, so it was important for me to watch what they were doing. Everyone was pretty quiet about what they were doing with the shocks, but it was pretty obvious that most of the guys had very little pack and light damping in the shocks. This helped with traction on the polished surface and also flat landing. If you could get your car to flat land it was a big help. I think we did pretty well with the set-up by the time the finals came around.

Semi-final

USA_5394I was pretty happy starting 3rd in the semi, and I felt good because my pace was good at the end of qualifying. At the start of the semi, the car in front of me was REALLY slow getting away, and I had room inside so decided to go around him. For whatever reason, the guy I was passing came over and basically punted me, and I got shuffled back to last. (I’m really tired of having to come from the back). Not sure why a driving penalty wasn’t called on that, but I thought it was pretty obvious he came into my line. Anyhow, I worked hard and I did manage to get myself into an automatic transfer position, but of course my grid position in the final wouldn’t be that great. I felt good about my pace in the semi, matching some of the fastest laps.

Here is the video from my semi:

Buggy Final

For the final I would grid up 10th. I decided to go with X1 Fugitive tires rather than the Blockade I ran in the semi. The other Proline drivers had been to the warm-up and they were all on X1 Fugutive, so I decided to follow.1586 At the start of the final, I had a different plan and decided to just keep myself away from the other cars. This worked out well, because something happened with Lutz and Hartson, and I was able to get around those two. After that it was just trying to do clean laps for the very long 1 hour final. My fuel strategy was really good, and my pitstops were good. The Reds R7 Evoke, combined with the Byron Worlds blend fuel was giving me the fuel economy I needed as I was one of a handful of drivers going 8:40 on fuel where others were doing 7:30. Near the end of the race, 3rd through 7th were all really close, and I feel like I left something on the track out there. I ended up finishing 6th. No reason I couldn’t have made the podium, but just had a few crashes. I did feel like my pace was slightly quicker on blockades, with fast laps 31.4 in the semi and 31.6 in the final. I was doubting my decision a little bit to switch tires. I really think Blockade probably would have gone the hour because the temp was slightly lower. That might have given me a little more pace.

Here is video of the Buggy final:

Truggy

lgThe Truggy final was a little disappointing, because I felt good all week with the truck. Going into the final I changed the caster angle and also we had to run heavier tires to last 45 minutes. I had to get used to the truck again and it probably affected my result. I did try it in warm-up and it felt good, but sometimes changes to the car can take some time, especially in head to head racing. I honestly lost some pace in the final, and finished a disappointing 11th. Reflecting back on that, I probably would have geared down a little for the bigger tires and left the caster angle like it was.

Wrap-up

I really want to thank Kyosho, Reds Racing, Proline, Byron Fuels, Absolute Hobbyz, KO Propo and all my sponsors for the great support. Also, ROAR for running things smoothly and A Main Hobbies for hosting the event at Silver Dollar RC Raceway. Congratulations to Ty on a really amazing week. He is putting in the effort and coming prepared, and it shows. I worked hard too, but in hind sight I would have attended the warm-up. It was pretty obvious the guys who did the warm-up and did some testing that week were fast and running up front. Also I want to thank my dad for his hard work and sitting in the heat working on fathers day. I hope fathers day was a little fun. Also Colin Herzig for the pit help, Joe Pillars, and all my Kyosho team mates. Last but not least thanks to Neobuggy and LiveRC for the race coverage and pictures.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the pictures:

Neobuggy X!!!

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Awesome Sauce!

What a crazy long trip going from Silverstate to Neobuggy. Silverstate is just a blurry memory after all the work that went in to my Neobuggy trip this year.

Once we landed over in the UK, we got the cars ready for practice. During practice everything was awesome. Pro-Line tires were the ones to have, my set-up from last year was good, things looked great. I seeded 2nd in E-buggy and 4th in nitro buggy, so we were very pleased with the way things were going.

Once qualifying started, it was a different game. For some reason our normal tire choice wasn’t so quick, and we had to start trying some things. Mid-way through qualifying the talk in the pit was that clay compound tires were working. Ty Tessmann brought a couple pairs on a hunch, but we didn’t bring any. Toward the end of qualifying, the AKA guys suddenly came up with some clay tires, and they were back in the game after looking horrible early. We struggled with getting the cars right for qualifying and would qualify ninth in the e-buggy and 20th in nitro buggy. There were absolutely no clay compound tires to be had until Monday, suddenly Craig Drescher popped up with MC compound Ions. We ended up getting these just before the nitro buggy semi practice, but they were the ION tread and not the Electron that Ty was running. Regardless what tread design we had, I still gained a second a lap with clay compound (MC). Of course the question now was would the Ions last 45 minutes if I got in the main?

With an unfortunate issue in the e-buggy semi, I would not make the main and it ended my e-buggy chances. My luck wasn’t much better in gas buggy. I started 10th on the grid in the B semi, and I got in a lot of traffic trouble early in the race. After battling back into a transfer position, my car died leaving pit lane, and again I was in trouble. I was thinking what a horrible thing to travel to Europe and work so hard and not make the main. I kept my head in the game and managed to squeeze into the LCQ by finishing 9th.

Going into the start of the LCQ I knew it was going to be rough racing, and it was. I would get sent off the track on the first jump and stuck on the wall with no marshal around. Once the marshal got to me I was far back in the rear of the pack. I was thinking to myself, “wow, looks like I’m not going to make the Neo main this year,” But I’ve always tried hard to never give up, so I put my head down and went to work. It was keeping me focused when my dad said I had fast lap and I was the fastest car. Also he was telling me how many more cars I needed to pass to get in the final. Well I did pass those cars and got myself into 2nd position after passing Jorn Neumann to make it to the main on grid position 14. So relieved! Also I did the fastest lap of the event up to that point, 31.7.

At the start of the final there was a little rough driving, but then people spread out a little. I would make it to about mid field, and then the very tight racing line came into play as people’s tires wore down. I really did everything I could starting out the race on a small pin tire like the Ion. I felt like the compound was more important than the tread so I took a gamble with that. It got difficult to drive once the tread wore down because the clay compound is more firm. I think if I had clay tires with bigger tread, like maybe Suburbs, it would have been really good. I was battling for a top 5 on clay slicks, and ended up 7th in the end. I don’t really feel bad about it because I did all I could do. It’s just not possible to have every tire you could need in every corner of the world, and this race you needed some luck with the tire stuff. It was a fluke that some of the drivers had certain tires that helped them go faster. Clay compound tires have not worked at this track in the past, but next year we will have the right tires!

Sauce-gate!

The tire additive thing got pretty ridiculous. People were saucing all over the place, and the Procircuit “tire cleaner” was a popular choice. The hobby shop outside the venue made a small fortune selling that stuff. I’m not sure what’s in it, but it could burn your face off I’m sure. Other people were using WD-40. On Monday the race directors declared sauce legal because it was so wide spread and supposedly there was no rule in place banning it, or no way to enforce it. I’m proud to say I didn’t use any sauce in the final. I feel strongly that tire additive was NOT a major factor in the final outcome. It was more about having the right compound and tread design with you. I have to say there is a little luck involved sometimes. If we happened to bring a few pairs of MC Suburbs in my bag, who knows what might have happened.

Well that’s pretty much it. I want to say a big thank you to all my sponsors, and especially our Kyosho team that made a strong showing at this event. Also Marco Rossi and Reds Racing for the support at the track. Phil and the DXR crew for another amazing track. Thanks to everyone that makes this event possible. See you at neo16!

Last Chance Saloon (LCQ) race:

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Neo X Finals Day overview:

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Pictures:

RC Tracks of Las Vegas Grand Opening

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The much anticipated new Las Vegas off-road facility had its grand opening last week, and what a grand opening it was! You could really feel the excitement at the new facility. There was a ribbon cutting, awards for the workers who have been at it day and night to get ready, and of course, racing!

ribbon1Chris Tocco and his partner David Tally have built an amazing facility, and invigorated not only the Vegas RC community, but all the folks at the Sports Center of Las Vegas. They are already talking about upgrades to the other parts of the facility. There is no lack of things to do around the track, with a go-cart track, batting cages, and a food vendor inside the main building. This weekend there was a gun show at the facility and many racers walked through and even bought things. The track lighting is fantastic with great visibility provided by several large lighting fixtures on very tall poles. Other features include Direct TV on 4 large flat screens in the pits, first class pit spaces on new tables, a great sound system, one of the best hot pit lanes you can imagine with big screen race data…. all things have been considered in the brilliant plan to bring this facility to life.

The surface was really good. When the track is watered, it’s a nice balance of old school off-road with some bumps and good character without getting blown out. It holds water well at night and races really well without water. The tire wear is awesome. Cody used Proline M3 Holeshots all day and they still had tread after qualifying and his 30 minute main. He could have raced another hour on the tires easy. Some dry blue groove running has been done on the track over the past several months and the rubber gets laid down pretty quick. It appears at this early stage that the dry running is going to be really good. The surface is much better than any other track Vegas has had in the past.

The racing consisted of 2 qualifiers and a 30 minute main on Sunday. After an early race melee collected Cody and wadded up several cars at the start of the main, Cody managed to regain his stride and get into 2nd behind Ty before his first pit stop. I wanted to let him race and extend his first pit stop a little, but I extended it a little too far. He made it into pit lane and I fueled his car, but it sounded a little lean. I decided to throw the car down anyway rather than waste time, and he flamed out leaving pit lane. I guess there was air in the fuel line and the engine stopped. (this can be seen in the RC Insider video, at the 8:20 mark) I really wish I had held the car a little longer before setting him down, but I guess hind sight is 20/20. I really hate it when my mistake costs Cody an opportunity. By the time I got his car restarted, Cody lost a full lap and found himself in 10th position. He climbed his way back up to 3rd, but got tangled up with some other cars and dropped back to 5th at the end of the main. Ty Tessman had a pretty flawless run and won the race. Congrats to Ty on yet another win.

Congratulations are also in order for Cody’s Kyosho teammate Mikey Bustamante who TQ’d and won the 1/8 electric class. Well done Mikey!

For Cody it was pretty disappointing on the racing side of things, but the story here was really about the track. We learned a lot and Cody’s pace was good. We made a few set-up adjustments and it worked really well. We felt like Cody’s car was good. We have provided a set-up sheet in the photo gallery if you need his setting info.

Thanks so much to RC Tracks of Las Vegas, Chris Tocco, David Tally, and both their families. They have really put all their time and energy into this facility and it shows. The view of the Las Vegas strip ain’t bad either. Looking forward to the Kyosho Masters on December 12th!

Enjoy the photos:

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Cody King Clinches 4th JBRL Nitro Title

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The 2014 JBRL season has come to a close, and the expert buggy class was a battle for the entire 8 months and 7 rounds of racing. A lot of time and effort goes into the series all season, and it feels awesome for the work to pay off. It’s really tough to make every race and try to win each round. Adam Drake is always tough at these local series races. He was always the guy to beat back in the Proline Saturday Series days, and now I want to be the guy to beat. I really think it’s a good thing to commit to one big series each year because it adds the pressure at the end, almost like a National or Worlds.

car3Qualifying was a little rough because I switched engines and probably didn’t give myself enough time to get the tune right with no practice in the morning. I found myself having to push hard in Q1 with a slightly rich tune, and crashed a few times. In Q2 we went back to my first engine that I ran the previous day and the tune was perfect, but I crashed in the 6 pack again and messed up my qualifying. After that I became a cheerleader for Drewmo to get the TQ point away from Adam. Drew got the TQ so that helped me out and really leveled the playing field. It was anyone’s ballgame at that point and I felt good because my pace was fast even though I had a few crashes. So on the final grid I would start 3rd behind Adam, and Drew would start first.

For the final I really felt good with the adjustments I made to the car. The temperature was colder so I lightened the shock oil, and I decided on Pro-Line M4 Hole Shots for the main event. During the later heats I was watching, and the guys finally started figuring out the 6 pack. The line was to double the first two bumps and then quad out. I was ready to try it in my final warm-up.

During warm-up for the main event, I practiced my new rhythm through the 6 pack and it was really good. I was confident and ready to go as the straightaway was closed and I pulled into the grid. Right from the tone I got past Adam because he went wide and I think hit the fence. Drewmo and I got locked into a battle up front and stretched out a bit from the chasing pack. Drew led a little and bobbled in the 6 pack and I took the lead. I felt so good quading out of the 6 pack. It wasn’t that tough as long as my pace was right going it. I could tell some of the other guys were having trouble through there and I knew that was my key to have the win if I just hit it right every lap. I had a mistake in the back corner of the track, and Drew caught up a little, but then he had another mistake and I was able to get my cushion back. After my fuel stop I really had a nice lead. At that point I just tried to keep my focus and finish up well. My car felt great and I was able to cruise the last few laps and win, with Drew 18 seconds back in 2nd, and Jeremy Kortz another 10 seconds behind Drew in 3rd. I was really happy with my car and the set-up choices I made.

champ 50First thing I want to do is thank my Dad. He has been there every step of the way putting in the effort. Of course thanks to all my awesome sponsors, Kyosho, Reds, Pro-Line, Byron Fuels, Absolute Hobbyz, KO Propo, Stickit1 Racing, Orion, Hella Graphics and LiveRC. Special thanks to Proline, Reds, and Absolute Hobbyz who sponsor the series. Big thanks to Jimmy Babcock and all the JBRL crew. Jimmy has been doing it longer and better than anyone. This makes my 4th JBRL nitro title which I am very proud of.

Here is a list of equipment I used at round 7:

– Kyosho MP9 TKI3
– Kyosho High Downforce Body Shell – IFB006
– Kyosho Titanium Screw Kit – IFW427
– Kyosho Titanium Turnbuckle Set – IFW443
– Reds R7E Evoke Engine
– Reds 2113 pipe with “S” Header
– Pro-Line M4 Hole Shot Tires – 9041-03
– Pro-Line Yellow Velocity Wheel – 2738-02
– Byron Fuels Worlds Blend 30% Nitro/8% Oil

I’m ready to start all over again next year and take on any challengers. Please enjoy the pictures: