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:

Cody King Report – 2014 Worlds in the Books

Worlds Track

Giardini Naxos World Track, Messina, Sicily, Italy

Well the jet lag and race hangover are slowly going away, so I can write something. This race was pretty crazy even before it got going. Some people were waiting for lost bags at the airport, but we were lucky. After a short delay all our bags showed up and we were on our way. There were still some unanswered questions if we could run our fuel or not, and we had to wait until that got sorted out. In the end thankfully we got to run our own fuel. As far as race track and surface, I thought it was awesome in my opinion. The track had tons of grip and was not breaking apart. Even when it rained, the track held up and drained well. Of course when the base material is concrete you would expect that. The track basically had a coat of brown colored stuff on top and most of it wore away, especially after the wet weather running.

As the race started, we were still making set-up changes even after 5 days of practice! Some people were complaining about the race being too long, but I don’t think so. My pace was improving all the way until finals day. It was pretty obvious the local drivers had better pace, for example I had to work pretty hard to get around the young Italian David Ongaro in the 1/4 final. Not taking anything from David or his great drive, but my car was much better in the semi with better pace. I was tweaking the set-up all the way to the final. The main thing we could not get used to was the ridiculous stiff sway bars we needed to run. I ended up with 2.8mm front and 3.0mm rear sway bars. It’s just hard to trust that it will work and put the car on the track like that to try it. In my opinion, getting the sway bar stiffness right was the biggest part of the battle. With a lot of hard work and talking to my Dad and our team mates, we did get it right on finals day. In the quarter final my car was better, but nothing to write home about. I did win the race but had to work harder than I wanted to. We learned a lot still in the 1/4, and with a couple tests and little tweaks in the semi practice, the car was awesome. It was game on for the semi and final. At this point I was 95% sure I would be in the final.

At the start of the semi, I got into a transfer position pretty quick. I had just passed Wernimont and got back into the transfer position, stopped for fuel, but then rolled over on the back sweeper. The corner marshal ran across the track in the opposite direction and left my car there. After finally getting turned over, the crash would cost me around 12 seconds! I would only have about 10 minutes left in the race to make up the time. sat-presentationWith other drivers having mistakes and crashes all over the place I would put my head down and run a clean 10 minutes to get the last auto-transfer spot to the main final. I could not have been happier with the way all my stuff was working and was really looking forward to the main. I thought I had a chance to win again. The long crash was a shame, because it cost me a few positions on the grid going into the final. I probably would have gridded up 5th or so without that long crash. Still I was happy to be in, and with car #9.

Getting ready for the final is always a little crazy. My dad was working hard getting the car ready, and I was mentally getting myself ready for the hard 60 minute final. We only get an hour to work on the car after the semi and its stressful making sure we get everything right. As we headed out to the track for the main final, I had to think about the last 8 years. It felt so good to be going out for my 4th worlds final in a row. I have made the final at every 1/8th Worlds I have attended, and have the 4 race streak going. I know not too many drivers can say that.

At the start of the race, I got pinched off at the start by a car that started late. I moved wide to avoid a crash and as my car moved toward the right side of the track, it disappeared behind the pit lane. I hit the brakes and turned left, but I think the car was airborne after hitting the pipe maybe? Anyway, my car hit the fencing and pipes under the pit lane area and broke the car. I only drove literally 40 feet and my race was over. Two years of preparation, all the work all week to get the car right, my car was improving through the ¼ and semi, and I was out of the race without making the first corner. Nightmare! I was in shock and disbelief as I saw the broken car carried to the pit area. I just couldn’t believe what was happening. At that point I was just sick to my stomach as my Dad worked to get the car fixed. The sick feeling would continue through the night and hang on into my trip home.

In reflecting about what happened, I have to wonder why. I really wish there was some plywood in front of the pit lane area to prevent broken cars. I don’t know if any other cars broke in this area of the track, but it was extremely dangerous on the outside of the track. It was a very high speed section and really crazy with the pit lane structure and fencing underneath. There were banners in front, but behind the banners was the bad stuff.

After all the work everyone put into this race, I really regret not having a chance to compete after getting into the final. We feel strongly that we had a top 3 car for sure, and who knows what might have happened if I could have run the race. I really want to thank everyone who put a huge amount of work into the race. Of course I have to thank Kyosho who always provides the best support you could ever want. Their focus on this race has helped me focus in the right place. Reds Racing Engines.. Marco and Mario Rossi really worked hard leading up to this race and the engines were fantastic. Pro-Line, thanks very much for the hard work and putting the best tire on the track. The new Fugitive tire in X1 compound was clearly the tire to beat. Congratulations to Pro-Line on the World Championship. Everyone at Byron Fuels, thanks very much. There was a lot of hard work behind the scenes nobody knows about. They pressed the issue to get the fuel to the race. Absolute Hobbyz, KO Propo, and Stickit1 Racing all went over and above to get us what we needed for the race. Also Hella Graphics, LiveRC, and OCRC Raceway, thanks very much. Last but not least, thanks to my Dad for the best cars anyone could want. The stuff worked flawless all week. Thanks everyone for all your help!

Lastly, congrats to Ty on the win. He has worked hard and I can’t think of a more deserving Champion. He showed why he is rank #1 by the Top 25 RC ranking system.

Looking forward to Vegas in 2016! Please enjoy the pictures:

Cody King Wins Mugen Series Round 1..

TQ and Win for Cody in Chula Vista, CA

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This weekend marked the first round of the Mugen Grand Prix in Chula Vista, California. There were plenty of local fast guys in attendance including Cody Smith who won the Hi-Tech race on this layout, and track manager Don Vinkemulder. With only 20 minutes of practice Cody went to work right away with a TQ run in round 1 of qualifying, which would stand giving Cody the pole position.  On the first lap of the 30 minute final, Cody bobbled over the “wooden wash board” and surrendered the lead to 2nd qualifier Cody Smith. The two Codys would freight train around the track nose to tail for the first 6 minutes, separating themselves from the rest of the field. It was obvious King wanted the lead, but he was patient and not making any aggressive moves. King would finally pass Smith in the pits and maintain that advantage for the rest of the race, as the two battled through traffic for 20 more minutes. King would hold on for 1st, with Smith 2nd and Vinkemulder 3rd. Don DQ’d himself as track manager, allowing hard charging young gun Mason Elliott to receive the 3rd place award. The JBRL series will roll into Heritage RC Park next weekend, and looks to be an interesting line-up with King, Drake, Maifield, Moller, and likely others in attendance.

Cody used the following equipment:

  • Kyosho TKI3 Buggy
  • Reds R5T TE Engine, Reds 2104 pipe with XS header and TS-4 plug
  • Pro-Line X3 Lockdown tires, Proline rims and glue
  • Byron Fuels Worlds Blend – 25% Nitro/8% Oil
  • KO Propo EX-1 radio and RSX2 power servos