March 19-21 2021, 702 Raceway Las Vegas NV.
The first of the four events to be held in the JConcepts NCTS3 was in Las Vegas Nevada at 702 R/C Raceway. The large carpet track has held some of the largest carpet off road events in the U.S. in the last few years.
We set out early Friday morning to meet the doors opening for all day practice and seeding to kick off the full weekend of racing. Running four classes would take the help of my wife (who does a lot of wrenching here at Track Star) to keep me competitive. We brought both Schumacher buggies as well as their new Storm Stadium Truck and our Track Star Storm Short Course Truck that we have been working on. Practice would go very well for the Storm ST and the Cougar Laydown buggy. I struggled to find speed in 4w Mod due to a new set up we had been told to try. The SCT was very quick but needed some handling help. We managed to seed on top in one class and second in 2 others. Four wheel mod we were out to lunch having steering issues and did not get to run seeding.
Saturday we went into the day with great hopes of qualifying well. Throughout the day we made no changes to the Stadium truck as it was great run after run. The SCT was getting better due to some visual help from Sammy Moran. The Cougar Laydown in 40+ modified was good the first round then the second round not so much and then with fresh rear tires and a swaybar change was back on track. My L1 Evo 4wd buggy was better now that we changed out the steering radius rods but the setup would still not let the car turn in at high speed. At the end of the day I was qualified Q2 in SCT, Q2 in ST, Q3 in 40+ 2w mod and 17th in 4w Mod.
Sunday! Its time to put these Schumacher Cars and Trucks on the podium! Up first was 4wd "B" main. A last minute decision to put my 2 year old set up from the L1 on it proved to make my Evo much better. I was contending for a top 2 finish but an incident with a lapped car relegated me back to 5th. Stadium Truck was up next and I was itching to show how well this Schumacher Storm ST truck really is. At the tone we took off and I was within striking distance for a few laps. The 4 of us pulled away and about 2 minutes in I tapped the board too closely on the entrance of the straight and third tangled with me which put us both back in the pack. We both worked our way back up passing most of the field but it wasn't meant to be as I could only claw back up to 4th.
It was time for 2wd Modified for us old guys and with AE team manager Brent on the TQ spot I knew I had my work cut out for me. Oscar Spratly was sitting on the 2nd spot and I hoped he and I could stay clean to make a race of it. However at the sound of the tone my Cougar pushed wide into turn 2 and I had to short the double. Brent and Oscar were gone! I rolled down the window and clicked on the cruise control and ran around in third for the next 6 minutes. Lastly was Short Course Truck! Here is where I really thought I had a chance at a "W". With a little help and guidance from Gil Jr. I managed to tune up the Track Star Schumacher Storm SCT and in warm up I felt 100% confident the top spot on the podium was mine. At the sound of the tone and around to the big double the TQ over jumped it slightly and bounce-rolled. I ducked underneath and took P1! For the next 6 minutes and 45 seconds I would lead the race. With a few back markers here and there to contend with and a couple of small bobbles the TQ would real me in patiently lap after lap. The final lap we banged and knocked fenders in classic SCT fashion however I set myself up to unfortunately be on the out side of the last turn and a drag race ensued to the finish where I was beat to the line finishing second. Still a great finish for our SCT on its maiden carpet race!
A very huge "THANK YOU!" to my wife for building a fantastic SCT truck for me and for keeping our race program logistics on track all weekend. Thank you to Fantom for the horsepower and voltage to keep my cars fast. Thank you to Dave Enstrom at DE Racing for the ST and SCT wheels. Thank you to Robert Morris at KO Propo USA for keeping my EX10 Helios up and running and providing the best servos on the planet! Thank you to Gil Jr. Sammy Moran and Mike Sorchy for the set up advice.
Until next time! "Stay Tuned"!