Jan 21-23 2022 Thunder Alley Raceway, Beaumont California
FUN! That’s how I would describe the 2022 TNR Fuels “A-Main Challenge” in one word. However, there was more to this fantastic event, in fact, much more!
Friday, we loaded up “Big Blue” in the early A.M and made the short 1-hour trek to Beaumont from our shop in Menifee. Upon arrival we noticed that we probably should have come out Thursday as most of the internal pits were full and the upper grass area was already near capacity. We knew right then this event was going to be big!
We off loaded and set up our pit area then took a walk around the track to assess what we were going to be up against. The layout looked fast and challenging but also racey with no blind spots. The weather was cool and crisp in the high 40’s with winds expected into the 30-40mph range with gusts nearing 65MPH!
Luckily the winds held off for Friday as we got practice under way, then into 2 rounds of qualifying. With entries at this point nearing 400+ this would make for a long day. Daniel Adams being our RD, kept everyone tight in getting to their perspective race and getting out immediately to turn marshal we managed to get done right after midnight. My efforts for Friday would nab me a TQ and a 2 for the day in the Timmy T memorial class as well as a 6 and an 11 in the 40+ Nitro buggy class.
Saturday started off once again very cold, this time with a stiff breeze forming. Shock and differential fluids were changed to accommodate the cooler temperatures as were some of the plastics on my Kyosho MP10 Tki2 buggy, opting to switch to super soft arms for the remainder of the event. Knowing that we had some gnarly winds coming we battened down the Track Star canopy with sandbags and sat ready to attack the track once again.
The winds picked up to the previously advertised 30+ MPH as Carna (my wife) was warming up the Alpha Plus Dragon 4 in prestaging I knew I was going to have to drive smart, double- single the uphill triple to remain consistent and keep it on all 4 wheels. This strategy paid off as I took the TQ in round 3 & 4 for the Timmy T class and put in good enough runs in 40+ Nitro Buggy to land me a 9th place starting position in the A-Main for Sunday.
SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Main day at the TNR A-Main Challenge where I would be starting P1 in the Timmy T Memorial class and 9th on the grid for the 40+ Nitro Buggy class. The day started out nice as the temps would be in the low 50’s and the winds died down to 10MPH. The sun popped up and the lower mains were under way. My A-Mains would be back-to-back in race 42 & 43 respectively. It wouldn’t be until the sun set over the west horizon that I would run my first main.
Race 42 was the 40+ A-main and I started off very cautiously knowing that not only would my competitors be amped up but also myself. I tip toed around the first lap and crossed the line 5th I would stay in that position for quite a few more laps when Carna came on the headset to inform me that I was now in 4th. (My wife and Mike Sorchy made for a lightning fast, precise pit stop to gain us track position!) About a dozen or more laps later Carna informs me that we were now in 3rd to drive smart and keep it on the wheels. Of course, I bobbled a few times relegating myself back to 4th but raced my way past into 3rd once again for the last couple of laps where I would finish on the podium!
Race 43 was the very next race, so I stood right where I was. Mike and Carna looked over the Kyosho while I stretched out the arm pump (hahaha) and Brandon Summerville took my spot out to marshal. (Thank you Brandon!) It was go time and we set out for our warm up lap. The car felt good I was a little amped up from landing on the podium now I needed to keep it cool for another 15 minutes.
Down and Quiet! The tone sounded and we were off! I made a little bobble off the second set of jumps allowing 2nd to pass and followed him around to the big uphill triple where he would make a mistake and I would get by. I would continue to lead until the final tone sounded and take P1 in the Timmy T Memorial (52+) class.
This event was more than a win and a podium for me. It was a chance to reflect on where our Hobby / Sport has risen to in the 44 years I’ve been involved. I mentioned this event as “fun”. I would say that was the case for more than 90% of the competition. Seeing everyone cheer each other, smile and have a great time throughout the event really stood out as what each event in R/C car racing should be about. Chris Nelson and his family put on an event that is and should remain a pinnacle event in our industry. Thank you Chris Nelson!
A HUGE THANK YOU to my wife not just for the moral support but for the physical work she puts into our business and race team. From team therapist to car set up advise to wrenching, to pit duties and refueling (and keeping me calm on the drivers stand) Thank you!
Buggy: Kyosho MP10 Tki2 (Built by Carna)
Engine: Alpha Plus Dragon 4 sp2
Fuel: TNR 30% Race Bland
Radio: KO Propo EX-Next LDT w/ RSX4 servos
Body: Stock Kyosho
Paint: Andy Jacobson (Andy’s Paint)
Stickers: Mattox Design
Tires: Hot Race & JConcepts
Wheels: DE Racing
Fluids: PTRC Racing (Shock & Diff)
Gear Grease, Bearing Oil & Filter Oil: Track Star R/C
Battery: Gens Ace