(For more from the 2012 Silver State Nitro Challenge, click here.)
Just after attending the Neo12 race in the UK, it was time to get to wrenching for the 15th Annual Silver State Nitro Challenge! Wow 15 years, that’s hard to believe. I remember the first Silver State event at the Motocross park in Las Vegas; what stood out at that event was that Mark Pavidis failed to finish every qualifier and although he had to bump from the very lowest main he went on to win the event. The 2nd annual Silver State moved to the “Junk Yard,” where it stayed for many years to come, which was actually a nice facility located next to a Volkswagen junk yard. I can’t remember exactly how many years were at the Junk Yard, but it was moved to a much larger track at the Silver Bowl Park located across the street from Sam Boyd Stadium. That’s the track where I won my very first Silver State, in 2004. The event was held at the park for a few years and later moved to the current Boulder City track (two years ago it went back to the Silver Bowl Park and back to Boulder City). The Boulder City track has been by far the most mentally, physically, and challenging conditions we see each year. Normally you have to deal with extreme wind, cold, dust, sometimes snow and rain, and not to mention the track which in the past got extremely bumpy! But I’m down for that challenge, dealing with that makes you better. At this year’s Silver State, things were very different from past races at Boulder City. The weather was great (little warm at times) and track conditions held up extremely well. The only inconsistency was the whoop section that consisted of 7 good size whoops in which the rhythm changed nearly every round, but it actually got easier as the race went on. Early in the event the line I liked was to triple in and maybe try to squeeze in another double, but most of the time it was triple in and hold on while singling the remaining whoops. As the rounds went on the gap between the whoops got larger and became easier to either double-double-triple or double-triple-double the section.
This year’s A Main Hobbies team had six drivers on hand: Dylan Rodriquez, Barry Baker, Curtis Door, Marty Korn, Kendall Bennett and myself. Dylan and Barry got off to a great start, both setting times in the top ten in the Pro Buggy Class. Barry dominated the 40 and over class against some very fast drivers. Curtis Door ran extremely fast as well, but had run time issues nearly every run. I was my usual self in qualifying, being too conservative and trying to be too consistent instead of pushing my car to go fast. Marty Korn welcomed their first addition to their family, baby Stella, just one month ago, so he hasn’t had time at the track he would of liked before the event. However Marty is itching to get back up to speed in preparation for the Nats and Worlds later this year. I qualified sixth in the B main, got a decent start, found some good lines around the track (which was starting to get a little bumpy), and minimized my mistakes in the 20 minute B main. I finished the B in 2nd place and got a spot for the 45 minute Pro Buggy main. I got a great start in the main, just behind the main battle for the lead. I swapped positions with Cavaleri early on (who went on to win the event), but one thing that I have to fix is my left hand from falling asleep and cramping on me (this has been an issue for the past ten years) it usually occurs around the 15 minute mark of a race and then I can’t feel my left hand. Later in the race I found myself racing for 5th-7th with Adam Drake and Cody King, who finished just ahead of me in the 5th and 6th spots. I was really happy with my equipment: Mugen MBX6R US Spec, Werks B2 engine and fuel, Pro-Line tires, and ProTek R/C accessories. I’m not sure exactly what the next major event is, but I have some new ProTek R/C equipment to be testing at club races as well as hitting up a few JBRL races. I would like to thank all my A Main Hobbies teammates, all of who gel together to share info and all that good stuff, Aaron “Corner Sniper” Waldron, Dave “Double D Dog” Door, Kendall “Big Boss Man” Bennett for all the pit help during the race, the employees at A Main Hobbies, and especially the customers of A Main Hobbies.com for making this all possible.
See ya at the track,