A Bitter Sweet Week..
Well, another epic Nitro Challenge is in the books. The sub-title is “bitter sweet” because although Cody didn’t win this year, our transition to the new Reds engines is certainly complete. The Sweet: we can’t say enough good things about the engines, as they ran flawlessly the entire time without so much as a hiccup all the way through qualifying and both grueling long finals. They only got better as the week progressed. Cody’s engines provided some ridiculous horsepower and smooth power delivery. If you watched the buggy final, you can see that Cody was able to clear the large gap jump when some of his rivals could not. This was a really great feeling to have “power to spare” so to speak. The Bitter: we have been waiting since 2005 to win DNC at the pro level, and although we felt good going into this one, it’s not going to be this year. It was however a heck of a race, one for the books.
We have to say congratulations to the winners, Ty Tessman in Truggy, and Ryan Maifield in buggy. Both well deserved. We have to thank Joe Pillars, the Kyosho America Team Manager. He was hustling around the entire time making sure the Red Army was well settled. Also, all the Kyosho team members for their great support. We have a terrific group of guys, and it makes competing at these races more fun when you have a bunch of great guys around. In addition, ALL Cody’s sponsors, Team Kyosho, Reds Racing, Proline, Byron Fuels, A Main Hobbies, Protek RC, KO Propo, Stickit1, Lunsford, and DeBrino Designs Paint. All these guys contributed something to Cody’s program and he couldn’t have done it without them.
The start to the week was crazy with the weather. The track got soaked by rain, but it absorbed all of it Tuesday. Joey’s track building acumen was sharp, as he didn’t water or pack the track much, and it soaked all the water up like a big sponge. The track had taken all it could handle before practice started on Wednesday; the only problem, mother nature would dump a lot more on Wednesday afternoon. Following Truggy practice, there was more rain with hail and snow on top. The last heavy hail storm absolutely hammered the track, and that was it for practice. Buggy racing would go with no practice at all, straight into qualifying.
Qualifying was probably typical for Cody, slow start and building up to the final. Oddly he had 4 points in both buggy and truggy the last round which shows a typical Cody pattern.. He won all 3 of his truggy heats even with the wing broken off in his first heat. He was flying in truggy, and we felt like he had a chance to TQ every round he was on the track, so qualifying 8th on the grid was a bit disappointing. Getting into the main was nice, but with the pace he had, it was certainly possible to collect some zeros if everything went well. Some of the qualifying problems were with traffic. He was on a TQ pace and got cleaned out one round, as well as getting jammed up several times on the other runs. We would like to see seeding for the qualifiers at this race, or at least a re-sort. The speed differential between some of the drivers is just too much, and it’s really difficult to avoid traffic all the way through qualifying. This year in particular because the lanes were narrow. Buggy was a slower start but very promising to get 4 points in round 3. Also, Cody looked really good in buggy warm-up, so it was encouraging.
In the truggy class, Cody was on pace, but maybe a conservative pit schedule and battling from behind took it’s toll. We may have been able to do 9 minute fuel stops, but weren’t willing to push the fuel mileage since we weren’t used to the new engines and running them a bit rich. That was my call, and the drivers were punched out of their minds in truggy, so I decided to stop early. In the buggy 9 minutes was no problem. Cody got shuffled back several spots early in the Truggy main, but battled his way back to 4th. Toward the end of the race Cody surrendered a few more spots and wound up 7th.
In the buggy class, Cody made a similar charge forward into 3rd, but after a few crashes a steering link screw came apart. We are still scratching our heads about this, because these things are drenched in red Loctite when we assemble the car. This was the gel type Loctite, and I think we will go back to liquid loctite for good now. This happened on lap 25 with a 184 second lap. We were able to put in the screw and continue, but unfortunately dropped nearly 4 laps in the process. Even driving from the back, Cody gained a few more positions as other drivers had problems and ended up 11th.
This race is always difficult, and the elements made sure of that this year. We went from flooded wet track to hard rough concrete in just a couple days which drastically changed the set-up. Some words from Cody:
“The race weekend all around was a little too average for me. I was pumped to get here, and felt like I had the pace, but the result didn’t come this time. I did get a 4 in each of the last two rounds of qualifying. This felt good getting better pace as the finals got closer. I was running 3rd for a while in the buggy final, but had an issue with the steering and would finish 11th. We were battling for top 3 in truggy as well, but could only manage 7th at the end. Our stuff was good all week. Engines, fuel, tires, car, radio all perfect. For the main we used Proline M3 Blockade in both classes, which clearly had the pace to win. Also, I used the new Byron Worlds Blend fuel, which I think people will enjoy. It has a little more power and smoother as well. Thanks to everyone who has helped out. Big thanks to Fear Farm, The Dirt Crew, Joey and Aaron, as well as Kenny in the tower. Great job to everyone.”
That’s about it from codykingrc.com. Enjoy the pictures as well as video of both mains and an interview from RC Car Action at the bottom:
Car Action Interview: