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Race Report by Paul Lemieux
The USTC is the first major carpet race of the year in the US, practice for the race was on Jan 8 with qualifying on the 9th and 10th with the finals on Sunday the 11th. The race is held every year at Trackside Hobbies in Milwaukee WI. The fabulous facility is owned by none other than Scotty Ernst, so you know it was a great race. Personally I was excited with the turnout at this event, even though the race this year lacked some of the factory driver flair. Entry's were still strong with 193.

As always Team XRAY had team drivers there to help racers with our products and compete our selves. The XRAY squad was: Drew Ellis from Missouri, Kevin Bottoms (IL), Eric Snowy (WI), Colton Jaynes (AR), and of course myself.

This year the race was cut down, Scotty decided to cut a day out of practice, so Thursday was the only day of running before qualifying. I think this is a sign of the times and allowed more racers to afford to come and race, so this was great. Thursday was good for me as my T2'009's were both running really good and were setting the pace. The rest of the team was also getting their cars dialed in. Other really fast drivers early on in practice included Josh Hohnstein, Corey Whitemann and Martin Crisp in the 13.5 rubber and 10.5 rubber class and Josh Cyrul in the World Gt class.

For me qualifying started off really good. In the first round I put in near flawless runs in both the 10.5 rubber class and the mod foam class with my T2'009's. Drew Ellis struggled a bit at the beginning but was improving every time he put his car down. After the first day I was TQ in my two classes by a comfortable margin and Drew was second in 13.5 foam.

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The two biggest classes at this event were 13.5 rubber and 10.5 rubber. On day 2 of qualifying not much changed for me as I was unable to improve on my first round times in either class but those runs were good enough to safely secure the TQ in their classes.

In the 13.5 foam class Drew was fastly improving, he ended up second qualifier. The 13.5 rubber class was very competitive, Drew got really fast in that class also but it was too little too late as he missed the final, but his showing was still good considering that he has never run rubber on carpet before this event.

There were some other super competitive classes at this year’s event, one being the Trans Am class, in this class there were so many drivers which were nearly equal speed, and the World GT class was also a nice sized class at this race with many people traveling from out of town to run it. Here is a list of the top qualifiers in all classes. Congratulations to all of the A-main drivers.

Sportsman Sedan: Jacob Blundon
World GT: Josh Cyrul
Masters BrushlessTC: Rich Murphy
17.5 rubber: Jim Piersol XRAY T2’009
13.5 sedan foam: Goop
Trans AM: John Ermer
13.5 Rubber: Josh Hohnstein

And myself in the Mod Foam and 10.5 rubber Classes.

The finals were in Tripple A-Main Format, this set me up for a very busy day, I was in two A-finals so this meant that I was to race 6 times over a period of a few hours.

13.5 foam
A1: the tone went off with Goop getting around the first corner and Drew Ellis in close pursuit. What happened after that was controversial depending on how you saw it, but it was Drew who took over the lead on the first lap as Goop dropped way back after an altercation with Drew. After that it was smooth sailing for Drew as he cruised to a A1 victory over Bob Stellflue, Goop was able to return to 5th but this was definitely his throw out.

A2: A2 saw a flawless start with Goop out front and Drew in toe, the two of them freight trained for the first few laps as they pulled away from the field, in this race you could tell that Drews car was really handling well. After a few laps Goop made a small mistake, Drew was able to get by and never looked back, the final order in A2 was Drew followed by Goop with Bob Stellflue in the 3 spot. This locked up the Championship for Drew.

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Final Results:

1. Drew Ellis XRAY T2'009
2. Goop
3. Bob Stellflue
4. Chris Lockhart XRAY T2'009
5. Mark Day
6. Wille Thomas XRAY T2'009
7. Dan Olivarez XRAY T2'009
8. Bill Eisenhard XRAY T2'009

9. Odus Christian
10. Dave Bertetto XRAY T2'009
11. Kevin Bottoms XRAY T2'009

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10.5 Rubber and Mod Foam: In 10.5 Rubber I started on the pole with Kevin Hebert in second and Josh Hohnstien starting in the third spot. In mod Foam it was again Kevin Hebert starting second with me on the pole, but in Foam it was Josh Cyrul starting third. In both classes and both finals Kevin had good starts and ran the first lap right behind me but it seemed as though I started pulling away at the end of lap 1. In both classes I was able to pull away and take home comfortable wins in the first two finals with my T2'009’s, thus securing the 10.5 and modified championship’s. The end result in mod foam was My-self followed by Kevin Hebert and Josh Curyl rounding out the top three. In the 10.5 rubber class it was again Kevin Hebert finishing second but with a different Josh this time (Josh Hohnstein).

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10.5 Rubber Final Results:

1. Paul Lemieux XRAY T2'009
2. Kevin Herbert
3. Josh Hohnstein
4. Josh Cyrul
5. Steve Bortolotti
6. Martin Crisp
7. Dave Ehrlich
8. Corey Whiteman
9. Stephen Sobottka XRAY T2'009
10. Brian Lutz

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Mod Foam Final Results:

1. Paul Lemieux XRAY T2'009
2. Kevin Herbert
3. Josh Cyrul
4. Dave Ehrlich
5. Artur Curyllo
6. Bill Eisenhard XRAY T2'009

17.5 Brushless Rubber Final Results:

1. Jim Piersol XRAY T2'009
2. Dustin Layne
3. Jamie Tennies XRAY T2'009
4. Jeremy Albrecht
5. Kraig O'Brien XRAY T2'009
6. Matt Miller
7. John Ermer
8. Matt DelGuidice

10. Jim Newberg

All in all the event this year was a great one, there were a ton of exciting races that I unfortunately missed, The whole XRAY team did great and I know that I got a chance to reach out to countless racers and help them. I’d like to thank everyone who made it out to the race this year and also to all of the locals who made this race possible, starting with Scotty Ernst, Kenny Dibb, Buck, Showtime, Mike Coppinger, Erin Smiley, and anyone that I forgot that pitched in.

Thanks for Reading, I hope to see you at the next race:: (Snowbirds)..

Photos by Jeff Ernst of Boomerzworld.com

Paul Lemieux Mod Foam Set-up sheet.

Paul Lemieux 10.5 Rubber Set-up sheet.

Andrew Ellis 13.5 Foam Set-up sheet