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Race Report by Drew Ellis
The ROAR Carpet Nationals were held in Strongsville Ohio this year at the Gate.The XRAY/RCAmerica team attended it with drivers Paul 'Lightsout" Lemeiux, Ralph "WG" Burch, Drew Ellis, Robbie Dodge, Jim Herrmann and Eric Anderson.

This year was going to be a little different because we only had one day of practice. With a total of three runs on the track. So the first day was very important that we did what we needed to do. Rocket rounds made it a little less stressful.

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Practice begun at 7:00am with open practice then went to controlled in your heat. The team was looking good in all the classes. This was our first race with the X10 and XII. With Ralph running both cars . Paul running 1/12 and touring. Eric running all three and I also doing the same. We were getting things worked out. So at the end of the day we were on pace and happy with our cars.

The first day of qualifying started at 7:00am with open practice for an hour and then a drivers meeting. The first round kicked off at 9:30am. In stock touring Eric ended up with a top five car at the end of day one. In superstock touring it was Robbie Dodge who had grabbed an early TQ and Jim and I were in the top ten. In 1/12 stock Eric and I put in top ten runs also this class was very close. World GT seemed to be the Josh Cyrul show. Ralph's car was really good he just needed a break in his heat. Ralph and Eric put runs in to put them in the top ten. At the end of the day they did a resort the only one they would do the entire event. We were all in the top tens in our classes so that meant super fast runs the next day.

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Mod TC: in practice there were no huge surprises, Kevin Hebert was up to speed early with Cyrul and Lemieux also fast. In qualifier no.1 it was Lemieux who came out swinging with his T2'009. Paul‘s first round TQ would be good for TQ even at the end of qualifying. Second on the grid for the final was Kevin Hebert with Josh Cyrul in third.

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12th scale modified: this was the first race where Team XRAY raced the XII. Ralph Burch and Paul Lemieux ran the car. Early in qualifying it was apparent that Paul had a good chance and seemed really happy with his results early on in practice and qualifying and said that he was learning every time he put the car down. Ralph was struggling a bit but he got no practice before the event at all so he was mainly getting used to driving 12th scale again. It was an amazing final qualifier between all of the top 5 drivers, it seemed as though we all had a chance at it at one time, when qualifying ended it was Josh Cyrul who took the TQ from Mike Blackstock (2nd) in the final round, Mike Dumas ended up third on the grid with Paul Ciccerello in forth and Paul Lemieux qualifying fifth, the amazing thing is that Paul in 5th only missed TQ by 2 seconds, so needless to say Paul was really getting it figured out, and the field was really tight.

Here is how it sorted out after qualifying.

Stock TC
1.Mike McBride
2.Eric Anderson XRAY T2'009
3.Eli Ezrow
4.Brain Lutz
5.Sal Amato
6.Ulice Norton JR
7.Joel Vautour
8.Shawn Colarusso
9.Greg Dobrosky
10.Ken Miller XRAY T2'009

Super Stock TC
1.Drew Ellis (TQ) XRAY T2'009
2.Robbie Dodge XRAY T2'009

3.Mike Haynes
4.Keven Hebert
5.Brain Jucha
6.Mike McBride
7.Lawrence Fairtrace
8.Jim Herrmann XRAY T2'009
9.Jeff Dayger
10.Dave Johnson

Super Stock Rubber Tire
1.Mike Haynes
2.Martin Crisp
3.EJ Evans
4.Robbie Dodge XRAY T2'009
5.Josh Hohnstein
6.Craig Xavier
7.Brain Lutz
8.Billy Spence XRAY T2'009
9.Steve Bortolotti
10.Lawrence Fairtrace

1/12 Stock
1.Tom Firshing
2.Max Kuenning
3.Dave Johnson
4.Brad Johnson
5.Eli Ezrow
6.Eric Anderson XRAY XII
7.Tyler Gerber
8.Joe Trandell
9.Chuck Lonergon
10.Drew Ellis XRAY XII

1/12 Mod
1.Josh Cyrul
2.Mike Blackstock
3.Mike Dumas
4.Paul Ciccarello
5.Paul Lemieux XRAY XII
6.Keven Hebert
7.Ray Darroch
8.Chris Mockerman
9.Donny Lia
10.DJ Apolaro

Super Stock WGT
1.Josh Cyrul
2.Mike Blackstock
3.Ralph Burch XRAY X10
4.Brain Wynn
5.Eric Anderson XRAY X10
6.Mike Dumas
7.Tom Firshing
8.Frank Calandra
9.Donny Lia
10.Stephen Boice

Touring Mod
1.Paul Lemieux (TQ) XRAY T2'009

2.Keven Hebert
3.Josh Cyrul

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The mains would be triple A's.. The first one up was Touring Stock and Eric would start 2nd on the grid...This one was a close race the entire 6 minutes with Mike McBride taken the win. The 2nd one was also a great race. Eli Ezrow won that one. The last one was the best because the top three could all win the overall title. Eric won the last one so there was a three way tie.

The next A's were Superstock Touring. I was TQ in this class. The horn went off and it was a great start about half way though the first lap my car got up on two wheels and before my car settled Robbie got in to me. It was all my fault running to hard on the first lap. Robbie ended up winning with me in fourth. The second one the horn sounded and it was a great start again I took it easy on the first lap and the car was fine. Robbie and I freight trained for about half the race and then I pulled away. With me winning and Robbie taken second. The last main it was between me and Robbie. The horn went off and I was gone . Robbie got bumped around a little bit so I was able to pull a big lead. The race ended with me in first and Robbie in second.

The next one was 1/12 Stock. Eric and I would start towards the back of the pack so being patient would be the key. We just couldn't get into the flow, our cars were good.

The next one was WGT. Ralph was third on the grid with Eric sitting fifth. This race was a good one, it was pretty much the Josh and Mike show. Ralph's car took a few laps to get going. Once it did, he ran some really fast laps and look really good. Eric's car was good also and we were really happy with the first time out with the car.

The next one up was Superstock Rrubber Tire Class. Robbie's car was really good.This was going to be a close race. Robbie ended up third, overall a great week for Robbie. Congrats!

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Final:

Touring Car Mod
At the sound of the horn Paul took off, not far behind on the first lap was Keven Hebert, Paul bobbled a bit on the first lap and this caused Keven to check up and subsequently roll his car, Paul maintained his position. After this it was Cyrul In persuit with Hebert in third. From there it was all Paul as he pulled away to a comfortable lead and in the end the championship. Kevin and Josh had a good battle for the 2 spot with Keven winning out in the end to take the 2nd spot with Josh in third.

1/12 Mod
In A1 it was the Josh Cyrul show, Josh took off and never looked back at all, he won A1 with Mike in second, Ciccarello in third and Lemieux in fourth.

In A2 Josh took off but after a his mistake Blackstock took the lead. After this it was all a blur, Lemieux lead for about 5 feet before getting shuffled way back, Josh broke, Dumas lead. After that it was a great battle between Dumas and Blackstock for the win. Blackstock just edged Dumas out on the last lap by 1-tenth of a second. This set up a great A3 because their were three drivers with legitimate chances to win.

In A3 Josh took off again with the intent of doing what he did in A1, but this time Blackstock was not letting it happen, at about the 2min mark Paul worked his way in to the third spot past Dumas. His car was really good in A3. He started to put in some really fast laps to try and catch the front runners. Mike was not letting Josh get away this time and they were pacing each other. Meanwhile I was able to turn the fastest laps of the weekend but just as I came close to catching them I Crashed hard and hurt the car. From there Josh encountered traffic on the main straight and got tangled up, this gave the lead to Blackstock and he took it home with Josh not far behind at all. And that crowned Mike Blackstock the champion with Cyrul second, Ciccarello third, Hebert running consistent in all three legs getting fourth and Lemieux in 5th.

Here is the finishing order from the mains......

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Stock TC
1.Eli Ezrow
2.Mike Mcbride
3.Eric Anderson XRAY T2'009
4.Brain Lutz
5.Sal Amato
6.Shawn Colarusso
7.Joel Vantour
8.Ulice Norton JR.
9.Greg Dobrosky
10.Ken Miller XRAY T2'009

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Superstock TC
1.Drew Ellis XRAY T2'009
2.Robbie Dodge XRAY T2'009

3.Keven Hebert
4.Dave Johnson
5.Lawrence Fairtrace
6.Mike Haynes
7.Jim Herrmann XRAY T2'009
8.Jeff Dayger
9.Mike McBride
10.Brain Jucha

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Superstock Rubber TC
1.Mike Haynes
2.EJ Evans
3.Robbie Dodge XRAY T2'009
4.Martin Crisp
5.Brain Lutz
6.Josh Hohnstein
7.Craig Xavier
8.Steve Bortolotti
9.Lawrence Fairtrace
10.Billy Spence XRAY T2'009

1/12 Stock
1.Max Kuenning
2.Tom Firshing
3.Brad Johnson
4.Dave Johnson
5.Chuck Lonergon
6.Eli Ezrow
7.Eric Anderson XRAY XII
8.Joe Trandell
9.Drew Ellis XRAY XII
10.Tyler Gerber

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1/12 Mod
1.Mike Blackstock
2.Josh Cyrul
3.Paul Ciccarello
4.Keven Hebert
5.Paul Lemieux XRAY XII
6. Mike Dumas
7.Chris Mockerman
8.DJ Apolaro
9.Donny Lia
10.Ray Darroch

Superstock WGT
1.Josh Cyrul
2.Mike Blackstock
3.Mike Dumas
4.Brain Wynn
5.Frank Calandra
6.Ralph Burch XRAY X10
7.Tom Firshing
8.Donny Lia
9.Eric Anderson XRAY X10
10.Stephen Boice

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Mod TC
1.Paul Lemieux XRAY T2'009

2.Keven Hebert
3.Josh Cyrul

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Final thought
Talking with Paul about the XII, he seemed really excited about the next race. He said the set-ups are only going to get better and I believe he is right. See ya at the next one...
I would like to thank XRAY, HUDY and RCAmerica for the support. The Gate crew and the RMT did a great job. Thanks to all the team guys for their hard work at making this a great event for XRAY.