The OS Futaba race was held at The St. Louis Dirtburners track in St. Louis, MO. It was a great race with some good drivers and a lot of local talent. We had three qualifiers using the best two runs. Kurt Kellum and myself setup a nice pit area for the local Xray drivers and there was a good turnout.
Qualifying went ok, Ryan Lutz and I battled each qualifier but I came up a little short giving the TQ in both classes to Ryan. We were really close each run but he ended up getting 2 out of three qualifiers in each class. My cars were really good and easy to drive. I knew for the longer mains I would have a advantage because I was really consistent with no crashes. The main format is different than most at this race with two 20 minute races for each class. It is a fun format because if gives you a chance to do well if you have bad luck in one of the mains. In past years the tie breaker for the mains is the combined time but this year they changed it making the tie breaker the qualifying position. Knowing that the tie breaker was quailing position I knew I had to win both mains to get the overall win.
The first truggy main started off with Ryan first and me second. When the race started we pulled away and were bumper to bumper for the entire first pit stop. I was on a one pit stop strategy in truggy and Ryan had to pit twice. I knew this was an advantage and wanted to make sure I made it count. When Ryan came in for his first pit stop I took the lead and held it to the end. Ryan was running a fast pace but I was able to keep the lead and finish in first. My truggy was really good and easy to drive at a fast pace. The second main for truggy started pretty much the same. I was following Ryan trying to keep the pressure on and take advantage of me only having to pit one time. When Ryan pitted I took the lead and tried to keep the lead. I made a small mistake and Ryan got really close and we started to battle. I made my pit stop and gave Ryan back the lead but knew he had to make one more stop. I pushed hard and got really close to him before his pit stop but had a unfortunate crash with lap traffic that gave Ryan a 6-8 second lead after his pit stop. We had about 7 minutes left in the race and I had to make up the time to get the win. I started to catch Ryan each lap and caught him for a last two lap battle to the finish. I was unable to get around him and we finished the race 1 second apart. My truggy was fast enough to win but the one crash with lap traffic hurt my chance. Overall it was a great race and the crowd loved the battle between Lutz and myself. Ryan ended up getting the win because he was TQ.
The buggy race was also a battle for the history books. Lutz and I were really close and battled the entire first race. We both had to pit twice so we were on the same fuel strategy. We went back and forth for the entire 20 minutes and I was able to come away with the win at the end. The second main was very tough. I had a bad crash at the beginning and got behind. Lutz had a good lead and I had to put some good laps in to catch him. I was catching him a little but a couple crashes from Lutz gave me the lead and I never looked back. Lutz ended up breaking on the last couple laps and I was able to cruise to a victory.
Both cars worked great and it was a good Xray weekend. Kurt Kellum had some bad luck in buggy starts but was able to get 3rd in truggy. He drove great and was able to beat some good competition.