The 2014 RC Pro Series was kicked off this weekend at Ultimate RC in Alvin, TX. The RC Pro has trimmed down this year considering to years past in that it is strictly a Texas series instead of a National series. RC Pro has always represented well in the state of Texas and now it will represent as our State Championship. Team Xray represented by myself Jason Branham, Cade Whitenton, Andrew Clark, Zane Dupaquier, and Spencer Harrison were in attendance. The weather started off miserable with a high of 34 degrees on Friday and icy roads from the rain during the night and morning. Practice was canceled Friday and with warmer weather expected for Saturday morning, practice was extended to help get the track back into racing condition for qualifying.
This was my first chance to get the all new XB8 out in competition and for a chance to see what all it was capable of. The track started out tacky and loamy but quickly began to dry to a hard, divot filled, rough, slick surface that was going to not only put driving to a test but the cars durability as well.
Due to the late delay on Saturday, qualifying was shortened to 2 rounds of qualifying instead of 3. In the first round I had some trouble laps that I could not recover from but still I managed a 2nd for the round. For the second round I knew that my car had good speed and if I could just have a clean run I could TQ the round. I managed to do just that and have a flawless run, I was the only buggy to clear a 13 lap run in qualifying setting me up for the top qualifying spot for the main. The track was really becoming rough by this point but my XB8 was handling the track very well, I knew if I could just run consistent and hit my lines in the main then I should be in good shape to hopefully win.
In the main I got off to a clean start with Brian Henn and team mate Cade “Young Gun” Whitenton close behind. On lap three I got it wrong coming over quad and that allowed Brian and Cade by. I trailed the two into our first pit stop when Brian flamed exiting out of pit lane. Cade then had some mistakes that left me with some breathing room and from there I would never look back. I did not have one more mistake from the first crash and I continued stretching my lead to an eventual win. Cade drove a great race too and if it had not been for a couple of disastrous laps we could have had a great battle. Team Xray would go on for the 1, 2 finish to start the year off strong.
(click to enlarge)
1. (TQ)Jason Branham – XRAY XB8
2. Cade Whitenton – XRAY XB9
3. Brian Henn
4. Jake Dellinger
5. Mike Battaile
6. Ryan Lopez
7. Robbie Darby
8. Roger Ayers
9. Ryan Mosley
10. Brian Rickard
11. Tyler Hooks 12. Andrew Clark – XRAY XB9