|Posted on May 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM|
Due to computer difficulties, the race recap for May 17th had to be delayed. I apologize for any inconvenience.
While some R/OC racers knew it was "go time" heading into the event on May 17th, there were still others who just had fun on their mind. Knowing you don't have to worry about points is an advantage for part-time racers when they attempt to tame Big Dog R/C, because whatever happens, happens, and in the end, you have nothing to lose. However, for our points racing members, having nothing to lose is far from being the case each and every week.
With a few weeks under his belt in the new brushless VXL Edition Slash, David Snyder was focused and determind to finally put that speed and money to the track, and achieve results that would reflect the strides of improvement that he's made as a driver in the 2WD Modified class. With his 2WD Spec truck, his second week on a new motor would be a boost of confidence, knowing that he's running a truck capable of winning a Modified A-Main in the Spec division. With his Mod truck, his struggles started right off the bat, as he was only able to qualify 5th out of 5 trucks through the heats. Although he was guaranteed an A-Main berth, starting at the tail of the field was not what he had in mind. He was able to improve on his starting spot and had his best race of the night as far as laps go, even though he was only 4th at the buzzer. With the eventual winner running a brushless late model and 2nd place finisher and fellow R/OC racer Jamie McMillen not running for points, David was still awarded 2nd place points for the night. Regardless of the finish, it was a solid points night for his Modified campaign. In his 2WD Spec truck, it was more of the same, as he again struggled throughout both rounds of heats, and qualified 14th out of 14, placing him on the back row for the B-Main. Marred in a race with several other members of R/OC racing, the race was anything but pretty, as wreck after wreck haunted each and every entered racer. Throughout all the wreckage, David still managed to muster up a 2nd place finish, and with the winner refusing the bump up to the A, David gladly took the spot at the tail of the A-Main grid. He was unable to improve on his starting spot and had one of his worst races in recent memory, finishing 8th out of 8, and ending his Spec night on a bad note. With one week left of points, he hopes his frustrations can be a thing of the past this Saturday.
The goal of staying lower in the turns and running faster lap times was on Sam Snyder's mind heading into both classes on Saturday night. Knowing what line she needs to run to be faster and being able to run there are two different animals, but Sam showed us all that when her truck is handling, she can run wherever she needs to. If she can get her truck to turn more consistently and run the fast line more often, her finishes will soon involved bragging rights. In her 2WD Spec truck, she ended up 12th out of 14 for the qualifying grid, starting her on the inside of the third row. With the amount of wrecks and contact between drivers, it was hard for Sam to get into any kind of rhythm or find any open track. It only took 10 laps for her truck to find itself broken and forced her to retire early, finishing 6th out of 7. With the help of R/OC's Charlie Morris and Rod McMillen, she was able to make it back out for the start of her Sportsman B-Main, where she was starting on the pole after missing the A-Main by a single lap in the heat races. After losing the lead fairly early in the race, she setlled into 2nd place, and proceeded to run there for most of the race. With around a minute left on the clock, misfortune struck, as she was bullied by the same truck several laps in a row, eliminating her chances, and shattering her hopes of a possible B-Main win or at the very least, an A-Main transfer spot. After the final buzzer, she crossed the line in 4th place, only 2 laps behind the winner. Running near the front for the majority of the race and only missing the A-Main by a few seconds, the overall driver performance for Sam was good, and we hope it was a shot in the arm for confidence. She hopes to finish the deal this Saturday and earn her very first A-Main start throughout the heats. If she can get a little luck to swing her way, we may be talking about a winner next week.
Taking the guaranteed top five start and finish in the 2WD Mod class, Mark McMillen decided to once again run two classes, knowing that he had a pit crew to help him out with all of the extra R/OC racers in the house. After having a very solid truck throughout the entire night, Mark was disappointed to know he missed the A-Main for 2WD Spec by less than a lap, being beat out by his son, Jamie McMillen for the 7th and final A-Main spot. Although disappointed, he had confidence knowing that his truck was good enough to win the B-Main, and he set his sights on doing that from the pole position. He got off to a great start early on, leading for much of the race before contact with Savannah Ingersoll cost Mark the lead. He was able to battle back and stay on the lead lap, but just couldn't close the deal, finishing 3rd, and missing the transfer. For 2WD Mod, he had several good moments in both heat races running with David, Charlie, and Jamie competitively all night long. He wasn't able to hang with the top 3 when it came time for the A-Main and battled David for the 4th and 5th spots, eventually falling to last place, which was 5th on the night, and finishing there. Again, due to the top 2 finishers not being elgibile for points, Mark took home 3rd place points to ease his frustrations of a last place run. It is unclear whether or not he will return to Big Dog R/C with two classes on his schedule, but he will for sure be there to run 2WD Spec, hoping to re-live the glory he had in that class several weeks ago.
The ability to get the first lap of the race in cleanly really hindered Jamie McMillen's night throughout all four of his heat races, in both 2WD Spec and 2WD Mod. He had a very fast, great handling truck, but he consistently struggled to get through the first 10 seconds of the race without issues. With lap times comparable to the heat winners, he wasn't worried about his chances heading into the mains, where he was able to qualify for the A-Main in both classes. Even though he barely made it into the 2WD Spec A-Main, starting 7th out of 8, he got off to a good start for the first time all night, and quickly set sail in hopes for an A-Main victory. Early on he ran in the 3rd position behind Charlie Morris before Charlie had trouble and Jamie immediately took over the 2nd spot. He was able to swap the lead several times within the last 30-40 seconds of the race, but with lapped traffic hindering his groove, he had to settle for a 2nd place finish, improving on his starting position by a 'Gang' high 5 positions. For his Modified A-Main, it was more of the same, as he ran 2nd for most of the race, but was simply out-classed by a brushless late model, and settled for another 2nd place finish. He was able to set a personal best of 40 laps during the race and only finishe 1 lap behind the leader, which wasn't bad considering the difference in vehicles. It is unknown when Jamie will make another start at Big Dog R/C with several things flooding his schedule over the next few months.
The driver of the night may have been Charlie Morris if his mains were going to go anything like his heats did, specifically in the 2WD Spec class. He paced the field and easily won both heat races, and set top qualifier for the A-Main. Looking to complete a clean sweep of the class, he started from the pole, but didn't stay there long. Some close, fun racing with Jamie McMillen was unfortunately the highlight of the race, after he was contacted by a lapped truck, and couldn't gather it back up from there. Falling 3 spots back from his pole position start, he finished a very disappointing 4th place, after having such high hopes heading into the race. Deflated and completely let down from the Spec race, he entered the Mod race in the 2nd place starting position. Although his attitude didn't show it, he had hopes of making up for his struggles in the previous class, and badly wanted an A-Main win before the night was over. Unfortunately for Charlie, that wasn't the case. He had a rough start to the race and it took him the majority of the race to get back to the top, as he climbed his way back up to 3rd place, on the same lap as 2nd place, and only one lap off the pace of the insanely fast late model. With hopes of the 2WD Spec points championship, Charlie needs a top 3 finish in the A-Main this Saturday to really cement his shot at bringing home a 1st place trophy.
After part failures really brought Rod McMillen's spirits down the previous week, he was hoping that his birthday would treat him differently with his Open Sprint car and 2WD Spec truck. With only 7 sprint car entries, Rod was guaranteed an A-Main birth, and used his heats as tuning sessions to prepare for the big race. He knew he had a solid car going into the main, even after starting the race as the bottom qualifer in 7th place. Proving he could handle the car as good as the rest of the field, he soon found himself in the top 5, fighting for a spot in the top 3. Once he broke into the top 3, he was able to finish there, only 2 laps out of the lead. It was one of Rod's best runs in the sprint car in recent memory. With contact filled heats throughout the night, Rod never really got his 2WD Spec truck into clear space, and he was unsure just how good it was going to be going into the B-Main, where he was forced to start after only qualifying 10th out of 14. His fun in the B-Main was very short lived as he again suffered another part failure, this time on lap 2, and his night ended early. It's too bad that his birthday couldn't be more kind to him in both classes, but he will happily take the strong run in the sprint car with a smile.
A disappointing round of heats for Jessie McMillen was only able to earn her a spot in the 2WD Spec truck B-Main, but knowing Jessie, she wasn't too worried about it. She knows she can do better and qualifying 13th out of 14 simply wasn't a concern. Once it became time for the B-Main, she started on the inside of the last row, and didn't stay there long. She raced competitively the entire race, earning herself a 4th place finish, only 2 laps off of the winner's pace. Another decent run for Jessie and when she returns to Big Dog R/C, you can expect more of the same.
Josh Ingersoll's night was more than entertaining, as his wife purchased a 4WD off-road buggy at the track, and Josh was the hired gun to pilot it the first time it would see the track. On top of that, he was entered in the 4WD Sportsman Oval class, and the 2WD Spec class. Constantly busy running three classes, he was all over the place in the pit area, tinkering with one thing or another the whole night. Once he was on the track, he was calm again, and back to his normal smooth driving ways. He qualified 3rd for the Sportsman 4WD Oval class and probably should've been the winner of the A-Main but contact with another driver cost him the 1st place spot, forcing him to settle for 2nd, 1 lap behind the leader. For the 2WD Spec class, he qualified 4th, and started in that same position for the A-Main. He liked his chances going into the race, after hanging with the faster trucks in the class throughout the night. He couldn't catch a break en route to a 6th place finish. For his first time in the 4WD buggy in the Sportsman Off-Road class, he faired pretty well until a catastrophic break in the front end took him out of the lead, and cost him his chances at an A-Main victory. The well-rounded, multi-class driver will return to the dirt track this summer, but it is unclear on what dates he will be attending.
Fresh off of a very impressive Sprint car run last week, Savannah Ingersoll was hoping for more of the same this week. However, she was unable to make strides forward as far as finishing position goes. She still didn't have a bad night overall though, qualifying 6th out of 7, and running in the top 4 for most of the A-Main, at times poking her nose into the top 3 as well. She was unable to hang onto the 3rd spot, as she was edged out by Rod McMillen later in the race, and she crossed the line in the 4th position. She also entered the 2WD Spec truck class, with a very fast truck, hoping she could sneak into the A-Main, and possibly make some noise. She qualified 9th out of 14 and was unable to transfer into the A through the heats, but was hoping for a little luck to swing her way when it became time for the B-Main. Although she only finished 2 laps out of the lead, she ended up in the 5th position with one of her worst lap totals since she started racing on the dirt. She too will make a return to the dirt, but just like Josh, the dates are undecided at this point.
Keisha Mack, a previous 2WD Sportsman B-Main winner, was also in the house with her pink bodied Slash on Saturday. After qualifying 9th out of the heats, she was forced back into the B-Main again, and hoped she could pick up a win that she knows she's capable of. She was well on her way to possibly her second B-Main victory, leading most of the race for the first three minutes. However, much like Sam Snyder, Keisha experienced some unfortunate circumstances with other drivers in the last portion of the race, but was still able to gather it together, and finish in the 2nd spot, taking the bump up to the A-Main. Her finish in the A-Main was unavailable at the time of the recap, so it is unclear how her night ended up. She will return to the dirt track when Josh and Savannah do as well.
Kegan, Keisha's brother, was at the track with a newly purchased off-road buggy, as well as his 2WD Spec truck. His night in the buggy, Sportsman Off-Road, was eventful, but somewhat of a struggle through the heats, qualifying tail of the field in the 7th spot. He was able to make strides of improvement in the A-Main however, moving up to finish 4th place, despite being part of the contact that ended Josh Ingersoll's night earlier in the race. With everyone else bashing each other and struggling mightily in the 2WD Spec B-Main, which he was placed in after qualifying 11th out fof 14, Kegan was able to take advantage of the opportunity, as he cruised to a B-Main victory, and called it a night, denying the bump up to the A. He looks to continue to build off of his success the next time he makes the trip to Stoneboro, Pennsylvania.
Stop in at R/OC Racing's website next week to find out how our points racers round out the season in their finals points race. Hopefully we have a lot of success to recap after this weekend as we wish our drivers, as always, the best of luck!