|Posted on April 22, 2014 at 2:45 PM|
With Easter Sunday looming the following the day, 'The Gang' traveled to Big Dog R/C with fun and competition on their mind before they settled down for the holidays to enjoy family time and good food. Joining David, Sam, and Mark who have been regulars for the spring points were Charlie Morris, Rod McMillen, and Jessie McMillen who was making her first start of the spring season.
Since his triumphant 2WD Modified A-Main victory, David Snyder has been searching to get back to the top, and unfortunately, this Satruday was no different. The competition seemed to get stronger this week and with track conditions not being ideal for our racers, David wasn't alone in his struggles. Aside from crossing the line in 1st place in his first Mod heat and a 2nd place finish in another heat, David just didn't feel like his truck had the same punch that he needed. Usually running the outside with amazing speed shooting down the straightaways, he hoped that someway, somehow, he could find that same rhythm heading into mains. With a 3rd place qualifying spot locked up from 2WD Spec, David was solidly in the A-Main. He started in 3rd at the tone and faded to a 5th place finishing position, with one of his lower lap totals since heading to the dirt track. For the 2WD Mod class, he qualified 7th, and was forced to race the B-Main from the pole, hoping for a bump up to the big race. He was able to earn the bump up after incidental contact with fellow R/OC members Charlie Morris towards the end of the race cost him his shot at 1st place. Coming across the line in 2nd was still enough to earn a shot at the A-Main. He was unable to go forward much, only besting Charlie Morris in the A-Main, finishing 7th in a field of 8. He goes back to the drawing board heading into next week in search of more speed and consistency.
Sam Snyder, fresh off of her first ever bump up of her career at the dirt track had decided to keep her gearing change made for last week in the truck, and also tried a small suspension adjustment in an attempt to get the front end to rotate better. With the previously mentioned track conditions being so tricky, it's hard to say whether or not the adjustments were able to make a difference. She qualified 9th in 2WD Sportsman and was headed for the B-Main. She fought with the track the entire race and couldn't capitalize on many opportunities, limping across the line in the 6th spot out of 6 entries. Her qualifying spot for the 2WD Spec class also ended up being 9th out of 11, so again, she was forced to battle her way into the B-Main. She had a much better race this time around, finishing with 2 more laps than the Sportsman B, and finishing 4th out of 5, but only 2 laps out of 2nd place, and earning another bump up. Knowing she was only that far away from earning an A-Main entry has to be encouraging heading into next week. Adjustments during the week to get her suspension in a more neutral postion should help her chances.
After finding speed that he essentially has never had before last week on the dirt track, Mark McMillen looked to scale things back a bit by going back to the NIMH batteries, rather than the LiPo he raced the previous week. From the sounds of his results, maybe the speed would've been needed, but with a slick track surface, it's really hard to say. He qualified 11th out of 11th in the Modified class, and finished there in the B-Main, without much improvement from the heats to the main. For 2WD Spec, Mark was able to get his first bump up of the season. Although Rod and Jessie McMillen finished higher than he did in the Spec B-Main, they refused to take the bump up, so it was awarded to Mark McMillen, the lucky dog that he is. He improved one position from his starting spot in the A, bringing home 6th place, and although his finishes didn't show it, he was generally happy with his night of racing.
An ill-handling sprint car haunted Rod McMillen all night and just when he thought the handling issues were fixed, a mechanical failure ended his night in the Sprint B-Main after only 15 laps. He continues to chip away at finding success in his slider chassis. For 2WD Spec in his Slash, he was able to enjoy some success as he captured 1st place honors in the B-Main, but refused the bump up, and kept the high spirit of winning the race, and ended the night on a good note. Rod gives his own rundown of his night on the R/OC Forums after every week of racing, feel free to check out his thoughts about his own night and hear thing in his own words. His plans for the 26th are still up in the air as of right now, but I would plan on Rod making an appearance.
Jessie McMillen may have struggled throughout the night in her first start on the dirt this spring season, but she struggled consistently through the heats. She was able to cross the line with 30 laps in both rounds, setting her sights on a B-Main against her father Rod, her uncle Mark, and her aunt Sam. In her father's words, Jessie got "up on the wheel" as she was able to capture second place and improve on her lap totals from the heats by 4, by far her best race of the night. Much like Rod, she decided to pass on the bump up, and end the night on a good note, which makes for better conversation on the ride home. It's unclear whether she will return the 26th or not.
'The Gang' driver of the week honors went to Charlie Morris last week with his 2WD Spec A-Main win with a very impressive 40 laps. This week at Big Dog R/C however, was anything but the same as the previous one. Struggling heavily with rear grip issues all night, Charlie just tried to make the best of each race without trying to do too much to overdrive the track. He qualified 6th for the 2WD Spec class, sneaking into the A-Main barely. He made the most of it and drove his way to a 3rd place finish, a strong points night for the 'Beakman'. 2WD Modified was a different story even though he was able to win the B-Main by getting by David Snyder at the end of the race, but the A-Main wasn't very kind to him. He crossed the stripe in last place for the first time in his Big Dog R/C career. He hopes to head back down this coming Saturday and improve on all of his finishes.
Although 'The Dog' seemed to bite our drivers, on a bright note, nobody has rabies, and they'll all return to race another day. The next race on the schedule for 'The Gang' is April 26th, where a small celebration for fellow gang member Jamie McMillen's birthday may be in the works. Jamie plans to make an appearance for the first time in several weeks, as well as Josh Ingersoll, Savannah Ingersoll, Kegan Mack, and Keisha Mack also look to make a return appearance to the dirt. Other possible Riverside Raceway regulars may be in attendance as invites have been extended to the very successful Garrett Allen, Kevin Allen, and Clark Thomas. Time will tell whether or not they make the trip, but regardless of who shows, we know it will be an exciting night this coming Saturday! Feel free to join us and cheer us on, spectators are free, and fans are encouraged. Check back with us often as we are always looking for new forum members to spice this website up a little bit!