ROAR Fuel On-Road Nationals June 8-14, 2010
Lincoln, Nebraska U.S.A.
What a week! This year’s ROAR National Championship was definitely one of a kind. Let’s see…… first major race with our Serpent cars. First time at the Lincoln track. First time I ever raced both 1/8 and 1/10 at the same race. Only the second time I’d driven the 966. Crazy weather patterns that had us at the track for roughly 14 hours each day! It was for sure a very draining event for Rich Browne, Jim Adkins, Rick Davis, and me…but, in the end, we learned a lot, had a great time with friends old and new, and finished the weekend with some very good results!
Before we even arrived in Lincoln, we knew it was going to be a busy week for all of us. Jim had spent countless hours preparing three cars, Rick was busy designing and making new parts for our Serpent 966 and 733, and we all were trying to strategize the best approach to the race.
When we finally got on the track, we realized we were in for more than we bargained for! The Lincoln track is much smaller than most of the tracks we run on (fast lap times in the mid 13 second range) and the traction was in the “medium” range. After the first practice day was complete, my 733 was just not bad, but my 966 was in need of help. We were obviously off on the setup, and running a good 3-4 tenths per lap slower than the fast group….. not good! A pure stroke of luck hit us the following morning. Rick went out to run some practice and thought his car was feeling racy. When Rick and Rich returned to the pits, Rich said, “you need to drive Rick’s car”. Hey, if you stick a transmitter in front of me, I’m gonna go drive the car…..and in this case, I was willing to try anything to improve the way my car was feeling. BAM! Just like that, Rick’s car felt great! In a matter of five laps I was turning 13.6 when my best lap with my car had been 14.0……awesome! We immediately put his setup on my car, and from that point on we were in the game.
After all the qualifying was complete, I was 4th in 1/8 and 5th in 1/10. I would be directly through in 1/8, but have to run a semi in 1/10. Rick did an outstanding job with his 966, taking the TQ in Masters! Unfortunately, Jim had a rough time in qualifying and ended up 33rd…..but he had no idea just what lie ahead for him! Jim had a great run through the mains, bumping his way up through three races to find himself starting directly behind me in 5th spot on the grid for the Final….Nice!!! I also had good fortune in the 1/10 semi, finishing second to move up to 7th starting spot on the Final grid.
Well now that we had all made our way into every Final, the real work would begin. 1/10 was up first, and even though we had a few issues in that race, the car stayed solid and we came home with a 4th place finish. Next up was our resident TQ, Rick, who drove a great race to take the big win with a three lap margin in Masters! Lastly, the 1/8 Final…. The race had been shortened from an hour down to 45 minutes due to weather delays, and this would for sure play a factor in race strategy. I opted to change tires once during the race, while Jim decided not to change at all. When it was all said and done, I was very happy to bring my 966 home in second position, behind the winning 966 of Chris Tosolini. A 1-2 finish for Serpent!!! Jim was 7th, and in all there were 5 Serpent cars in the 10 car field, a very strong showing. Winning is what everyone hopes for, but only one can have that. Chris drove a masterful race on one set of tires to take a well deserved win. We had a great time at this years ROAR Nationals, and came home very excited about the potential of our Serpent 966 and 733.
Thank you to Serpent, Serpent America, Novarossi, Spektrum, Tornado Fuel, Matrix Tires, Protoform, Avid Bearings, and Empire Racing for making it possible for me to enjoy this great hobby. Next up….. the 1/10 Nitro World Championship in Houston, Tx…. See you there!