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Arena Race Truggy Tire Prep with AKA's Ryan Lutz

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Main Photo: Arena Race Truggy Tire Prep with AKA's Ryan Lutz


By Mike Garrison

New AKA Blog Post:
(Interview by Tyler Hooks)

Alright, time to get ready to travel, lets say this is your 1st year going to Psycho Nitro Blast  or a similar arena type event like Silver State of Wicked etc. It is a new location with new dirt that you are unfamiliar with and you must prepare to run truggy. How do you go about it?

TH: When you are getting prepared to attend how do you decide on a range of tires to bring with you? 

RL: First thing I do if it is an event that has any history is scour the resources, we now have available. I look at Blog posts from some of the team guys (Like looking at my past ones) or Tebo’s for instance. I look on YouTube to see if there was any videos from previous years to see what condition the track was like. 

If this is a first-year event I try to talk with the track or event organizer to see what kind of dirt they say it is and their opinions on it. With the knowledge I have gained from doing many arena events there are some constants like no sun to dry it out however depending on the ventilation that can dry it out quicker. I try to ascertain if they are going to be watering the track and if so how often they plan on it. Usually most events will water a lot in practice then less during qualifying and sometimes start to let it dry out during main day. 

TH: Do you have favorite compounds or tread patterns?

RL: Taking that into account I usually want a SS or SSLW for practice and qualifying. Seeing as though I am talking truggy here our choices are small which is actually pretty nice. I love the Grids and especially in SSLW. If it is winter and cold and I know they will have some ventilation going through meaning cold inside I would bring more SS. Even if it is cold I will also bring SSLW as it is my favorite compound. So usually it is grids for quals and then I will bring a set of impacts for mains if I believe I am going to be in the longer mains. In winter there usually isn’t a need to bring anything stiffer than SSLW even if it dries out a bit for truggy.

Now if we are talking warmer weather and you expect inside temps to be 70 or greater I would also bring some SLW. I would still expect SSLW during practice and early qualifying but if they let it dry out and the grip gets higher in any groove that may develop it may be nice to have some SLW. And if I plan on being in a longer main I will often plan on an impact front and grid rear if the wear is medium/higher (and main is 30min or less) or all impacts if the main is 45min. All depends on the wear that I see. I like the Impact front/ Grid rear combo because it smooths out the steering a bit and gives me longer wear through longer races. Then the grid rear gives me the forward drive still and a little better rotation in the rear. 

Seeing as though the choices for truggy are currently limited I will usually stick with Grids during qualifying and if I notice the track starting to dry out perhaps for Q3 I will try an Impact front, Grid rear combo to get a feel for it. But really the difference between the two tires isn’t huge to me and so I feel quite comfortable using them almost more in a how much wear do I need sort of way. 

TH: How do you make note of everything for the next year? 

RL: As far as notes I write my blog after each event and try to put down my tire selection that I used throughout. I also keep a notebook at each event saying what tires I ran during each run and what I felt about them and what the temperature was and general track condition. 

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