By Aaron Waldron
Race report from XRAY:
Race report by Tanner Stees
This past weekend I traveled to the El Paso, Texas area for the US Open race at Sun City Raceway. This was the first event at the facility I believe and for a backyard track I have to say it is a pretty awesome place. Joey from THE DIRT put in a great layout for the event and it was a lot of fun to drive on. It flowed really well and still worked when the track started to build some character. The dirt that they had at the track was also pretty awesome, very loamy and reminded me a lot of RC Tracks of Las Vegas when they ran the track wet, a real off-road type of track.
Friday was a very relaxed full day of open practice essentially. With that being said I spent most of the time just figuring out the track and what the best lines were. I also tried a couple of different compounds of tires to see what was the best as well as making a few small shock and setup changes for the conditions at that time. At the end of the day I was really happy with both my XB8 and XB8E and felt very confident with both, so I felt I was ready for qualifying on Saturday.
Saturday was scheduled to be three rounds of qualifying. In round one I was able to TQ both classes and was really happy about that. Both my cars were really good, and I don't believe I had any mistakes in either of the runs which was nice as well. Round 2 was a little different of a story. They reseeded everyone using round 1 results which put me with the "fastest" group of drivers but I still had some small issues with traffic and driver error. Both of my cars were good even as the track had started to develop a few small holes in some places just crashed too many times and got two 2nd overalls for both classes. However, with these points and what everyone else had I was able to wrap up both of the TQ's after round two so I back to the warm hotel room and wrenched on cars to prepare for the lengthy amount of running on Sunday.
Sunday was the 10-minute A-main for E-buggy as well as a 30-minute semi and then a 60-minute final for nitro. In the main of E-buggy I felt the track had finally got enough running on it to where the track was developing some character. The race started off well, I got a clean start and my car was feeling really good all around the track even through the rough sections. I started to pull away until I had a small mistake and got caught up with some traffic which allowed for 2nd to catch back up and have a good battle going once again. For pretty much the rest of the race we had a good battle going until the other driver made a small bobble which allowed me to get a big enough gap till the race was over and allowed me to take the overall victory. Next up was the semi for nitro buggy and my main goal was to just make sure I finish the race. The race went really well my car was really good throughout the entire track and I was super pumped with how it felt.
I basically just drove my lines and did my own pace and at the end of the 30-minute race I was able to go the extra lap which and meant I would be starting first in the final. During the final I knew that I just needed to make sure I didn't do anything dumb or stupid and just needed my car to go the distance. Unfortunately, l ran into some issues and had a couple of flameouts during the 60-minute period which pretty much put me out of contention to win. I was bummed about that because I thought that my nitro car was even better than my E-buggy and was looking forward to running it and doing really well with it. Nevertheless, I was able to still able to get a 3rd place finish overall and get on the podium.
Overall the entire weekend was an absolute blast, all of my equipment performed really well, and I couldn't really ask for anything more. This event was probably some of the most fun I have had in a while and I look forward to more races like this and hopefully get to go back some time.
Pro Ebuggy Podium
- Tanner Stees - XRAY XB8E
- Billy Fischer - Tekno
- Corbyn Showers
Pro Nitro Buggy
- Billy Fischer - Tekno
- Casey Peck - Mugen
- Tanner Stees - XRAY XB8