By Mike Garrison
Race Report from JConcepts:
7 years ago, JConcepts wanted to create the biggest, most competitive offroad stock race in the world where the top stock racers would go head to head at a world-class facility. Each passing year, the level of competition and participation grew to new heights as the 2018 JConcepts Stock Nationals commemorates this idea to the core. With some calling the JConcepts Stock Nationals even more competitive than the official ROAR Stock Nationals, the popularity is undeniable as the event was sold out in a matter of just minutes.
The layout is never easy at OCRC Raceway and perhaps one of the reasons why OCRC is so loved by the RC community. Headed by the experienced Nick Black and Jake Thayer, OCRC always creates one of the most challenging layouts that is jump heavy and supremely technical to challenge the best drivers lap after lap. As the track changed throughout the weekend, keeping up with tire preparation and setup is a must if you want to succeed. Miss a beat and you’ll drop down not just a few spots but a few mains.
17.5 Expert Stock Short Course
In the 17.5 Expert SCT class, it was AE/JConcepts’ Nick Wautlet charging hard on the first lap to overtake AE/JConcepts teammate and TQ, Kyle Layton, for the top spot. With another bobble on the 1st lap, Kyle would drop back to 4th and a whole lot of work to do. Without pressure, Nick was able to cruise at his comfortable pace and went on to take the win along with $500 cash bonus. Kyle worked his way back to 2nd followed closely by the young talented Davey Batta finishing 3rd.
17.5 Expert Stadium Truck
The battle was fierce in the 17.5 Expert Stadium Truck class between AE teammates, Spencer Rivkin and Dustin Evans. For nearly 5 minutes, the two competitors mirrored each other with Dustin playing chase. A small mistake halfway through the race, Spencer rolled to his lid giving the lead to Dustin. Now with the roles reversed, Spencer pushed to his limits to try and apply pressure to Dustin but made another mistake. Now the gap too large to close and Dustin crossed the line in 1st, Spencer 2nd and moving up from 5th to 3rd, TLR/JConcepts’ Frank Root finished 3rd.
40+ 17.5 2wd
It was an exciting 3-way battle between Kurt “Coach” Wenger, Art Fratello, and Justin Watson for 10 minutes straight in the 40+ 17.5 2wd class. Having nailed the setup, AE/JConcepts’ Coach Wenger slowly worked his way through the field and with a minute to go, Coach made his move and took over the lead and the rest is history. Art Fratello finished 1.47 seconds back in 2nd and Justin Watson 3rd overall.
17.5 Expert 2wd
The Phenom returned to his roots with some stock racing in the new era of brushless and lipo batteries. With 9 Stock National Champion during the brushed motors and NiMH days, TLR’s Dakotah Phend was on point over the weekend taking the TQ and win with a flawless performance. AE/JConcepts Spencer Rivkin had the pace, but the difference came down to a few bobbles as Spencer finished 2nd. AE’s Dustin Evans found himself 3rd on the podium after a hard fought comeback from a mistake that cost him valuable time.
13.5 Expert 4wd
There’s no denying that AE/JConcepts’ Spencer Rivkin has a tremendous amount of fighting spirit. The never give up attitude put Spencer in position to win in the 13.5 Expert 4wd class at this year’s Stock Nats. With an early 1st lap mistake by TLR’s Dakotah Phend, the class TQ dropped down to 10th and out of contention for the win as the field was too fast to make up that kind of time. This moved AE’s Dustin Evans to the point followed closely by Spencer in tow. However, short jumping the front section cost Dustin some speed that allowed Spencer to shoot on by to take command. The lead was short-lived as Spencer gave Dustin back some time with a mistake of his own. As it looked to be Dustin’s win, a traction roll at the end of the straightaway on the last lap gave Spencer another chance and the lead was once again his. Closing out the final lap mistake free, Spencer never gave up on himself and took the win. Dustin finished 2nd with Yokomo/JConcepts’ Jake Thayer put in a blistering run and finished 3rd overall.