Monday, February 16, 2009

2009 Factory Tracks 6th Annual "Big Kahuna" Memorial Race

The Big Kahuna

When you have to put up protection pipe vertically, nothing good can come from it. Just ask Fred!

Off to the races again. This time it was just young gun Ryan and myself (meeting Fred & Chet there) making the trip. Factory Tracks is in Highland Michigan and we got there in a fairly un-eventful 4 hours. There was a bit of ice/snow just after crossing the border but only a few cars in the ditch this time around. Upon arriving at 10:30 we were greeted by Al and crew getting the track prepped up. The layout looked KILLER! Racers started trickling in and things started to get underway. Factory Tracks has ample pit space, a well stocked hobby shop and friendly staff. Also has a nice big and tall drivers stand. The wet clay track provided unreal traction on Friday's practice session and lap times dropped quickly. There were a good mix of jumps and technical sections. A big triple, whoop section, off camber corner, table top and a good sized straight. It was slicks all the way on Friday (JConcept Gold or Losi Pink) with traction degrading only a little bit by the end of the day. A nice soak overnight gave us some good traction again for the first two rounds at least. We ran 3 rounds of qualifying on Saturday (4th would be on Sunday). I continued my Qual Point jinx and messed up a couple of my heats in 2wd and broke in one of my 4wd heats. I would have to have solid last round to make the show as there was a lot of good talent at the event. Al Horne, Johnny Loguidice, Dakota Phend, JP and Dustin Richards were all looking fast out there. The last round saw traction start to fade and most moved to "Ghost" Pin tires as the track dried out a little. You could smell the Buggy Grip and Zip Free in the pits and the sounds of Dremel's and Drills as racers grinded down tires. Sunday rolled around and the track wasn't as wet as the previous days. Again most people started the day out with "Ghost" Pins in either Losi Taper Pin, BK Bars or JConcept Barcodes. I proceeded to break in my last round in 4wd and only had a average run in 2wd as you couldn't give'r as hard as on Saturday. I did manage to sneak into the 4wd A Main (10th!) with my only two runs and could only muster 5th in the B in 2wd (even Dakota only made BQ in 2wd!). Johnny Loguidice was TQ in 2wd Mod and Dakota was TQ in 4wd and Truck. On to the Mains

2wd Mod A1

copy coming

2wd Mod A2

copy coming

2wd Mod A3

copy coming

4wd Mod A1

Two words: Gong Show. Pile ups at the start let Dakota stretch it out and crashes and breakage from the rest of us continued early in the race to take out some of the front runners (check out the car into the support beam in the video). I managed to go from 10th to 5th. I don't really know what happened during the race as we were spread out.

4wd Mod A2

Technical difficulties with my camera preveted A2 to be filmed. Of course as it was my best finish, again coming from the back to nail a 3rd place finish. It was a bit gifted as Dustin broke while in 3rd with 2 laps to go, but I'll take it. There was some drama with the top three as they were all battling and swapping paint and getting tangled up more than a few times. At the line though it was Dakota taking the win and also wrapping up the the Overall Victory.

4wd Mod A3

Again a bit of a messy start let me weave my way into 4th spot. There were good battles with Chet, Dustin and myself for the 4th spot. I think it was JP taking the win.

2wd Mod B Main

Again technical difficulties with the camera so no video. Dakota, Chet and myself got out clean on the first lap and started to pull away. I managed to snap my rear shock tower on a mild case (it must have had a slight crack in it from earlier and just gave way) on lap 3 and that ended my day in 2wd. Dakota built up a lead, but Chet managed to chip away at it and just ran out of time. Dakota took the win over Chet by like 1 second I think.

Full Results can be viewed here:

Random Thoughts: (I'll probably add more as I remember stuff as I am rushing to get this out)

- The track layout was the most fun I've had in a while. Great mix of features and everything was perfectly spaced and timed.
- Attendance was down from last year (I think they had 170 this year versus 230 from last year). Those who didn't attend missed a really amazing race weekend! The track was awesome!
- Nancy came through and baked up a storm of cupcakes again to celebrate Dakota's 12th birthday. A big thanks as they were yummy
- We all got schooled again by this 12 year old again this year...It wasn't something in the cupcakes as I had 3 of them and it didn't help me.
- You really needed to have your timing down on both the triple and on the table top section. This proved difficult at times for all the racers at some point and caused a lot of cars to DNF.
- It never got old seeing someone hit the vertical pipe/support girder...good times.
- That was only outdone by an 8th scale buggy getting wedged on the second girder (they were going HUGE!).
- I need (and will have) a better camera for the next time. I had a few problems with my trusty old digital camera and need to step it up. Time to sign the cheque!
- Ryan has only been to the USA once before and was fascinated by the thick bullet proof glass and sliding money tray at the gas station we went to. I told him he wasn't in Kansas anymore...
- To all the American laughing at us for having a National holiday called "Family Day", just remember you are at work and I am at home drinking a beer....
- The 8th scale electric buggies are cool.
- The 8th scale Truggies are....just plain scary. One dude took one to the head and it drew blood.
- Anthony from Glenwood R/C and I disagreed at dinner over the "threshold" line of "do-able" chicks at the pub. I like my line better. Anthony's line included a rather large women in pink...haha sucka.

- We all did agree the waitress in red easily made everyones cut though....
- We all endulged in good 'ol Rolling Rock again while in the US. I nursed my last one though and ended up walking out with it to take it to the hotel as it would be a shame to waste.
- Ryan thought it was funny that so many people kept coming up and asking me: "are you the guy with the blog?". It was nice meeting everyone and putting faces to all the "screen names".
- We Canadian are finally learning when to use slicks, "ghost" pins, 1/4 pins and full tread during the day. We did not have this knowledge last year.
- Chris Wolgast at Gotham Graffix lays down some of the most bad ass paint jobs I've seen and is a cool dude to boot (and a good driver too!). Check out
- Al's kids are the future of R/ I think the one is like 6 years old and I think he won the C Main or something. I watched both of them run and they are pretty smooth and quick out there.
- The Richards duo are both fast guys too. Their George Foreman grill sent out taunting smells throughout the day. Both had their share of misfortune in the mains though.
- Everyone at the race was friendly. There really was a great atmosphere there. I wish we had a track like this in our area.
- Customs was a breeze in each direction again. So it really is Chet who curses me at the
- 4 hours to get to the race, 3 1/2 to get home. That is not that bad. We will have to come out there more often.
- McDonalds "Cafe" coffee's are crap. I may be a bit o a coffe snob, but I do know a good latte. I wasn't expecting greatness, but it was still dis-appointing.
- I appologize for not filming every main. It is hard when you are trying to race, marshal and prep your own cars and that is my primary function when at a race. The coverage comes second (and my little camera only lasts so long and hold so much. I am going to try and set up a camcorder on a tripod next time so I can get all the mains. I need a camera sponsor!

- I hate to throw Fred under the bus, but Mike and Jay were absent and I need to have an "ism" section.
- Fred ran a red light
- Fred drank a Strawberry Cupcake Valentines Day Daquiri at the Irish Pub we went to....ok I bought it for him as a joke, but he still drank it.
- Everytime we heard someone hit the girder we all asked if it was Fred
- Fred didn't dis-appoint in his main...he hit the girder. Chet and I were actually crying from laughing so hard.
- Fred is a modern day bootlegger
- I have noticed over the years that Fred likes steak and rum
- Fred does share his rum though. Thanks Fred!


Again up at the crack of dawn to race toy cars

The man behind the event Al with the Kahuna Truck

Al getting dirty prepping the track

Al getting dirty in his VIP pit area. Owning the track has it's perks!

Well stocked with all of your racing needs.

Action in the pits

The now infamous birthday cupcakes courtesy of Nancy Phend. Awesome!

High flying triple action

How come Dakota didn't have to wear this?

Grilling action in the pits. This was a good idea. I was jealous.

We had the same room as last year. It was huge...very RC friendly

2wd Mod A Main line up

Again the 4wd did better than the 2wd here.

The future of R/C. Al's kids are fast!

Size does matter in stock class. That is a big fat pinion. Anthony would like that pinion...HAHA

Chris at Gotham Grafix does some amazing work

Al was running the Kyosho RT5 Prototype

Fred staring down his nemisis

Made his peace with it by the end

And he is still faster than you...JP Richards car

Random Car Shots

There were a fair amount of Academy cars there.

Dustin "Rockstar" Richards pit and cars

I am still not sold on the big pink wing. Anthony likes big things in pink though...HAHA again

JP Richards B4

Will try to add more when I get some time...gotta go pick up the wife and kid at the airport. Thanks for checking out the Blog!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Next "Almost Live" Race Coverage: 6th Annual Factory Tracks "Big Kahuna Shootout"

Screw Valentine's Day! Actually the wife is away visiting family with the kid soooooo...back out to the USA to attend Teammate Al Horne's event. I think there were 230 entries last year and it is now a 2 day event. I hear traction is up (unlike CRCRC). My slicks finally get a workout this year! I will be joining fellow race nuts Fred and Chet for this road trip! Giddie Up!

Edit: I love the fact my wife doesn't celebrate Valentine's Day.

Glenwood 3rd Annual ProFactory Trophy Bonanza!

Report coming soon. Back to back race weekends, busy work day and kid on sugar is killing me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Feature: Bored at work rant!

So I am bored and figured I'd bring to light the fact that there are way too many knock off/clone hauler bags out there! I mean can we have some creativity out there for a change? I guess the same can be said for a lot of re-badged brushless motors and LiPo batteries as well, but I will quickly focus on the harmless hauler bags. These are all ones I found in a quick google search that are all the same. If someone wanted to actually be creative and not just e-mail the same factory in China with their artwork, they would at least modify their bag with wheels that could actually handle an off road track area. Maybe Upgrade RC should get in the hauler bag business and at least offer some custom logoing for the bags. That's all, back to work....

Team Magic - The First with this design???