Friday, January 29, 2010

Next "Almost Live" Race Coverage: 7th Annual Big Kahuna Shootout

Back out to the USA for this great event. This time it is at a new track so we'll see how things shake out. I think it is Chet, Fred, Ryan, Abiye and myself heading down this time. Al Horne always puts on a good show and we are looking forward to this event!

More info on the race here:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 CRCRC Midwest Championships - Mains

So the track was still in good shape come Sunday and was still slicks up until the last half of the mains when most then changed to half pin to full pin Tapers/Barcodes/BK Bars. Jared Tebo pulled off the hat trick to take a sweep of the TQ's. To be honest the Kyosho cars just looked soooo hooked up out there. Way better looking than the A/E cars for some reason. The Losi cars also looked better than the A/E cars. I heard that A/E has been testing a lot of different set ups and maybe they just got lost in them. I only finished one Mod qualifier so I was in like the F main...(better known as the hard luck main as there were some quick guys in there who had similar luck haha). I managed to to work from 12th on the grid up to 5 th (after getting swallowed up a couple of times in the second lap to the tune of 38 seconds for the lap). I take solice in the fact I at least had the fastest lap of the main and I only used the 13.5 stock motor as I was way to lazy to switch back to the 8.5 for an F main! In stock (I don't have a 4wd car right now so I raced the 13.5 class to keep the boredom of the long day at bay) I had two medium runs to slot me in the top of the C Main. I was down to 5th on the start after a pile up and then managed to get back up to third and we were all spaced apart and then I go and break a shock tower. Perfect end to the weekend. I just quietly chuckled out loud and took a seat behind the drivers stand. That is the way it goes sometimes guess. CRCRC takes driver skill but it also takes a little bit of luck to place well. I will let the videos speak for the A Main runs but Tebo, Cavaleri and Evans were just rocking it out there. Dakotah qualified well but had a few problems in the mains. He is only 12 though and is the future of the sport!

Side Note: 4wd Mod A3

There was some controversy at the start of the main. On the warm up lap, Cavaleri's car started making a clicking noise. He pulled into pit lane and Pillars took a quick look. He couldn't fix it so he threw it up to Cavaleri and A/E Team Manager Brent Theilke to look at. Turns out his rear diff ring gear or something was going. With a mercy minute on they raced back to the pit to try and fix it. Someone mentioned that they could run the SCT A main instead and then the 4wd main so that they could fix his car (Both Ryan and Jared had won an A main leg so it was going to come down to this main). I think they put it to a vote on the stand and it was like 50/50. There were some grumblings on the stand that started and some heated words exchanged by drivers from all camps but the CRCRC officials stepped in and said they couldn't wait any longer (a few minutes had passed by this point) or change the race order/rules. So Theilke had to put Cavs car back on the grid and they lined up for the main. At the tone Cavaleri drove with some anger and was all over Tebo for the first few laps clicking diff and all. He started to slow down though and it looked like he was almost trying to break the car by airing off the jumps to hard slap bounce landing. The diff finally gave out on lap 7 and he pinned it until it just wouldn't move anymore. The next thing you heard was a loud SMASH. Ryan smashed his radio on the drivers stand and broke the radio in two (the bottom half of the radio that holds the battery went flying!). He then stormed off the drivers stand. someone brought his car over and it looked like he was going to spike it into the ground as well, but regained some self control and didn't. Last year we had the "Theilke/Cavaleri incident" and now this year we had this. 4wd has not gone well for him here.

I am going to get shit for this but come on it is funny....

Edit: We just missed getting it on tape. In the video you can hear the radio get smashed at 2:21 (or 2:27 for the video with a title at the begining) from the other side of the arena no less, then he comes into frame picking up the broken base and walking off the stand.

Random Thoughts:

- The track was the best I have seen there so far (only my 3rd time here though). Great layout and great traction (unlike last year)
- CRCRC crew ran a smooth operation for having approx. 430 entries! I saw very few hiccups the entire time.
- There are so many friendly people there. All of the Pro's were very open to helping/talking to anyone that came up to them. I will say Matt Chambers and Dustin Evans from Losi were two of the nicests guys I talked to. They helped me out with tire and sauce secrets all week and were very cool.
- Thanks to Tebo and Pillars too for all the team help. Also two great ambassadors of the hobby. i don't know how Joe can qualify so well while looking after all his top Orion/Peak/Kyosho guys.
- I will not be eating McDonalds or Pizza anytime soon. I have eaten enough of it now to last me for a few months I think. By the time you get out of that building, everything else is closed and the locals said this wasn't a great part of town as well.
- I have has 14 hours of sleep over the 5 days of racing (not counting the 4 hour "nap" on the drive home on Monday. Thank for driving Steve!)
- I noticed that a lot of the lower main guy REALLY take the main seriously. There were a few hot heads out there for sure. People need to chill and remember to have fun.
- Even with my misfortune, I still had a blast here. Awesome race. There is a reason this race has been going on for like 25 years.
- Cavaleri didn't look like he was having fun all week. His cars were not looking as good as a lot of the others out there and I guess it all manifested to the boiling point by the last main and the diff just put him over the top. Still, smashing your radio on the stand in front of everyone is a very uncool thing to do and VERY unprofessional to all the young racers there who look up to him. I understand that there is money on the line for these guys but to conduct yourself in that manner is very childish...
- Staying over till Monday was a great idea. Not having to drive 7 hours home on Sunday was sweet. Beers and Rums were flowing back at the hotel room and went on till about 4am. lol.
- Dustin Evans and Cody King are champs with the ping pong balls. 7-1 record by the time I left.

- Fred had matching leopard slippers in his room...
- Fred broke his fair share of parts again this year.

- If you look close you can see the leopard print bag...

- I found this for Fred at the Cracker Barrel and thought it would match all his stuff nicely.

- Jay upgraded his luggage to one big garbage bag instead of a bunch of small ones
- Jay almost told Canada Customs that were were coming from Columbia RC Car Club. Probably wouldn't have gone over very well in a rented van full of big bags with two white guys, a Filipino and an Ethiopian saying we were coming from a toy car
- Jay was enjoying a bit of celebrity as some people recognized him from "Jay'isms"..haha
- I will say that Jay has really upped his game and drove really well this week. All the practice is paying off and you will see him on the podiums more this summer for sure!

Ryan'isms...I mean "Jesse's Girl"
- Ryan took the ball busting in stride...paid your dues for sure Rookie!
- Ryan did forget about his 4wd main and missed it though. I would laugh but.....more on that further down.
- Ryan did beat me fair and square in the Mod F Main though. It was a much anticipated show down for us Canadians...haha. I think Jay lost a bet on it though (sorry Jay for letting you down!)

I got Jesse to sign Ryans B4 before we left. Jesse was a great sport.

- This will be the ONLY time there will be a "isms" for me....I dish it out pretty hard sometimes, so I need to take it sometimes as well I guess?
- I did miss one of my 2wd Mod qualifers. Time is in a Vortex there and I swear the last time I looked at the board I had lots of time. The next thing I heard was them calling me out to marshal. This DID happen to quite a few people though so at least I am not alone.

Random Pics:

The JTP Sweep!

I saw Ryan checking out my set up before our F Main showdown so I kicked it old skool A/E style and covered my car...LOL.

Sauce of choice: Some used BG2 but most of the Pro's used Zip Free until Sunday when they switched to Zip Grip. Most of them with the label peeled off to keep people guessing.

Dustin "Rock Star" Richards had one of the funniest mains of the night. His front wheel broke with like a minute or so left and he held his position off right to the finish (I think this was the B Main for 3rd place). Lap after lap he drove a tight line and nobody could get past him. Now THAT my friends is driving!

Abiye using a drill AND a dremel to make some slick tires

Speaking of tires...Jesse Robbers I think does some HB tire R&D and I can tell you he is doing a good job. There was rarely a moment that he was not grinding up tires to test out there.

Jesse getting ready to grind tires...

Jesse grinding tires....

Jesse thinking about grinding tires...

Jesse getting down to some serious tire grinding business...

Jesse had lots of tire sauce on the go too.

You have to be good to pimp these:

Fred and Brenda from B-Fast RC were at the race. They are some of the nicest people in the biz. They have quite the following and there were lots of guys wearing B-Fast shirts. They even gave me a pit towel and some drink insulators. Thanks! I did rebuild my diff at the race and the wear on the rings was so even. I will have some comparison shot later on. Check out to see the diff!

Renting a Minivan was essential...

Abiye playing cowboy at Cracker Barrel.

All the Pics are here: "Almost Live" Facebook page

Rodney has some great pics etc too here:

Edit: Having problems uploading the Mains. I will have them up ASAP.

Special THANKS to all my sponsors for helping me out so I can attend some of the coolest races around with some of the best gear around! 2010 is going to be a great year. See you at the track!

Kyosho America
Peak Racing

Also a special Thanks to Fred and Brenda @ B-Fast RC

Monday, January 18, 2010

CRCRC Sunday Sunday Sunday!

Kyosho Sweep TQ & Win All Mod Classes @ CRCRC!!!

Pics stolen without permission form:

Going to bed is 4am. Will post pics and vids tomorrow.

- Tebo TQ'd and won 2wd mod, 4wd mod and Truck mod. Word up.
- Tebo won A1 & A2 of 2wd and Truck. Won A2 & A3 of 4wd (Cav won A1)
- I broke...a lot, but still had fun. I will keep coming back until I at least make the B main
- There was MUCH drama in 4wd A3....more on that later. But a loud bang was followed by flying debris of a smashed in two M11x radio....I guess that is why it is missing from the podium pics.

- Thanks to Joe Pillars, Al Horne, Jared Tebo & Matt Chambers for the set up help
- Lots of funny shit happened.
-Thanks to CRCRC for hosting another great Midwest Champs. See you next year!

Friday, January 15, 2010


So the track was soaked last night and traction was awesome all day today. Slicks were still in fashion and hopefully it will be again for qualifying. The track is so much fun to drive. Again the lap time battle was on and times are now into the low 17 seconds for 4wd (Jesse Robbers with a 17.1 I think). Robbers is looking good out there (always does here) so are Tebo and Losi duo Chambers and Evans. Cavaleri looks a little ragged out there but his times are fast still. The Losi cars looked dialed out there right now. Not much practice time with the controlled practice, but that is par for the course with almost 400 entries!!! The old "watch the triple" had been replaced with "Watch the double double". The announcer is a machine and does not get the thanks he deserves. Things have been running smooth and efficient as can be with this many people. My car is pretty good. I think there are a couple of different basic set ups people are running on the RB5's (Betts and Tebo) and mine is pretty similar to Tebo's with minor camber height differences. I didn't think I would like running the 13.5 class as I typically just run mod, but I'll say that it didn't feel that bad out there.

Random Thoughts:
- Henry from CRCRC personally gave me a Medium sized got a XXXXXXL last year as a joke cause they ran out of mediums. Thanks my Filipino brotha!

- Still lots of tire grinding all day long. There was a constant whir of belt sanders, drills and dremels
- Again props to the CRCRC crew for running a great event and keeping it running smoothly today
- I will pray to the traction Gods tonight hoping the traction stays like it is.

- Jay spilled the tire bucket...although it was NOT entirely his fault as Steve had moved it under their table without telling him it was there.
- Jay is looking good out there and is driving well. Props to Jay.

Jay trying to hide from the "Almost Live" lens after the bucket was tipped.

- We placed a wake up call to Ryan this morning consisting of blasting "Jessie's Girls" over the phone.
- Ryan is being relentlessly ball busted over this whole thing still.


Chet proceeds to mount Ryan in an act of dominance...

JP Richards new TQ Racing car.

Tebo's RB5SP

Theilke's car (new body???)

Pics here: "Almost Live" Facebook page

And just for shits and giggles:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

CRCRC Official Day One

So we left at 3am and cruised here pretty painlessly in about 7 hours. We had to make a slight detour to Parma International to drop something off from the fastcats gang. No crazy blizzard though so that is nice (weather is pretty mild actually). So day one is in the books and I have to say that this is the best layout I have encountered here so far. Fun, technical and flowy. Tires were slicks all day...thank god and I hear that water is in the plan for tonight and they are hoping it will be slick for the whole event (unlike last year which was pretty dry and slick by the mains). It is good to see everyone again and the locals are so nice. Some new faces are here too. Steven Hartson has made the trip out here for the first time and he got up to speed pretty quick. Times were dropping and the typical guys were the front runners (Cav, Tebo, Robbers, Evans). I will try and break out the spy camera tomorrow and grab some pics of new gear.

Random Thoughts
- Awesome layout. They have made great use of the space for sure
- Tebo has a new paint job and also has the new RB5 rear end kit
- Speaking of paint...EVERYONE looks like they have new bodies and paint...except me :(
- US Customs only grilled us a little bit. He didn't understand that people race RC had to dig one out to show him.
- Had the traditional Pancake House breakfast somewhere in Ohio. Yummy.
- Lots of grinding of tires going 24/7 sounds of drill presses, belt sanders, drills and dremels. Jesse Robbers I think had his belt sander going for almost an hour. He did have earphones on though.
- Nancy Phend informed me that the Big Kahuna is not on Dakota's birthday this year....I will still expect cupcakes though...You don't get off the hook that easy!!!

I will now throw everyone under the bus with some 'ism mania:

- Fred has a leopard print suitcase for some reason....
- Fred is somewhat of a celebrity now because of this column . Some guy came up to him today and mentioned "Fred'isms"..haha
- There are no poles here for Fred to hit.
- There is rum in Fred's room...a fresh bottle of Appletons!


-Ryan was called the "Whipper Snapper"...he is now known as "Jesse's Girl" as he kept crashing like a pansy under the pressure of having Jesse Robbers standing behind him waiting for a spot.

- Abiye shaved the big super fro. I think he used the afro to make special tire inserts....

- Well Jay didn't forget any cars, but he couldn't find his travel bag so he packed his clothes in a grocery bag...Jay'isms will now be called Hobo'isms. I am going to get him a big stick so he can carry the bag around properly...

Jay's "luggage"

Note: Chet, Steve and I are exempt from "ism's". That is just the way it works.

Pics here: "Almost Live" Facebook page
Vids here: Youtube page

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CRCRC: Day One...sort of.

Well, all packed up and ready to go. Departure time of 3am should be fun. At least we ended up renting a van so we can all go in one car with lots of room!

The track looks good from what I have seen online at the track build site:

Can't wait to get out there!

Ummm don't mind the Huggies box...mix up in some parts from Kyosho that I am giving back to Joe. They just fit perfectly in this box...haha

No new body :( It wasn't ready in time. C'est la vie sometimes.