Tuesday, April 13, 2010


We'll last night I received an e-mail from Barry Baker himself personally apologizing to everyone at the race for his behavior at the Canadian Indoor Off Road Shootout. I won't go into details, but it was fairly lengthy, well written and genuine sounding. It takes a big man to admit faults and I think this was a really nice gesture to take the time to find a nobody like me and write a letter to. Everyone has a bad day and I know at the top level it must be hard to contain sometimes. I just know that all the locals were so excited that there was some world class driving talent coming to the race and were so stoked to race against and meet them (as many do not travel to the races in the US and never get to see the big names live) and some felt a little let down at the end of it. Anyways, it is water under the bridge for me and I hope to trade paint with those guys again sometime!

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's Over!

Ryan hard at work keeping me running

Awwwww my first Nitro Race.

The Track

Dakotah's "Loonie" Award

Well the 2010 Canadian Indoor OffRoad Shootout is done and in the books! Overall it was a decent event. The days were long and they could have run a tighter ship (sorry, but I can't kiss too much ass and I have to say it) as there were way too many "mercy minutes" and the warm ups were also too long (I had one round that I needed to refuel twice before the loop went live!). It could have shaved hours off the day. I will probably catch shit for this too, but I think to get this race done in a timely matter, they need to axe 10th scale, monster truck, CORR and electric truggy from the event. I know the income from those entries help cover costs but it was just killing the day. It took just under 12 hours to run 2 round of qualifying! I know the forums will bash me for being negative but I know there are lots of people that are thinking the same thing. You can run big races in a timely matter, but you have to start the clock and not look back once it is started (5 minute quali's, 2 minutes in between including warm up laps and using running start qualifying). Look at CRCRC with over 400 entries (I think Matt did it that way 2 years ago and it went well)! Again I had fun, but it was a very long race! I know, I know people will say: "Well you run a race then if you know so much". Well, I am not looking to do that (although I have helped run a race), I have been racing long enough and have been to enough events to know what is good and bad. OK enough of that stuff.

Getting to it, there was some drama in the 8th scale Nitro Buggy A Main. Dakota Phend had a lap not get counted and there was some bitching about whether or not they should give him the lap. They decided to give him the lap and he ended up taking the win. I actually came through again by catching the "incident" on video (although they made the decision before they saw the video). As the main was too long to film, I randomly followed drivers for a couple of laps at a time and caught by luck where Dakotah bobbled, jumped a pipe and got back on (you can clearly see that he attempted to come back over the pipe by the loop and didn't try to short the course). Some guys in the pits were complaining and it is never an easy thing to fix but I think the right decision was made (I do think they should have given Mike Morales his missed lap in qualifying though as well). Dakotah is one of the nicest, honest, friendly kids in racing (Doug and Nancy are also very helping to racers at the event and saw them help out quite a few people). Unlike some of the other "Pro's" that were there, Dakotah represents his sponsors very well and he should be commended for it. Again, I will not ass kiss and I will say that Barry Baker seemed like a total douche out there. He was yelling at people in qualifying, complaining and whining and just seemed like an angry dude. I heard LOTS of people commenting on that as well. The O'Donnell team manager was good though and I saw him help out some of the people with 'O cars and go to bat for his drivers who had issues. I'm babbling now so I'll end it. Jimbo K was killing it until he broke out. Dave Henry drove an amazing race and Abiye Birku's car was dialed and he was driving awesome until he broke (he was a contender for the win as well).

In my Nitro debut race, I ended up qualifying 3rd in the C Main (I think the last two guys in the B Main and the top 4 in the C Main were all on the same second!). Not too bad considering I have NEVER owned a nitro car until now and the fact there was I think a H or I Main. The car was quite a handful on the track as I was chasing set up and the elusive "Nitro Finger". I was secretly hoping to make the B Main though so I came pretty close to the goal. In the main I got a great start into second but botched the big jump on the first lap and ended up going from 2nd to 2nd last..haha. Took me a few minutes to get in a groove, but I battled back to 5th place by the end and after the bump ups I ended up in 3rd.

In the electric A Main, I was 14th on the grid (last to qualify in the A but there were two bump ups behind me). Not too bad for only finishing one qualifier I guess. I got tagged off the start and was in dead last. The MP9e was DIALED though and I managed to chase down car by car to work back to a 6th place finish. Pretty happy with how the car was driving.

Random Thoughts:

- 8th scale driving has...lets say...less etiquette than 10th scale. A block pass or bump pass I guess is really accepted and you just have to drive aggressive out there and get your nose in there
- Nitro was actually more fun than I thought it would be. You guys better take notice as when I get the car set up and figured out I will be gunning for the podium....heh heh.
- Huge thanks to so many people for the help with tuning etc: Ron Prinzen, Calvin Mercer, Abiye Birku, Dave Henry, George Stilliadis, Steve Bortolotti & Martin Pillmajer. Great bunch of guys out there who are all willing to drop what they are doing to help a new guy out. Thanks!
- Huge thanks to Steve Mostacci and Ryan King for pitting for me. I really appreciate you guys doing that for me.
- I thought the organizers would have saved a pit spot for Dakotah. I know favoritism this and that, but when a World Class driver wants to make the trip out to your race, you could at least save him a nice pit spot. I did enjoy their company in out tent though and was glad I could help them out (as Nancy always makes up hundreds of cupcakes for the Kahuna Race/Dakotah's birthday).
- the 3M masks were great at filtering out the smoke. I just need them to make eye filters now...Nitro fumes were making me cry in the main...haha.
- Poor Chet. Brand new 8th scale electric car, finished building it at the track on Friday and first run out he becomes a member of the Tekin club. I think there were 6 guys who fried Tekins this weekend and I don't think it was the board problem.
- After driving a Tekin and a Mamba this weekend, I must say the Tekins are quite a bit smoother out there, but the Mamba's did finish the race!
- The food truck at the race was pretty good.
- The port 0 lets held up good...thank god there were no poo towers this year. haha
- The track layout was sweet. again Matt and crew never disappoint with layouts!
- Ummmm driving up pit lane takes a little bit of practice. I took for granted that I have never really done a pit stop before and I drove off the side one time...lol.
- I was amazed (for me anyways) that the set ups between my electric and nitro where pretty different by the end of the weekend.
- I think that if anyone had an obviously missed lap (in qualifying or in the mains) it should have been awarded. There was controversy on this.
- I have not seen my wife or son awake in three days..haha
- The France french guy Jerome Treignier 's MP9 was dialed and he drove a good race
- You couldn't have soft enough tires here. I think the O'Donnell guys had the new M4 Holeshots and they were hooked up! I ended up using Super Soft Grid Irons that I sauced up with Zip Free (as my JConcept Double Dee V2's are still in the mail somewhere) and I thought they were pretty damn good.
- Even with the hiccups it was a good weekend of racing on the whole and thanks to Matt, Vic etc etc for the race. It was good to see everyone and it is a great start to the year!

Pics are up here:
Almost Live Facebook Page

Videos are coming up here: Search "johnnyboydotca" on Youtube for now as they are still uploading

8th Scale Electric A Main

The Dakotah "Incident".... nothing escapes the "Almost Live" eye1 haha

Buggy A MAin Start

Some Pit Action

Up close pit action with Team O'Donnell

My Equipment List:

Kyosho MP9SE
Kyosho e Conversion Kit
Peak Racing 5400mah 45C Batteries (4S)
Peak Racing 1007 Servo
Tekin RX8 ESC (also used Castle Creations MMM)
Tekin T8 2050 Motor (46/16)
AKA Grid Iron Tires (Super Soft)
JConcepts Mono Max Wheels

Kyosho MP9SE
Team Orion MTE CRF Alpha 5 Port Engine
Team Orion 2013 Pipe
Peak Racing 1409 Throttle Servo
Peak Racing 1007 Steering Servo
Peak Racing Blitz RX Pack
AKA Grid Iron Tires (Super Soft)
JConcepts Mono Max Wheels

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Canadaian Indoor Off Road Shootout: Mains!

Here are some snap shots of the main order. I sneaked into the 8th scale e buggy A Main with only one qualifier and am sitting in 3rd in the C Main for 8th scale buggy (missed the B Main by less than a half second!). Pretty happy with that though for my first ever nitro race. I will expect more once I figure these things out! Can't type more as it is sunny and there is waaaaaay too much glare out here on the screen...

Canadian Indoor Off road Shootout: Qualifying

Man, bit of a gong show today! Took like 12 hours to get through 2 round of qualifying! Weather was warmer albeit a bit windy. I think Dakota Phend is TQ so far in Truggy and Buggy (Barry Baker might have got buggy in round 2?). I forgot who is TQ in e buggy. Track is slightly blown out but holding together alright. It's late and I need sleep so I will keep it brief.

Random Thoughts:
- Waaaaaaaay, let me repeat: waaaaaaay too many mercy minutes. I had to be re-fueled 3 time the one heat before it got started!!! With 333 entires, you cannot do this. Start the clock 5 min quali's, 2 minutes between and let it go. If you are not on the track, sucks being you....
- I am now officially part of the Tekin RX8 Blow Up club. While I love the sensored systems smoothness, I would like more to finish my heat...I think there are at least 4 or 5 Tekin RX8's that went poof in so far at this race...Yes, mine was mounted properly and ran fine for 3 race days prior. thanks Steve Mostacci for loaning me a Mamba Monster to keep me running.
- Dakota's cars are killing it out there. The boy can wheel!
- I still have not learned nitro finger...lol Still amazed the difference in feel between my two cars!

- Ryan gets off scott free today! many thanks go out to him for pitting for me!
- wait Ryan did overfill my tank once...does that count? haha

See facebook for pics....

Canadian Indoor Off-Road Shootout: Day 2

Ok, day one was practice but I was busy trying to learn this "nitro finger" business..haha

The track is a really fun layout. Tire choices are all over the place: City Blocks, Subcultures, Holeshots, Grid Irons, Double Dee V2, Recoils...you name it

There are about 330 entries, so that is pretty good. Going to be a long day.

Random Thoughts:
- So much for opening at 12 noon Friday. Got here at 11:45 and there was no room left as most people were allowed to set up Thursday night...thanks for telling the rest of us. Luckily we brought our tents. Dakota Phend was in the same boat so they are pitting in with us.
- It was snowing Friday but today is a nice day!
- 6 heats of electric 8th scale!
- It is hard to drive a nitro....much different power delivery than electric. I am having difficulties..haha

Got some spy shots of the new Tamiya 801x electric

Going to post more pics/videos on the facebook page tonight as the uploader on the blog sucks balls.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Almost Live" Race Coverage: Canadian Indoor Off-Road Shootout!

The show kicks off tomorrow afternoon and here are some of the build pics (Thanks Martin Petre!). Track looks sweet! Keep your fingers crossed for some warm weather and let the season begin! They easily topped over 300 entries. Don't know the final tally till probably Saturday though. See you at the track!

Click here for Facebook Picture and Video Page




Random Thoughts:
- I am going to try and pimp Martin by getting the scoop on the new Tamiya 801xe electric prototype that is going to be raced here.
- I will also try to not embarrass myself in my debut Nitro race (picked a nice small race to go to first...haha). Go big or go home right?
- It is going to be a bit of a challenge to figure out the right tires and set up as practice will probably be pretty limited.

- Ryan is sad because Jesse Robbers isn't here...
- To cheer him up:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Next "Almost Live" Race coverage: Canadian Indoor Offroad Shootout!

Season kick off race up in these parts starts next weekend. Cool ass indoor MX track is the venue and many local and not so local top name racers from Ontario, USA and even Western Canada will be in attendance! Should be about 300 entries for this one!!! This will be my first 8th scale Nitro race and only my second 8th scale electric race. I have no idea what I am doing in nitro...haha so this will be a steep learning curve! I have had good success at this race in 10th scale electric and have won it a few times but this is mainly a Nitro race and the competition will be insane this year. I will have my own internet set up so I should be able to be more "live" than usual! See you at the track!