TRAXXAS RACE REPORT: 2013 Off-Road Jam
at Fastlane Raceway
2013 Off-Road Jam
by Christian Blake
Fastlane Raceway - Blue Springs, MO • January 26th - 27th, 2013
Classes raced/results for Christian Blake:
Stock Spec Slash 2WD (Robby Gordon Edition Dakar Slash): Top Qualify and 1st Place
2WD 17.5 Spec Short Course Expert (Slash): Qualified 4th in A, Finished 3rd
4WD Short Course Expert (Slash 4X4 Platinum): Qualified 5th in A, Finished 7th in A main
This was my first trip to this track—the racing surface is amazing, and it was a very nice facility. There was very good traction all weekend, and they opened up the on-road carpet track for extra pit space so there was plenty of room for everyone. On site, they have dirt oval, outdoor off-road, indoor off-road, and indoor carpet tracks.
Friday, the track was open all day long for practice. I was able to get in several practice runs and learn this new track. Practice felt great, and I only made some minor changes to differential oils because of the high traction this track offered.
Saturday morning started early, with a short practice then right into qualifying. I ran the brand new Spec Slash for several laps to make sure everything was ready to go, and the only changes I made after taking this truck out of the box was to add a transponder and a few Traxxas aluminum parts for durability. This track runs a Stock Spec Slash class every week, so I knew this was going to be a good race.
My first race to hit the track was the Stock Spec Slash. I was starting 9th on the grid and all the qualifying was heads up. After a good first lap, I was in 3rd place and would take over the lead during lap 5. I finished in 1st place, with a time of 18 laps in 5:00 flat. After the first qualifier, all the other racers were checking out my truck. I was able to follow up that win with two more in the second and third qualifiers, with a best run of 19 laps in 5:14. Everyone loved the new Dakar body.
Between races, I was able to help a number of people tune their suspension. It was nice to be able to support this class with Traxxas-level customer service.
My next class was the 17.5 2WD Short Course Truck. I did well in qualifying, with my top two finishes being 3rd and 4th. This class was tight racing with a good turnout. I qualified 4th overall with the feeling that I could do better, as I was getting faster each round of qualifying.
I also did well in qualifying for the 4x4 SC class with my Slash 4X4 Platinum. I ran 20 laps in 5:08, which was a 4th place finish overall. I followed that up with a 5th place finish in heat 2 that would have me starting 5th in the main event the next day.
Because I had made the A-main in all three of my classes, I did not race until later in the day on Sunday, but I showed up early because of the interest that my trucks had generated and because I wanted to help several people dial in their Traxxas vehicles. I shared my setups, and in the end, it made a fun class even more fun. I gave away a bunch of Traxxas hats to fellow racers. I also had the chance to fly the QR-1 and let some of the racers try it.
For stock Slash, I was first on the grid and had a good start. I continued putting in good laps, but as the race progressed, lap traffic got a little rough. This is when the durability of the Slash really paid off. I was able to hold on for the win only 0.7 seconds over second place. All the Slash trucks ran perfectly and it was a great show!
Coming off my win in the Slash Spec class, I felt I could run my race Slash 2WD even harder in the turns than what I had been doing in qualifying. I had a rough start and was shuffled down in the pack. I put in some fast laps, was able to run with the leaders, and finally made my way back up to 3rd for the final podium spot. Considering the competition that was there, I am very happy with that finish. The high-traction surface was great for the Slash and it really shined on this track.
Short Course Mod Expert 4x4 was my last race of the day. I started 5th on the grid and tried to make the podium in all three classes for the weekend. I had an excellent start to the race and fought my way up to 2nd place. Sometimes it is tough switching from 2WD race mode to 4WD race mode, and it takes a few laps to dial back into the groove. As the race went on, I was getting the feel of the 4WD truck but ran out of time before I could work my way back to the front of the pack. The competition in this race was fierce and it made for great racing.
Throughout the weekend, there were always people watching the racing and walking through the pit area. I had all of my cars on display, and the two things that drew the most attention were the Robby Gordon Edition Dakar Slash and the QR-1 helicopter. Everyone was very impressed with the QR-1, and I had fun flying it outside and letting some people try it out.
It was a great weekend of racing and my Slash trucks performed flawlessly. Mike Garrison from Live RC ran an excellent race with high enthusiasm all weekend long.
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