The 2013 Dirt Nitro Challenge has come to an end. Sorry for not posting updates throughout the course of the race but the week was filled with late nights, early mornings and strange weather. During the practice day it rained, then snowed and then hailed. I had no clue Arizona got that kind of weather. Joey and the dirt crew worked the track into the night and over the course of the next day to make the surface as good as possible given the amount of rainfall. Afterwards we had a couple of gorgeous days. Sunday was the killer. 30+ mph winds beat the spectators and racers into a wind blown fury. The track became very high bite due to the wind. It was like a constantly swept track with zero to no dust on the surface. While this may sound like an ideal condition, the rain and melted snow from earlier in the week combined with the foot prints from track maintenance made the surface very rough in some places. However this is off road and while we struggled to make the best of no practice and grueling track conditions, others had good success.
Durango had issued us another stack of test parts for our buggy. With no time on them, setup was a bit sketchy to say the least. Carson had the week prior to dial his stuff in. Thank goodness because Team Durango needed somebody in the Pro Buggy A. So hats off to Carson Wernimont for a great race and good finish. Ryan and I were not so lucky with the buggy. We chased setup all weekend and never really got a feel for the updated car. We qualified in the C and broke an upper front shock bolt during the course of the race ending our pro buggy racing for the week.
In Pro Truggy we had a good run. As always the DNX408T was dialed and things were looking good. We qualified second and I felt really good about our chances for a podium in the Pro Truggy class. However as fate would have it, the EXACT SAME PART broke this year as last year, an inner camber rod bolt. Gerd and I raced the truck to the pits in ‘never give up’ style and fixed the truck. Granted we went out several laps down, the tough surface could drop trucks out any minute. With under 10 minutes to go the rear axle sheared off flush with the hub ending our Pro Truggy run for the second year in a row. Disappointed we went back to the pits.
In Pro 4 SCT Ryan is always a force to be contended with. He is a beast in this class and were confident in a great finish. Austin Blair (spelling??) was there to give Ryan a run for his money out qualifying us by under a second. That put us second on the grid for the double A mains. In the first A main Austin had an issue and allowed Ryan to get a 12 +/- second lead. In the second A main mistakes over a step up in the center killed our chances. While Ryan was able to work up to a respectable second place, it wasn’t enough for the tie breaker putting us in second overall and handing the number one spot to Austin.
Pro E-Buggy was another tough one for us as we just could not seem to get a handle on the surface. W did manage to have one decent qualifier which put us 6th in the A. Immediately Ryan moved up to fourth then first with Billy Fischer in tow. A late race pass by Billy put him in first and us in second. So another second place for the TD crew.
All in all it was a great to see old friends and connect with new ones. Special thanks to the AKA crew for the great grilling and the pit spot as well as to Joey and the dirt crew for holding the race. I am determined to beat the dirt.. I am already looking forward to 2014 Dirt Nitro Challenge. So competitors beware, Lutz RC is coming with a vengeance to capture a win at the DNC.
Next race for us is the Psycho Nitro Challenge. 24 hours a day of qualifying, racing and lack of sleep.