– January 11th and 12th, 2014 –
Round 3 of the 2014 Pacific Northwest Showdown found itself in Tacoma, Washington at Tacoma RC Raceway, or better know as ‘TRCR’. This wonderful track is home to some of the northwest’s best 1/10 scale offroad racers and also the home of RC legend, track owner, and ambassador… Scott Brown. With Scott’s many years of racing experience at the WORLDS level, he’s able to cultivate and influence his local racers in ways many others can’t. For example, if this was the world of boxing it would be like getting trained by Freddie Roach. As a result, the competition at TRCR is the highest around and what some would call the OCRC of the pacific NW. In order to compete here, you must rise to the occasion and bring your “A” game!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend on Saturday because of work, but I did make the early drive up on Sunday to catch the 2wd action for 2wdmod.com. The series format remains the same with open practice on Saturday from 9am to 5pm and 1 round of qualifying starting from 5:30pm. This would leave 2 rounds of qualifying for Sunday, then using qual points to set up the double A-main event.
The track layout is what I’d call unusual for TRCR. The typical layouts are usually SUPER technical with smaller jumps. This time however, there was this double into a super huge triple section that normally takes up a full length straightaway. It was an immense challenge to perfectly execute this jump section for 5 minutes as I saw a lot of cars crashing from either coming up short or over shooting the landing. But, if you did time the distance just right, it would immediately go into a 90 degree turn followed by the “whoops” section. If you carry too much speed or go to slowly, the car would get buck’d around losing even more time. It was a simple layout, filled with extremely challenging features!
Stock SC was all about young Jackson Andres. By securing the TQ spot, Jackson would lead from start to finish in both A-mains and leave the battle for 2nd and 3rd to be decided between Jason Gainey and James Johnson. In A2, Jason Gainey took matters into his own hands and would eventually prevail and take the 2nd place trophy home while James Johnson took 3rd overall. Great job guys.
In the Stock Truck class it would be 4 Season’s driver, Jason Gainey, who lead the way from TQ and never look back. By winning A1 and A2, he would clearly take the overall leaving Lance Norton finishing 2nd and young Kenny Root 3rd to round out the podium. Kenny was ecstatic! Check out Kenny’s “I’m too sexy” pose below!
2wd Stock – The battle for stock buggy supremacy was fierce. TQ, Andrew Tuck and Mike Shirk put on a show that won’t soon be forgotten. Here is the video for A1. Unfortunately, A2 vid was botched as my GoPro wifi remote was dead, thinking I pushed record and got it to record A2. WRONG! The thing needs a Reedy SQ pack and it would be dialed! With Andrew Tuck winning A1, Mike Shirk needed to pull out a win in A2 to take the overall as he finished 2nd in the first main. Putting together the fastest run of the day in stock buggy, Mike Shirk would seal the deal and win A2 with a 3 second margin. Congrats to Mike Shirk with the win, 2nd place to Andrew Tuck and 3rd to Brian Autry.
4×4 SC was a great battle between Curtis Stevens and Brian Umpstead. A1 went to TQ Brian Umpstead by a comfy 7 seconds plus. A2 would be a whole different story. Having a horrible start, Umpstead fell back to dead last after the 1st lap. Curtis Stevens would take over the lead and was making a mad dash for the finish line. Like a surgeon, Umpstead would cut his way through traffic and with 2 laps to go, he would reel in and catch the leader and put Stevens under immense pressure! On the last lap Umpstead would give it all he had and crossing the line, it would be Curtis Stevens taking the win by .3 seconds! By winning A2, he would take the tie breaker and win the overall. Great race guys!
In 4wd Mod buggy, Anthony Honstain was on a mission. Having won A1 by about 4 seconds, 2nd place qualifier, Dion Denison, would pose to be his closest threat. Denison was always close enough to capitalize if Honstain made a mistake, but mistake free Honstain would wrap up A1 in full control. A2 would be much of a repeat, but this time Honstain would improve upon his A1 time by going 5 seconds faster. Once again, Denison and his B44.2 lingered but could not close the gap enough to mount an attack. Team Associated’s young talent, Harley Yoshii would take 3rd on the podium with fast, consistent finishes.
A1 – Sunday proved to be Team Associated, Michael Schoettler’s day as he drove with near perfection in both A mains. You could tell from the very start of the race he had the confidence and the car to drive away from the field at the sound of the tone. Some would call it, “The Eye of the Tiger!!” Shooting off fast laps like a lazer gun, he would quickly build a comfortable gap between him and 2nd place qualifier, Kyosho’s Ryan Matesa. Matesa would have a unlucky roll over allowing Shaun Dunlap and Team Associated’s, Luke Smith, to sneak on by making it a frantic 3 car battle for 2nd place. After a few laps of bumper to bumper chasing, Dunlap would go for a risky pass on the inside of the triple, but unfortunately landing his car on the pipe causing him to bounce and skip into Smith resulting in a crash. With great display of sportsmanship and respect for Luke, Dunlap would wait and give Luke his position back. Meanwhile, this would then allow Matesa back into 2nd. A1 would finish with local favorite, Michael Schoettler taking the win, Ryan Matesa in 2nd and Luke Smith in 3rd.
A2 – From the sound of the tone, Schoettler was off. Quickly known as the “Schoettler Show”, Michael would once again pull away from the field. Ryan Matesa, put on a fantastic drive and not let Schoettler pull away too far. Always in striking distance, Ryan would not give up and stayed within 2 seconds of the leader. At the 1:45 mark, 3rd place runner, Luke Smith would make a mistake and Shaun Dunlap was there to seize the opportunity and position. Having taken over 3rd place, Dunlap knew he had to quickly catch and pass Ryan to have a chance at battling with Schoettler for the A2 win. With a minute left, the battle for 2nd place was on as Shaun pulled within a 1/2 second of Ryan. As both racers turned up the intensity, they were matching each other lap for lap. Leaving nothing on the table, Shaun would close the distance within a bumper’s length, but couldn’t find a way around before crossing the line when time had expired. Handling the pressure like a pro, Ryan Matesa would finish ahead by .4 seconds and secure 2nd place overall. What an epic battle from 2 of the North West’s finest. Awesome to watch! Check out the videos below.
Here are a few more photos from round 3 so please enjoy. Thanks for stopping by 2wdMod.com…. Just doing the best I can. Thanks to all the hard work from the guys at TRCR for making a fun, challenging track. Many thanks to Scott Brown for hosting a great race, Marty Barnes and Derek Rasheed for organizing the event, Dalton Shirk for announcing, and the biggest thanks to all the racers who attended. You guys make it happen. Hope to see you at the next race in Albany, OR at NW Hobbies on March 1st and 2nd!
Lastly, here are the updated series points for the series through 3 rounds.