March 28th – 29th saw the final round of the spectacular Northwest Indoor Series go down in epic fashion at Tacoma R/C Raceway. A series much needed to retain the growth and competitiveness of the Northwest progressing forward so that racers here can compete on the bigger stage. This series was once on the brink of extinction and with a last minute organizer change and with the help from a few in the community, Scott Brown has resurrected the series back into a thriving success. The racing is top notch, the tracks are legit and fun, and the program smooth as eggs. It has been a pleasure to attend all 4 rounds of the NIS and already looking forward to next year’s series that may include the possibilities of additional tracks in the PNW!
The NIS standard format is doors opening for controlled practice on Saturday at 8am, which proceeds until 2:30pm. From there, a short drivers meeting and then straight into 2 rounds of qualifying. On Sunday, morning practice starts at 7am for an hour and then directly into the final round of qualifying. Taking only the best 2 of 3 runs to set up the triple A-mains for all the classes, the event was destined to find some great racing all weekend long.
The track crew at TRCR always do a fantastic job of creating a fun layout with a good mix of technical and flow. This year’s layout lived up to the reputation with a layout that was very easy to get around, but extremely hard to squeeze out every last tenth. Those that mastered their setup and driving technique were able to separate themselves from the pack as it was clearly evident during qualifying. The gap was close all the way down the field and 1 mistake could mean a drop to a lower main! It was intense racing throughout the entire weekend!
Here are the racing results for the weekend below. Thanks to all that participated and made the trip to the final round of the NIS as the racing just seems to get better and better each round.
Qualifying in 2wdMod was pretty straight forward. Having TQ’d all rounds in qualifying, the 2wdMod class was dominated by AE/Reedy/JConconcept’s Michael Schoettler. The young Tacoma native just seemed to have another gear over his competitors this weekend and left everyone battling for 2nd and 3rd. In the 1st round of quals, Schumacher/Viper’s Mikey Brown would take a 2nd for round setting himself next in line during qualifying while Kyosho/Orion’s Ryan Matesa would finish 3rd. However, in round 2 Matesa would put in a fabulous run to finish 2nd and TLR’s JC Johnson would wrap up the 3rd spot. Both Brown and Johnson would have to edge out Matesa in the final round of qualifying and/or finish 2nd in round 3 to take the 2nd spot on the grid behind Schoettler. In excellent form, Ryan Matesa would put in a clutch run and take a 3 for the round while Brown would finish just behind Matesa setting up the grid with Schoettler starting on pole.
A1 – Thanks to Anthony Honstain for his hard work and recording some of the races. Please check out his Youtube channel for more videos. Here is the action in 2wdMod buggy A1 below!
A2 – More 2wdMod action below!
A3 – Showing his dominance once again in the 2wd modified class, Schoettler has swept up another NIS and was able to sit out A3. Clearly establishing himself among the NW’s all time greats…. has yet to lose an A-main round! With a cool, calm, demeanor mixed with dedication, talent, and experience has all come together in a perfect storm and proud that he is representing the NW as he travels the nation and competes at the highest level.
With a great effort in A2, TLR’s JC Johnson just found his stride late in the game. Struggling a little bit in qualifying to get his car perfectly dialed, Johnson was able to put in a killer drive in A2 to set himself nicely in A3.
It would be a 3 way shootout for the remaining 2 podium spots between Schumacher/Viper’s Mike Brown, Kyosho/Orion’s Ryan Matesa, and TLR’s JC Johnson! With Matesa and Johnson both having a 2nd and Brown’s best a 3rd, it would come down to the final A main that decides who goes home with what trophy along with bragging rights for the rest of the year. If Brown was able to take the win in A3, it would go to the tie-breaker which might just give him 2nd overall. If Matesa or Johnson won A3, they would take home 2nd. The stage was set for an epic showdown as all eyes were on those three.
Carrying his momentum from A2, JC Johnson would charge from 5th on the grid and chase down Matesa and Brown in an epic back and forth battle between the 3 drivers. With fewer mistakes, Johnson would use the clock to his advantage and catch both drivers while capitalizing on their small bobbles and eventually take over the lead. Crossing the line and taking the win, it would be Johnson sealing the deal for 2nd place. With Mikey Brown finishing 3rd, he would eclipse Matesa for last spot on the podium.
I would like to thank Scott Brown for his hard work in organizing the Northwest Indoor Series. It’s a lot of hard work and dedication that is easily overlooked and often forgotten. Huge thanks goes out to Tyson Blood of Fusion Graphix as well for doing all the banners and awards for the series as they always look professionally done and very original. I hope all the racers had a great time throughout the series and, unfortunately and apologetically, am unable to write about all the great racing in all the classes! As this is a labor of love and haven’t received a penny for my work, I would like to thank all of you for attending and for your support! Till next year!!
Enjoy a few photos from this race event below. Thanks again to Anthony Honstain for the video uploads. Please follow his youtube channel for more videos around the NW and more.
I will be doing a Photo Epic and Overall awards post tomorrow! Thanks again and please share!