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JConcepts - Winter Indoor Electric Nationals

Posted: 2/6/2010

Event: JConcepts Winter Indoor Nationals
Date: Feb 6-7, 2010
Location: SmacTrac, Missouri
Race Reporter: Jason Ruona

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Jared Tebo wins all 3 modified classes at Winter Indoor Championships.

St. Charles, Missouri was the location for the first annual Winter Indoor Nationals. It was cold outside but warm inside the SmacTrac facility as practice started Friday with drivers coming from all over to test the new track layout. It was apparent in practice that the track layout was a challenge, especially the split lane in the center of the track.

The separation of the split lane provided many drivers the opportunity to showcase their best driving tricks and stunts as the narrow lane sometimes provided the ultimate test of control in a narrow space. By weekends end everyone looked comfortable and everyone just remembered, when in doubt steer a little to the left.

194 entries made this first annual event a smashing success. Local drivers Rod Rippee, Chris Baumgartner and Matt Gosch were always hospitable to everyone traveling from out of the area providing a much needed personal touch whenever necessary. SmacTrac snacks and Wayne Snider made sure everyone was fed with the most interestingly named food.

The hot tire setup at SmacTrac was the Blue Compound Bar Codes all the way around. The only question was full tread or partial tread.  After switching back and forth several times the locals went with partial tread and the out of towners were enjoying success on full tread. Either way, tire wear and traction was not an issue. One set of tires was all that was needed for the weekend.

Friday practice went smoothly with a club race warm-up Friday night. 18 laps seemed to be a quick run in the 2wd and truck classes and 19 laps in 4wd. As predicted, Jared Tebo was running exceptionally well and TQ'ed the club race. World Champion skills on display in Missouri.

As everyone got ready Saturday morning for qualifiers they put a slight mist on the track and we were off. 3 complete rounds of qualifying took most of the day but racing and time moved quickly indoors. It was snowing outside but you would hardly know with all the drivers wearing t-shirts inside. The heat was on inside. Thumbs up!

After qualifying was completed for the day, quite a few went to Show Me's (looks like Hooters) next door. Zack Genova, Matt Gosch made some new friends but soon it was time to call it a night. Sunday had 1 more qualifier remaining and mains should be quick to follow.

It was an early start on Sunday morning and quite a few guys were running a little late. Racing at 7:00am just seems too early to operate an M11x. Not many of the drivers improved in round 4 and it was time to prepare for the mains.

Personally, I installed a new motor in my buggy to hopefully gain some more control. I also had just rebuilt the front and rear end with new plastic so my buggy was pretty fresh. I'm still running my same magic diff from the Super Cup a week before. The 4wd wasn't nearly as choice for A-1 but I was going to power through it.

I noticed something very cool as we moved into the mains. In the 2wd stock class an RC10 was sitting 2nd on the grid. He was running current tires JConcepts Bar Codes and current electrical. 1993 technology was looking good! If you really want to get technical I think the RC10 with a Stealth transmission was around in late 1989 early 1990 in prototype form. 20 year old technology racing at the Winter Indoor nationals and doing well. Impressive; makes me want to build my old dream car. Need an Illuzion for an RC10!

A-1 in 2wd was up and after a good start I was sitting in the top 3. Sweet! Time to reel in Tebo....wrong. I tried but it didn't happen and I settled for 3rd behind Jared and Chris Baumgartner. I was really happy with my changes and going to partial tread Bar Codes on tires. I was fighting a slight push but its better than fighting a tweak right?

A-2 started and Jared checked out again and the battle was for 2nd-4th. I held off Rod, Chris and Josh Wheeler for 2nd. I wish I was sitting on pole for round 3... :).

A3 started very cleanly and without Jared, it was quite a race. ;) Rod got into the lead with Chris and me 2nd and 3rd. For a moment I thought it was going to be a 3-way battle for the lead but Rod began to stretch it. Sitting in 2nd with 2 laps to go I made a small mistake on the step-up jump allowing Chris by. Small mistake = case and flip...ugh

The overall finishing order was Jared, Chris Baumgartner and I. Great racing

Modified truck was once again owned by Tebo with wins in A-1 and A-2. A-3 saw Rod Rippee take advantage of a great start and pull out a win giving him second overall. Justin Driemeier finished 3rd in the overall standings after qualifying 2nd. Great job!

The bad boys of R/C race 4wd modified. At least that is what most announcers say before they start. I believe it!

As the Bad Boys started, Jared was in control once again. However, Josh Wheeler with his B44 was giving him fits early in the main and seemed very quick. Lap times were fairly equal early but mistakes from Josh put the rest of us in contention. I believe Rod, Josh and I all held our own in 2nd but it was Rod that looked a little more consistent and ultimately held down the 2nd spot. I started suffering some electrical issues which didn't help but I was happy to be on pace. Jared was checked out.

In A-2 once again it was Jared, Josh, Rod and myself. Positions were up for grabs but Josh and Rod finished up front in 2nd and 3rd while I suffered some more electrical issues. Ok, I will change it for A-3. Haha

With the title clinched Jared sat out A-3 once again and let the rest of us battle. Rod pulled the lead with me and the others in tow. With my motor changed out I was on pace but a mistake on the step-up (huge nose dig) toward the end finished my race bumping me out of top 3 potential for the 4wd class. Homer Simpson, doh!

Finishing order once again was Jared Tebo in 1st with Rod Rippee in 2nd, Josh Wheeler in 3rd and myself in the 4th position.

Congratulations to all the winners. I would really like to thank John Piant for suggesting the race and the SmacTrac crew on an outstanding facility and event. I'm looking forward to next year.

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