Thursday, January 11, 2018

Top Notch Tour Round 6 at Revelation Raceway 2018

I attended the Top Notch Tour round 6 race at Revelation Raceway on January 6, 2018. I want to start off by thanking Oscar Lopez and Buddy Blacksmith for all the help in the pits and Don Vinkemulder for all the setup tips! 

The track really didnt change since round 4, but I still had a great time racing! I made lots of set up changes this race and I was able to get my buggies to a point I was really happy with. I had some issues in the main for gas buggy but I was really happy with how I drove. Ebuggy was a challenge for me, I like to be courteous when racing but I am starting to find that I end up getting taken out for being too nice...

 Here is a shot of my TLR 8ight E 4.0 before the A Main. I got these new wings from Amazon and they work really well, but the color kind of throws me off. My next paint scheme will have to match! 

It turns out my Protek servo simply overheated last race and all it needed was some new grease to perform good as new. 
 Here is a shot of my TLR 8ight 4.0 before the A Main. My gas buggy was on point all day, but I blew a glow plug right before the main and it threw my tune all out of whack.

Here is a shot leading onto the straight. That berm was really tough to navigate at speed and many people ended up hitting the pits!

Here is a shot of the off camber double doubles before the berm. This buggy was getting a little sideways!

This track has lots of double doubles, and here is a shot of the set after the straight away!

Here is a shot of the optional straight away and some more double doubles. Many people took the optional straight away and would clip those pipes in the center at full speed!

Here is a shot of the other end of the option straight and doubles.

There were plenty of AKA drivers racing, here is a shot of Oscar Lopez's buggy after some morning practice. 

Here is another AKA team driver Jeremy Hase Sr ,  he ended up taking the win with his Truggy here!

Here is a shot of the center field of the track. Lots of 180 turns and doubles!

 Here is a shot of the the front straight, those puddles made the track extra challenging. 

I ended up placing 5th in the main even for Sportsman nitro buggy! I was really happy with how I performed. 

I ended up placing 6th overall in Open E-buggy. I am still trying to find my groove in E-buggy, this race was challenging for me. Buddy Blacksmith again passed me on the last lap of the race... I need to step up my game for next race! I ordered some Lipo Factory LCG batteries to help lighten the load for next race, I am super excited to try them out! You can check out the batteries here:

Overall I was really happy with this race. I learned a ton about setup and got the chance to rebuild the front end of both buggies!

Thank you AKA and Team Trinity for all of your support with keeping my tires, motor, and batteries dialed.

-Matthew Garcia

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Top Notch Tour Round 5 at Channel Islands Raceway 2017

On December 16th, 2017 I attend the 5th round of the Top Notch Tour at Channel Islands Raceway in Santa Barbara, CA. First I would like to thank Shara and Jeff Hurley for all the help in the pits and the epic turn marshaling!!

It was a interesting day in that the Thomas fire was bearing down on Santa Barbara and we had to wear masks to avoid breathing in smoke and ash. Overall I was extremely impressed with the track facilities, with both a 1/10 scale track and 1/8 scale track. Although the only hiccup we had was the power going out in the pits due to the some issue with the generators.

Here is a shot of my TLR 8ightE 4.0 right before my first qualifier. The buggy felt good in the morning with a fresh oil throughout the buggy.

I was driving really dumb in practice and took out my front shock tower... Here is a shot of the aftermath.

Here is a shot of the track from the top left corner when looking from the drivers' stand. The track was very challenging to many large, off camber jumps and tight technical turns. This was actually the top of the off camber step up that claimed many broken parts throughout the day.

Here is a shot of the step up, it was massive!

Before the step up, there was a small rhythm double in front of the drivers stand. After the double, there was a small down hill to a small double into a very tight turn. So many people got the small double wrong and ended up flipping over. 

After the downhill double and tight turn, there was a very technical mid field that would jump onto the back straight. A lot of time was either gained in the middle with a smooth tight lines, or you blew it and got passed. Many times people would flip you in the first turn, you you would end up wide from coming in too hot and promptly be passed.

The top straight away was very narrow and it was easy to to get the line wrong and hit the back wall. the end of the straight led into a step down, that then lead into a high speed berm. That step down gave me so much trouble all day and the berm nearly took me out completely.

Here is a shot of the berm. Trying to make a pass in the loom in the middle left of the image sent me flying off the track. In order to make it fast through the berm you has to stay low.

After the berm, there was another off camber double right out of a 180 degree turn. This part of the track was fairly simple.

After the previous double, you came up to another 180 degree turn and directly into this huge double that lead into the lap counter. The objective of the big double was to stay low and downside perfectly in order to set up the turn that came immediately after landing.

The weather was nice overall, but a plume of smoke rained down ash over the track. Here is a shot of the sun being blocked out!

Here is another shot of the smoke that lingered over the track.

The Ebuggy main was rough for me. I ended up getting taken out pretty hard and here is a shot of the aftermath.

            Here is the video of the main.

The Sportsman buggy A Main started very poorly for me, but I kept my cool and tried my best to keep it all together. I ended up getting a 3rd place finish!

           Here is the video of the main.

This race was a great learning experience for me and I really enjoyed myself overall! I am excited to paint some fresh bodies! 

Thank you AKA and Team Trinity for all of your support with keeping my tires, motor, and batteries dialed.

-Matthew Garcia

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Toys for Tots Race 2017 at Thunder Alley RC Raceway

On December 9th 2017 I attended the Annual Toys for Tots Race at Thunder Alley Raceway. I want to start by thanking Oscar Lopez for helping me set up my buggy the night before this race, I cant thank you enough sir! Thank you Buddy Blacksmith for the help in the pits, I am looking forward to the DNC!

The track was very high speed and required you to flow with the many ruts  and Gale force winds. It was a packed house with over 100 entries, and there was plenty of competition. 

Here is a shot of the drivers stand!

I had the privilege of pitting with the Buddy Blacksmith, Ryan Taylor, Ryan Pavidis, and Don Vinkemulder. I was lucky enough to get a lesson on buggy set up and racing techniques. Turns out my late night wrenching caused me to assemble the rear hubs improperly...

This is what it looked like walking from the track to the pits.

As the day progressed the track started to smooth out and groove in more on the long straights and big jumps. Other parts of the track continued to deteriorate and larger ruts formed.

Here is a shot from the top of the track.

There where two Double Doubles and a triple. This shot shows the straight leading up to the top of the track. At the top you would have to Double and then accelerate to make the massive step down Double that followed.

Here is a shot of some serious acceleration. This buggy was fully loaded and ready to launch!

After rounding the corner of the step down, you would immediately approach the Double to Triple. Here is a top down view of the section!

After all the huge jumps, you had this little berm into some double doubles and then a single double to a tabletop. The tabletop actually led to the straight away that was very high speed.

Here is a shot of the straight away and the pits. Everyone was very focused on their pit duties! You can see a couple buggies pushing hard down this section of the track.

Here is a video of my TLR 8ight 4.0 buggy in the C main. The buggy was super dialed all day long. The Oscar Lopez set up had the buggy performing great! I used AKA Soft Long wear Gridiron II tires on all 4 wheels.

Overall I had a great time at the Toys for Tots race. I got some valuable testing in and learned some important set ups. I only raced gas buggy this race and ended up getting 4th in the C main. I made some really dumb mistakes while trying to play the bump game and it cost me. I will be ready to crush it at the next race!

Thank you AKA and Team Trinity for all of your support with keeping my tires, motor, and batteries dialed.

-Matthew Garcia

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Top Notch Tour Round 4 Revelation Raceway 2017

I attended the Top Notch Tour round 4 race at Revelation Raceway on Nov 18, 2017. I have been getting into Nitro racing over the past several months and I have to say that this race got me hooked.

I decided to race E-Buggy and Nitro Buggy, I have recently decided Nitro buggy is my favorite. 
Here is a shot of my TLR 8ight 4.0 Ebuggy and 3.0 Nitro Buggy.

The track was very challenging with many off camber jumps, blind turns, and split sections. Here is a shot of the two sets of off camber double doubles.

Here is a shot coming out of the doubles and into the blind turn. There was also this berm that lead into the front straight away. Many racers flew off that berm multiple times... including me!

 Here is a shot of the far side of the track. There was a two doubles, into a table top, then around the corner into a huge double and then to the choice sections. You could chose to 180 off the big double into a straight away, or you could turn and hit a double double instead. Tough choices...
Here is a shot of the front straight away. At this point in the day the mix of dust and fumes was very heavy. It almost looks like there is fog on the track!

This race was rough for me... 

 First I melted my screwdriver with my soldering iron on accident... Womp WOmp...

Then I burned up my Savox Servo. It was locked up solid. The upgraded A6300 Spektrum servo I replaced it with definitely took me by surprise. I have all the steering power now!

Finally, after a year and a half of punishment, one of my 4 cell batteries shorted on me... It was a sad day...

 Now for some good news... I was able to bump up from the B main after not being able to run my second qualifier. I was so stressed out on my final lap but I was able to pull myself together for the last few turns and make the cutoff.

In the A main I started dead last. I was very patient for the first 5 min of the 30 min race. I was able to keep a good pace and avoid getting taken out. Several racers broke their buggies during the first 5 min. After traffic thinned out a little, and I got around several pileups, I started to get on the throttle and push through the pack.

In E-buggy I had a tough time to say the least. My buggy was not set up properly and I was bouncing everywhere. I eventually compensated and tried to put down some clean laps. I ended up in a 10 min battle royale with Buddy Blacksmith, a fellow AKA teammate. I had so much fun battling with Buddy, but he was on point this race and ended up pressuring and overtaking me on the last lap for the 1v1 win. I cant wait to see him again at the next race.

I ended up running AKA GridIron II SSLW on both buggies and I was super happy with the traction. Overall I ended up 5th in gas buggy and 9th in E-buggy.

A huge thank you to Oscar Lopez, Buddy Blacksmith, and Lance Hubbard for all of your help at the track.

Thank you AKA and Team Trinity for all of your support with keeping my tires, motor, and batteries dialed.

-Matthew Garcia

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Getting Back on the Throttle

It been some time since I last got a fist full of throttle, but I want to recap some of the races I have attended this year.

On April 1-2 I attended the 2017 SoCal Nitro Shootout at the Pro-Line test track.

 This is a shot of my E buggy before  my main event. The TLR 8ight-E 4.0 performed well. My AKA Gridirons 2 SSLW got the power being generated from the 2300k Trinity D8 and RevTech battery down to the ground. I was very pleased with the performance of the buggy overall for this race.

 My TLR 8ight 3.0 gas buggy got a serious makeover and a new LRP Ceramic engine put in it. This was the first race on the new engine and I was very impressed with the performance being pumped out! 

I made it to the b main in Open E-Buggy, there was some fierce competition! I was very happy with my performance in E buggy but my Gas buggy skills needed work before the next race.

On April 8, 2017 I attended the finals of the Grass Roots Racing series at Thunder Alley Rc Raceway.

This is a shot of my E-Buggy early in the day right before qualifying. The buggy drove really well, but after a few bobbles in the main, I ended up 9th. My Aka Gridiron 2 SSLW tires on all four rims kept me hooked up all day long!

A shot of my gas truck in the middle of some competitors! The truck was a challenging to drive and the race felt like a blast from the past!

I ended up 2nd over all in Gas truck points. I can wait until next year to  get the gas trucks back out on the track!

On May 20-21 I attended The 9th Annual Pro-Line Gas champs race at the Pro-Line test track.

Team AKA was providing support at this race and I was lucky enough to pit with many of my fellow teammates!
A shot of my buggies the day before the race. I had a great weekend racing and my buggies performed great. I started to really get a good feel for my TLR 8ight 3.0 gas buggy this race. The buggy was predictable and precise all weekend.

I ended up in the B Main and flamed out at the start of the race. I fought back hard and was happy with my performance! This is a video of the main event.

I am ramping up again for Nitro season and I really cannot wait to get back on the throttle. Thank you Team Trinity for keeping me dialed all season! My Also thank you AKA for the amazing, long lasting tires. A huge Thank You to Oscar Lopez and Buddy BlackSmith and the AKA race team for keeping me dialed on the track and in the pits!

Good luck at the races! Remember, you can always ask me for help, just look for the AKA tires, Trinity/RevTech power and the KLA logo at the track.

-Matthew Garcia