The first weekend of November I traveled to Portland, OR. and then made the quick 20 minute drive to Ridgefield, Wa. for the Fallout R/C Arenacross.  This was my second trip to Washington in 2019 for an event put on by Justin Wilde of Wilde Events.  Futaba was the title sponsor for the 2019 Fallout.

I arrived Friday morning and headed straight to the track to get set up and start practice.  At all Wilde events the practice is controlled and racers are given punch cards to ensure everyone gets organized practice with each vehicle.  The process works amazing and allows you to plan your practice runs and not spend most of the day standing in line waiting to get on the driver’s stand.  I hit the track with my MBX8T nitro truck to get a feel for the surface and layout.  The grip was low to medium and the layout was pretty fast and flowing.  My truck felt really good out of the gate, it had tons of steering and was easy to drive.  My second practice of the day was in electric buggy.  The car was really good, but needed a little more steering in the 180’s.  After a couple of runs with my MBX8T and MBX8Eco, I turned my focus to nitro buggy and started testing tire compounds.  As the day went on the track started to dry out, traction increased, and some small holes were developing.  At the end of the day I was really happy with all three vehicles and was set to start qualifying with M4 Holeshots on all three vehicles.

At the conclusion of practice, I mounted tires, cleaned my vehicles and we had a little cookout in the pits.  Even with nearly 300 entries, the atmosphere was super laidback and enjoyable.  It was awesome to spend time getting to hang out with the locals from the Pacific Northwest.

Saturday morning started with a brief practice session for anyone who wasn’t able to practice on Friday.  Justin Wilde then had a driver’s meeting followed by three rounds of qualifying.  Overall qualifying would be based on racer’s best two qual. points out of three.  Nitro buggy was my first race of the day.  I was in the fourth and final heat of nitro buggy, which allowed me to know the pace of the other racers in the class.  I had a really clean and consistent run, my overall consistency for the run was nearly 99% and I grabbed the TQ with the only 10-lap run of the round.  Next was electric buggy, I TQ’ed the round flowed by Mugen Seiki teammate Andy Dibrino.  Nitro truck was my final class for the round.  I had really good speed, but made one mistake on my own and got a little help from a fellow racer on the final lap, I finished second for the round.

Round 2 I decided to make a small change and reduce the rear toe-in on both of my buggies and also run harder tires in all three classes because the track was drying out and gaining grip.  I was happy with the changes and ended up TQing the round in nitro buggy and nitro truck.  I had a few mistakes in electric buggy and finished 3rd for the round.

Round 3 No changes to the vehicles, but I decided to test tires because the track conditions were going to be very similar to the conditions we would see for the mains on Sunday.  I switched to M3 SlideLock for both buggy classes and S4 Holeshots for truck.  I was able to TQ all three classes in round three of qualifying and was the overall top qualifier in nitro buggy, nitro truck, and electric buggy.  After qualifying, I cleaned up my vehicles, organized my tires, and again hung out with the locals for a cookout at the track.

Sunday morning I prepped my vehicles for the finals.  I serviced my nitro clutches, charged my receiver packs, changed my 7PX battery, and mounted a bunch of tires just to be ready incase the conditions changed with the track throughout the day.  Joe Pillars only lives 35 minutes from the track and came out on Sunday to hang out and help in the pits.

A1 of electric buggy was up first.  I lead from tone to tone and took the victory followed by teammate Andy Dibrino.  The track was really staring to gain “character” and the square edged bumps would keep you on our toes.  A2 of electric buggy was my next race, it went similar to A1 and I was able to lead from start to finish and take the overall in electric buggy for the weekend.  My first nitro final of the day was the 30-minute nitro truck final.  The grip was increasing and so was tire wear.  I stuck to my game plan and ran M3 Holeshots, but knew in the back of my mind that my tires may be slicks towards the end of the final.  In the beginning of the final I put in clean and consistent laps and pulled a comfortable lead.  In the end, everything went smooth (even my tires), pit stops were great, and I got the win.  My final race of the 2019 Fallout was the 30-minute nitro buggy final.  My nitro buggy had been awesome all weekend, I was excited for the final.  My plan was to do 10-minute pit stops during the buggy final.  I was confident in this strategy as my runtime all weekend was around 11:30 per tank.  Before going up on the stand for the final Joe asked me, “are you sure you want to pit at 10 minutes?”, I was like yes, but I’ll come in whenever you call me.  Joe looked a bit confused.  Haha  The final started great and I was able to pull a way from the rest of the field.  Joe decided to play it safe and called me in for the first stop around 8:30 – 9:00, this allowed me to have a clear shot through pit lane because the rest of the field was pitting every 7:30.  Again everything went smooth, we had really clean pit stops and I was able to take the victory and make it three for three at the 2019 Fallout R/C Arenacross presented by Futaba!!

Special thanks to Futaba, Wilde Events, Joe Pillars, and everyone involved for making this a successful weekend!!