TEAM LEWIS RACING

Upcoming Events

After 3 weeks off from racing to do some fishing and spending time around the house, Team Lewis Racing is getting geared up for a busy 5 weeks starting this weekend! 10407457_10207140840948052_4493863493296371492_n

AMS 5.0 – The Greatest Show on Earth!

AMS 5.0, the Great Show On Earth!!!  Where do I even begin?  This race has such a special meaning for Landen and I as it was the first big race we ever attended 2 years ago.  We were so lost when we got there but it was a launching point for Landen.  It was following this race, that Landen got his first sponsorship.  We had been looking forward to this race ever since it was added to the calendar.  Outside of the Cactus Classic in Arizona, this is our favorite race of the year.  And this year did not disappoint.

On our way to Alabama, we were about one hour into the 8 hour trip and I didn’t;t think about going through the Agriculture/Weigh Station on I-10 with my 12′ cargo trailer.  About 1 mile later, the Cabbage Cop had caught up to me and made it very known that she was upset about it.  She go to go into my trailer and inspect everything.  Of course she had never heard of R/C Racing and took that time to want to hear all about it.  Of course, the best part was the comment she made, “Over Yonder”…  I got a warning and about 20 minutes later we were off again.

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We arrived Thursday evening and got the new Team Lewis Racing tent all setup for the weekend.

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Landen had not raced his E-Buggy since last October, so unfortunately with all the racing we have had going on and trying to finish up school, he still had to put it together from the last time he raced it.  We stayed and got it ready and glues up tires for the next mornings open practice.

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This year, there was a record number of entries and getting practice in was not easy.  The line to practice was always long but at an event like this, you come in knowing that and you try and get as much as your can.  At. 4:00pm, the intentions was to have controlled timed practice for each class so they could seed you for qualifying.  However after only 6 heats in, the first of many serious thunderstorms came rolling in and we lost power for hours.  While it was frustrating to lose the valuable practice, it was nice to get everything perfectly ready for the next day and walk around and see all my friends.  Going to a race like this is always fun for the competition but I enjoy the socializing more than anything.  When the power came back on, the race director decided to cancel the controlled practice and just open it back up for open practice.  Landen got one more practice in and then we were off to bed because we had to be back at the track at 5:30am the next morning.

Friday morning came and qualifying began bright and early.  The Open Nitro Buggy class was stacked full of some great drivers from all over the country.  Last year, Landen did not make the A-Main and we have been preparing and practicing as much as we could the last month to get ready.  This was the one class that Landen wanted more than any.  We felt as though we had some setup ideas going into this race.  We also knew that we would be completely different than most of the other Kyosho drivers there but we felt we had the setup needed to win.  From the very first practice, we knew that we had nailed it.  Landen’s buggy was awesome from the beginning.  In the first qualifying, Landen had a bad draw and getting around lap traffic was difficult.  He ended by taking 5th overall for that round which was very exciting because we knew we left 15+ seconds on the track.  Making one minor change in the shocks, we went out for round #2.  This round, the heats were resorted and so Landen would get a chance to race with the top 1st Round qualifiers which helped him keep his pace up as those drivers were all great.  He put in a very clean run and took the TQ for the round.  With a 5th and a 1st, we knew Landen had locked in a Top 4 starting position in the A-Main.  So, the only thing to do in Round #3 was to go for overall TQ.  There was no need for any setup changes.  Landen decided to run the same set up Proline M3 Holeshots from the first 2 qualifiers and went out and took the TQ for the round, giving him the overall TQ for the event.

Qual

 

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In the Open E-Buggy class, we put the same setup we had on the Nitro Buggy because we knew it was good.  However, the E-Buggy was not as planted and did not have the same steering that Landen likes so as the day went, we kept making changes after changes hoping to just make the A-Main and find the setup needed for him to compete.  By the end of qualifying, Landen felt good with the buggy and was able to get the 5th best qualifying run in the last qualifier.  This would get him into the A-Main but unfortunately, he would be starting 12th overall in both A1 and A2.  We decided to make one last change which was to lower the rear diff oil to 2,000cst and we felt we had the buggy as good as we could get it for the mains.  At 3:00am in the morning, after being at the track since 5:30am, we decided to go to the hotel and get as much sleep as we could.  With Landen being in all A-Mains, that allowed us to sleep in and get some much needed rest.  Or, at least that was my goal.  Landen woke me up several hours earlier than I wanted becasue he pumped and excited.  So, off to the track we went.

First up would be his A1 and A2 of Electric Buggy.  He was starting 12th on the grid and the caliber of competition in this class was so high and this being his  1st time behind this vehicle in over 7 months, I was just hoping for a Top 5 finish.  That would have exceeded our expectations by allot.    In A1, Landen had a rough time getting around all the buggies as everyone is obviously racing hard.  He had the speed and the buggy was dialed but just couldn’t get to the top after such a bad start.  In the first few turns, Landen got hit as he was accelerating and got flipped over.  He was the last to be turn-marshaled and found himself dead last and 12 seconds slower on the first lap than the leaders.  I was concerned that he would then over drive the car and lose his cool but I was proud that he fought hard, driving his line and going for it.  By the end of the race, he had got all the way up to 4th place.  With the start that he had, 4th was AWESOME.  We would take it.  In A2, Landen took a different approach to the start and made the most amazing pass.  By the start of Lap 3, Landen was all the way up to 2nd place and with a great battle with Hunter Cupp the entire race, Landen was able to squeeze out 2nd for the race which secured him 3rd Overall for the Open E-Buggy Event.  Taking home 3rd in the Open class at such a premiere event and not racing the buggy for over 7 months, I could not have been more proud of Landen.

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Later on in the evening, it was time for Open Nitro A-Main.  Landen would be sitting TQ and we knew he had the buggy to bring it home.  After already getting podium in E-Buggy, I felt good as Landen seemed to be relaxed and confident going into the 30 Minute A-main.  At the start of the race, Landen and Danny Bartholomew went back and forth for the lead but had separated themselves from the rest of the pack.  Around lap #8, Landen went to make the jump onto the front stretch and his engine flamed out.  I could not believe it.  His buggy was so good and his REDS engine had performed so well all weekend.  I felt so bad for him.  Jader Lopez, who was pitting for Landen got him back on the track but on the first lap back out there, it flamed out again.  At this point, Landen had no chance for podium.  Some engine tuning adjustments were made and Landen went back out to finish the race in 11th place.  Far from the finish we wanted but Landen drove so good.  If it had not been for engine failure, there is no doubt he had what it took to win the race.  However, things happen in Nitro racing and we know that.  We kept our heads high and accepted what had happened.  He still proved through qualifying that he was fast and could leave the race knowing that at least on Friday in qualifying, he had the best car.

This is the third race in a row that Landen has driven his Kyosho MP9 and has yet to break a single part.  Last year, we could not finish a race without something breaking.  At one point, we had almost wanted to give up on racing Nitro because of the frustration.  With a new approach, I am glad to see that the Kyosho is proving why it is the best out there and being the dependable buggy that we need.

We already can’t wait for AMS 6.0, our favorite Nitro race in the country.  Thank you Chris Cassidy for putting on a TOP NOTCH race and being such a great friend as well.  Special thanks to Jader Lopez and Tommy Allen for pitting Landen.  It was nice to have faith in them to take case of those duties and allow me to just get to sit back and watch.  Also, Jovan Cruz made the trip so much fun.  The stories I could tell.  I have never laughed as much as I did this past weekend.  Between Jovan being attacked by a fly in his sleep, using the concrete wall as an A/C unit and filming his own socks for some unknown apparent reason, good times was had by all.  I had so much fun with everyone.  Yes, we never got to sleep and it will take weeks to catch up but I would no change a single moment for anything.  Except for maybe when 1/2 of my thumb got ripped off when I made the “Idiot Move” of weekend by trying to use my thumb to stop a fly-wheel on a run away buggy.  #BadLap #ThanksObama

Thanks goes out to Landen’s sponsors for all their support:  #Kyosho #Proline #REDS #Airtronics #MIP #SchelleRacing #LFR #Stickit1Racing #KustomRCGraphics #Teeter #TeamLewisRacing