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Date of the Event: 03.04.2008Nitro Challenge - 2008
Event: Nitro Challenge
Location: Surprise, AZ
Dates: February 22-24 2008
Class: 1/8th Buggy and Truck
Winter 08 - Nitro Challenge -
Every year the nitro contingent gathers for the first "big" race of the year. The Dirt Nitro Challenge held in Surprise, AZ hosted by the Nitro Pit is the place to be for 1/8th off-road drivers. Taking in approximately 450 entries from around the world this event has turned in to a World Championship caliber type event. Jason Ruona was in attendance representing all the latest in performance gear from JConcepts.
A couple of factors make the Nitro Challenge one of the most difficult races in the year. Only 2 controlled practice runs are allowed per class entered and the qual points system is used in qualifying with only 3 total qualifiers. A drivers 2 best qualifiers are used to sort into main events. The drivers who adapt the quickest are normally at an advantage early on but once the main events come around most drivers are well aclimated and comfortable.
The racing conditions at the Nitro pit varied throughout the day. Starting with a watered surface in the mornings with a light loam the JConcepts Cross Hairs were the tire of choice in yellow compound. As the morning mositure burned off the conditions became much dryer which necessitated a change to blue compound for the slightly dusty conditions.
In the early to late afternoon the track developed a heated groove which produced the quickest lap times and also the fastest overall times. During these conditions drivers switched to the Double Dee's in yellow compound for the quickest possible qualifying effort.
Many races at the Nitro Challenge were ran in the evenings. In practice, the track crew continued to lightly water the track into the night which made for slightly slimely conditions. Blue compound was the ticket during the evening sessions with water.
For the Finals the track crew left the track and groove untouched without water and drivers experienced some of the best grip of the weekend. In the Finals Cross Hairs and Hit Men provided the compliment for drivers running in 10, 20 and 45 minute mains.
1/8th truck A-final -
JConcepts driver Ryan Maifield qualified his Mugen MBX5-T into the A-final using a complete compliment of JConcepts accessories. Ryan's super quick MBX5-T was outfitted with the JConcepts - Illuzion body and wing. Ryan was also using the new Double Dee's 1/8th truck tires mounted onto the huge Rulux - Half-Ups (3.75" wheels). Ryan's MBX5-T was quick early in the 3rd position right behind leaders Adam Drake and Ryan Lutz.
As the race wore on a battle in 3rd place between Ryan's (Maifield and Cavalieri) ended with Maifield's truck having radio interferece forcing him out of contention. Ryan Lutz continued to lead and pull away from the field until a rear gearbox problem sidelined what looked to be a sure win. Ryan Cavalieri inhered the lead and never looked back on his way to another major event win.
1/8th buggy A-final -
JConcepts driver Ryan Maifield qualified his Associated RC8 into the 4th qualifying position using the Cross Hairs and Double Dees tires. In the A-Final Ryan reached for a set of the Hit Men tires in yellow compound for the grueling 45-minute final. After pulling a great start Ryan pulled into the 2nd position behind leader Adam Drake.
As the leaders approached their 2nd fuel stops Ryan had closed up on the lead. Just as Ryan was about to come onto the back straight-away his buggy suddenly stopped, apparently running out of fuel. Once in the pits his crew re-fueled his buggy and got him back out into the race - 2 laps down ending the opportunity to race in the lead group.
Mike Truhe seemingly came from nowhere and pulled right up into contention. Jared Tebo, Adam Drake and Mike Truhe were now battling with Ryan Cavalieri pulling in for a look. Cavalieri was amazing pulling distance on the lead pack and eventually into 2nd place behind Mike Truhe. Lap after lap Cavalieri and Truhe made no mistakes with an advantage being pulled slightly here or there.
With less than a minute to go Cavalieri and Truhe were 5 feet apart. Cavalieri waiting his opportunity he took the lead briefly for a few turns only to have Truhe come back and overtake. Approaching the last lap Truhe went wide as he downsided the right side downhill double jump. Cavalieri took an inside line and took over the lead. Cavalieri never let up on the last lap looking completely unfazed by the pressure.
Ryan Cavalieri crossed the line just split seconds ahead of Mike Truhe for yet another win and a sweep in the Pro division for the weekend.
Products in focus:
3007 - Double Dee's - 1/8th buggy tire
3009 - Hit Men - 1/8th buggy tire
3010 - Cross Hairs - blue compound
3303Y - Rulux - 1/8th buggy wheel - 4pc
3310 - Rulux - Half-Ups - 1/8th truck wheel
0028 - Illuzion - Mugen MBX-5R body
0030 - Illuzion - Mugen MBX5-T body
0034 - Illuzion - Losi 8ight body
0035 - Illuzion - Losi 8ight-T body
0040 - Illuzion - RC8 - scoopless body
0113 - Illuzion - 1/8th Buggy/Truggy wing