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Groveland, FL 34736
Date of the Event: 05.15.2008Checkered Flag Series Finals
Article by Team Driver: Rod Rippee
Gateway to the Best, Checkered Flag Series Finals, St Louis, MO
This April brought the end of a long, very competitive, winter race series here in St Louis. The finals were no exception. A rainy weekend brought nearly a hundred entries from all over the metro area. This was actually the norm as the entries averaged 80 for the entire winter.
Qualifying was set to begin early on Saturday morning with 5 qualifiers and another on Sunday morning. Qualifying points were used to determine the order. All three modified classes came down to the final round on Sunday morning to decide the overall TQ.
I won the first three qualifiers with local hot shot Justin Driemeier not yet in attendance due to work. He then came in and quickly restored order winning the next two rounds convincingly. I was able to win the final round on Sunday to take the TQ. Both Justin and I used Jconcepts Green Double Dees front and rear and Illusion bodies.
Modified Four Wheel Drive-
Everyone had a piece of the action in this class. Justin, Nick Haberberger, Aaron Pucci and I were all near the top but I won the final round again and set the TQ. Another dominant performance for the Jconcepts Double Dees as they were on the top two buggies.
The first round saw Jconcepts/Kyosho Driver Chris Baumgartner jump out to an early lead but a battery failure gave me the win. This proved costly as I ended up with overall TQ after winning four of the six rounds. Chris getting the other two and the fastest run of the weekend. Nine out of the ten drivers in qualifying used Jconcepts tires all the way around including the top five.
Sunday afternoon the mains were set to begin. Due to using the bump-up format, only single A-mains were ran. This meant one mistake could ruin a weekend!
A wire to wire win for Jconcepts/AE as my T4 was on rails. I was able to get a comfortable lead early and cruise it in from there. Justin, Aaron and Nick had a great battle but that just let me get away.
Modified Four Wheel Drive
This race saw seemingly everyone have the lead for a lap or two. Nick jumped out to an early lead and actually had about 4 seconds on the rest of us but a bobble made it a race again. He, Aaron and I were all battling with Justin a couple seconds back. I was able to work my way around all of them and secure the win. Another win for Jconcepts/AE!
At the start, Chris and I seemed to pull away, but from out of nowhere, Justin made it to the front from the six spot with his B4. We all battled the entire race but once again, I was in the right place at the right time crossing the line first with my B4. Jconcepts Double Dees in green compound were once again the tires to beat. Only one car in the main dared to use another brand! This ended a great weekend, and season, of racing with Jconcepts/AE completing the sweep.
If you are still reading, this line is worth repeating: Nine out of the ten drivers in qualifying used Jconcepts tires all the way around including the top five. :)