The Midwest Series Rd5 report

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the-midwest-series-podium

This past weekend, Team NITRO RC Racing hosted Race 5 of the 2016 Midwest Series at their Lynwood Illinois facility. Just east of Chicago, this was the fifth race in a six races series and the point battles for the championship awards were heating up. First held in the summer of 1970, this is the longest running RC series in the United States. The event kicked off with open practice Friday, as competitors worked on their set-ups for the revised layout. Overnight rains pushed the program start back on Saturday morning but the Team NITRO crew, with the help of some volunteer racers, got the track in top condition and ready for racing. The series is contested at three different facilities, each hosting two races during the season. Top drivers from around the mid-west and Canada traveled to compete in the event this weekend, which was the final event for the Lynwood facility this year. The featured classes for the series are 1/10 Sedan and 1/8 Open 4WD, with Masters classes for both scales as well. The cars are run together by scale but scored separately by class.

1/10 Nitro Sedan

Lon Burling set the qualifying pace through all four rounds while Nick Altieri was quickest in Masters. From the start of the race, top qualifier Burling quickly took the lead and didn’t look back. David Dunn got around Elliot Hart to take over 2nd while Ted Hammer charged from his P7 starting position to move into 3rd. Brad Mergy dropped back to 6th with Tom Esposito right behind him. Three laps into the race David Dunn suffered a mechanical failure that took him out of the race. By lap 10, Burling was pacing the field with no immediate pressure. Ted Hammer was now running in 2nd with Nick Altieri holding down third. Elliot Hart had recovered to 4th and Mergy running back up in the 5th position with 15 laps in. Midway through the race a driveline failure had Esposito sidelined and Nick Altieri pulled off when his engine lost power. Quick pit work by Dan Louis had Esposito back in the race several laps down. Pat Morris had been running a consistent race and moved up into the 4th position. Tom Esposito was turning some very quick lap times trying to make up time. He drove back up to 5th and was only one lap down to Morris. At close to the 20 minute mark, race leader Burling had a rear drive belt failure that ended his day. Now the battle between Hart, Hammer and Mergy began to get exciting. Esposito had moved around Morris to take over 4th with Mergy now in the lead. Hammer was in second and making up ground. Both Mergy and Hammer were pushing it to the limit and making small mistakes. Back and forth the lead would change hands. The pit work for the two top drivers was flawless and kept the racing tight on the track. Inside two minutes, Mergy was leading by less than one second over Hammer. It looked like Hammer was just waiting for the right time to make the clean pass for the lead. Mergy held tight lines making it tough for Hammer. Hammer was there with 30 seconds to go and tapped giving Mergy the breathing room to bring home his second win in this year’s series. Ted Hammer held on to 2nd with Elliot Hart rebounding to finish 3rd. Tom Esposito secured the 4th overall position, giving him the win in the Masters division.

1/10 Sedan Final Results

  1. Brad Mergy – XRAY NT1
  2. Ted Hammer – Shepherd
  3. Elliot Hart – Serpent
  4. Tom Esposito – XRAY NT1
  5. Patrick Morris – Capricorn
  6. Nick Altieri – Serpent
  7. Lon Burling (TQ) – Shepherd
  8. David Dunn – Serpent

1/10 Masters Top 3 Results

  1. Tom Esposito – XRAY NT1
  2. Pat Morris Capricorn
  3. Phillip Neiswinger – XRAY NT1

1/8 Open 4WD

Jason Conley grabbed the top spot in 1/8th Open with Rick Davis in P1 for Masters. At the start, pole sitter Conley got involved in a lap one incident that put him back deep in the field. Number 2 qualifier Ken Miller took over the lead. Ten minutes into the 30 minute main, with Miller checking out on the field, 2nd through 7th were all running nose to tail down the straightaway. At the half way point, Dan Louis suffered engine failure and Mike McBride had been off the track for repairs. Jason Conley fell out of the race after contact with teammate Dwight Smith. Ken Miller was still maintaining a comfortable lead with Don Jones, Davis and Smith running 2nd through 4th. This was the tightest race on the track with no more than fifteen feet between all three. Pit stops were critical and each drivers pit man got them in and out without issue. Inside ten minutes, Miller was in command with Jones, Davis and Smith still fighting for 2nd. Through the tight chicane leading on to the straightaway Jones and Davis got together allowing Smith to tuck in and take over 2nd. Jones and Davis continued to battle for 3rd for several laps until Jones lost a clutch. Davis set sail for Smith as the two prepared to make their final stops. Davis took over 2nd as Smith stopped first. Smith regained the position passing Davis as he exited pit road. Rick Davis was pushing hard and the gap to Smith was shrinking. On the last lap, Davis had one more chance at the end of the straight to make something happen. He drove it in deep and was able to turn under Smith two turns from the finish to take over 2nd. Smith would follow him across the line to finish 3rd. Davis’ 2nd place finish gave him the win in the Masters division.

1/8 Open Final Results

  1. Ken Miller – XRAY RX8
  2. Rick Davis – Serpent
  3. Dwight Smith – XRAY RX8
  4. Mark Unger – Serpent
  5. Mike McBride – Serpent
  6. Rich Potempa – Serpent
  7. Don Jones – Serpent
  8. Jason Conley (TQ) – XRAY RX8
  9. Dan Louis – XRAY RX8

1/8 Masters Top 3 Results

  1. Rick Davis (TQ) – Serpent
  2. Dwight Smith – XRAY RX8
  3. Mark Unger – Serpent

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