The 3rd Annual Fall Brawl took place October 5th & 6th in Bay City, MI. The ever growing yearly event is hosted by Xtreme RC Raceway inside the wonderful Bay City Town Mall. This years race included 60+ entries that spanned across 9 classes. This years format also included the new Junior USGT class for the youngsters to battle it out for spots on the Brawls top podium steps. Throughout the raceday in typical Xtreme RC style racers were gifted with wonderful door prizes, free pizza and pop and tons of top notch giveaways including a Capricorn F1 roller, Tamiya Semi Racing Truck, Fresh lexan lids for all kinds and lots of that hard to find 16awg TQ wire that you never know were to get but always seem to need.
The morning started off with three rounds of Ifmar style qualifying on the high traction black carpet. Looking for a little tighter action at the Brawl the track crew decided on a little tighter lanes for all classes and it seemed to be positively accepted by all racers over the two day race event. After qualifying was all over and the mains were staged the track crew gave away a couple of car kits and the mains were underway.
In the B-Main 1/12th 17.5 it was Fredd knapp who would take the bump spot with his CRC sled with a tone to tone throwdown which would earn him a spot in the A final later in the day. He was challenged early by local Robert McAulay but after Robert suffered a mid race technical difficulty, Fredd would gone on to take the win.
Up next was the Junior USGT A-Main with Top Qualifying honors going to the youngster Matty Hamilton and his Lighting Macqueen inspired ride. After the tone sounded and the pack had a couple of laps under them it would be Matty leading them out followed by young Justin palmer in the two spot and his brother Marcus who would have some close battles on the track with newcomer Wyatt Embick. The two would swap spots a few times with some fantastic driving and wonderful sportsmanship on the tight curves of the Brawls layout. When the checkered flag flew it was all Matty Hamilton who would take the victory with Justin Palmer in second and Wyatt Embick grabbing the final spot on the podium.
In the Vintage Trans AM A-Main it would be Todd Bigelow who would top the qually charts with the only driver to hit the 29 lap mark all day. Once the race was underway the vintage themed field shuffled into the first right-hand sweeper and formed a long train line from 1st to 7th. After a few laps in it was Todd Bigelow leading and Jim Olivia in the two spot followed by Locals Kevin Marcy and Kevin Smith who would battle back and fourth for the third spot. Over the course of the long 8 minute main, Todd Bigelow would do what he did all day and that is stack clean consistent laps through traffic to bring home the victory in his red, white and blue muscle car. Jim Oliva would go on to clinch the two spot while Kevin “Super Smooth” Smith would grab third and better himself one spot from his fourth on the grid qualifying position.
Another new class at this years Fall Brawl was the Tamiya Hot Rods series featuring old school hot rod rigs with chopped tops and big spoilers. Taking the TQ spot in this fun filled new class would be local driver Kevin Smith in his always meticulous red, white and black themed war paint. From the start of the race the pack rumbled into the infield in a perfectly clean conga line and would run as they qualified for most of the race. Kevin would do what he does best, quietly stack a large pile of perfect laps to stretch his lead to 15 seconds over the number three qualifier Rob Selves. After the 5 minute main was complete it would be Kevin Smith with the victory and Rob Selves in his gorgeous Gulf themed livery in the two spot with Dave Murday taking the final spot on the A Main Hot Rod podium.
The always fun to watch Capricorn F1 A-Main would be up next with official race sponsor factory pilot Josh Cryul taking the TQ spot on the starting grid in his blaze orange Capricorn F1 race horse. After the green flag dropped and the field had finished sorting itself through the tight 8 foot wide lanes, it would be Josh in the top spot with Team Associated’s Adam Hutchinson in tow and a close battle for third between Mike Dubia and Brad Palmer. Once the 5 minute horn had sounded it was TQ Josh Cryul taking the win, Adam Hutchinson in Second and Mike Dubia edging out third place qualifier Brad Palmer for the final spot on the podium by a thin margin of only a couple feet.
Up next on the day was the super precise class of Modified Touring car. Having the smallest amount of entries of the day didn’t detract from the races excitement in any way. Josh Cryul would again put his Capricorn touring car in the number one TQ spot with James Reilly taking the second spot and Gabe Hoban rounding out the top three positions on the starting grid. Once the race was underway it was an explosive show of speed from all the freshly charged AWD land missiles. The top three drivers in the main were all looking very fast and were everyone was within striking distance of the leader. When it was all over the checkered flag would be taken by Josh Cryul with James Reilly taking second and Gabe Hoban finding the third spot on the podium.
Like most years in the past the always popular class of 17.5 1/12th scale pan car had the most entries of the event. It would be the closest nail biting racing we would see all day and the qualifiers were no different with Dave Johnson edging out Andrew Knapp for the TQ Position in the third and final round of qualifying. Chuck Lonergan would sit third on the grid with home town track ambassador Tommy Snow posted in the fourth spot. Once the main was underway the excitement only intensified over the long eight minute race with Dave Johnson and Andrew Knapp breaking slightly away from the field after third spot Chuck Lonergan got into a little trouble early in the race. Over the course of the main the lead had changed hands a couple times with some beautiful overtaking by both Dave and Andrew. Meanwhile the battle was raging away from the leaders as well with Tom Snow, Chuck Lonergan, Jesse Hittle, Jody Flipse and Mike Dubia all battling for the third spot at times throughout the main event. Nearing the end of the race second qualifier Andrew Knapp was leading the pack and got into the tail end of a back marker and this allowed Dave Johnson to capitalize on this misfortune and went by on the inside of the hairpin turn at the end of the long sweeper. The incident only cost Andrew a few thousandths of a second but with Dave Johnson poised only inches off his spoiler and ready to strike, it was simply too late to close the door. Dave Johnson had played his hand just right and slipped into the lead while blistering fast Knapp was forced to fall back into the attacking position. Over the last lap of the race hard charging Andrew Knapp made three amazing but unsuccessful attempts at clinching the the lead back from Dave Johnson but Dave would hold on to take the victory in the A-Main 1/12th scale 17.5 by a single car length. Chuck Lonergan would battle back through the field to grab the third spot on the podium for the day.
The last race of the day was the premiere class of 1/12th scale Modified and it also did not disappoint. James Reilly would pilot his fluorescent racer to the front of the pack in the days qualifying and take the top TQ Spot from Alston Kelso in the third and final round with Tommy “Snowman” Snow rounding out the third starting position. Once the eight minute main was underway the excitement was growing as the pack filed through the infield the first time and positions were changing all across the entire field. Josh Cryul who was tweaking his physics defying ultra fast unicorn setup in the qualifying rounds had a rough go and ended up in the back of the pack to start the race. As the race TQ James Reilly and Alston Kelso were battling upfront Josh was slowly creeping through the pack taking one spot at a time and advancing quickly toward the battle with the front runners. It didn’t take long for the race to get exciting as Josh moved up quickly and after a few clean moves the order was now Cryul, Kelso and Todd Bigelow rolling into third. The race would finish the same way with TQ James Reilly finding the fourth spot after some troubles mid race.
All in all it was a fantastic race event at a fun facility with a great light-hearted group of racers and I think I can speak for all involved that it was a fun and great success. We at Xtreme RC Raceway want to thank ALL involved for attending and supporting this event and a enormous Thank you goes out to the Volunteer Track Crew and the Tech Crew. Without them and the Fall Brawls wonderful supporting sponsors of Capricorn RC Race Cars, CF Hobbies and F1 RC Labs we could not host these events. We sincerely hope to see all of you and more next year at the 4th annual Fall Brawl at X-Treme RC Indoor Carpet Raceway.
Thanks to Kevin Westendorf for the report.