July 9, 2011

Hot Rod Hobbies Shootout qualifying Day 1


The 14th annual Hot Rod Hobbies Shootout was off to a warm start today with rounds 1 and 2 of qualifying. Last year, temperatures topped out at 114 degrees and the weather this year is a bit cooler staying in the 90’s.  The track is a dry ran, blue-groove surface that is well know for its massive amounts of traction.  The 3-day race starts out with 4 rounds of qualifying. Qual-points determine your seeding for the triple a-mains on Sunday.


One of the unique aspects to the Shootout is the pro-am race. Each of the 16 entries in the rookie class is paired with a randomly chosen pro in the 2wd mod class.  They are scored by their finishing position and the team with the overall lowest score will win a fresh $100 bill for each driver. The best part about this is the first hand help the newer drivers get from the seasoned professionals. They get a chance to ask questions and get tips from some of the best in the world.  What a great experience!


Round 1 of qualifying started out with Pro-2 Short Course. Some of the trucks had issues with the large triple in the middle of the track, especially when the breeze picked up.  The headwind would turn the SC trucks into back-flipping kites. TLR’s Cody Turner set the TQ bar high early but It was Frank Root and Jared Tebo who took it to the next level. Frank had a spectacular run with Jared in tow.  The windy second round caused an abundance of crashes and slow times, but it was Mike Truhe who fought the wind and taking TQ honors. After the first two rounds of qualifying, Frank Root is the truck to beat.


Ryan Cavalieri dominated 4wd modified with his Team Associated B44.1. He TQ’ed both rounds of qualifying but has some pressure from Dustin Evans and Jared Tebo. Jared had some bad luck and broke the first round but the second round he had a very strong run. Cav is looking good but this class is still up for grabs for any of these fast guys.

Modified Truck has a very light turnout this year with only 6 entries. On top is Ryan Cavalieri followed by Kyosho teammates, Brian McDuffie and Andy DiBrino.


2wd Modified buggy has just shy of 40 entries. Mike Truhe was in the last of the heats and looked unstoppable with his TLR 22.  Mike edged out Ryan Cavalieri and Jared Tebo for TQ in the first round.  Speeds picked up drastically for the second round and it was Tebo and Evans who have some amazingly fast paced runs. Tebo TQ’ed the second round and is top qualifier after 2 rounds and his Kyosho car is looking phenomenal on the track. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting on the pole in the triple a-mains.


The Shootout is the last big race for many of these drivers to do some final testing before they ship off to Finland for the world championships.  No one has pulled out any surprises on the track yet, but the competition definitely seems to be mounting. 2 more rounds of qualifying will be ran on Saturday. The prestigious modified classes are still up for grabs and the track appears to be getting faster. Needless to say, we are in for some more good racing!

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