The 2012 ROAR On Road Fuel Nationals were held last weekend at the Nugget Ranch Raceway in Arcadia, FL. This year’s event included the three classes 10th Sedan, 8th Masters, and 8th Open. The race format was like an IFMAR Worlds event in the sense that the top 4 would qualify directly to the 1 hour final, with the rest of the field having to qualify through one of two 30 minute semi finals. In 1/10 Sedan, it was DJ Apolaro who set the TQ with Scotty Grey, Scott Kimbrow and Paolo Morgante filling out the top 4 spots. Early in qualifying, on-road star Mike Swauger had some bad luck which in the end looked to cost him a top 4 spot with Paul Lemieux getting faster through the rounds but also narrowly missing out on the top 4. In the end, it was Mike and Paul taking the win in their semis along with Billy Bowerman, Eric Jones and Anthony Schimizzi all running great semi finals to find their way in to the main event.
In Masters, it was a good battle for TQ from the get go between Joaquin Desoto Sr., Chuck Moon and Maxy Velazco. It was Joaquin Desoto Sr. who nabbed the TQ in a tie breaker from RC America racer Chuck Moon who would start second. Dan Louis also secured a direct spot in the final with his RX8. From the semis, Jim Rice bump to the main to put three RX8s in the final race. In the 1/10 Sedan main DJ Apolaro who took off at the start with an aggressive tire strategy, with Scotty Grey in 2nd, Morgante, Lemieux, Swauger and Kimbrow in pursuit. Engine tuning during his first pit stop prevented DJ from pulling away from Gray and Lemiuex. The soft tires required multiple tire changes for Apolaro, putting him back in the field. With great fuel stops by Drew Ellis saving time for Paul, he took the lead. After some early issues, Swauger was also running some great laps in 2nd, putting Xray 1-2. A quick tire change by Drew and Roniel at the 30 minute mark kept Paul in the lead in front of Mike. These two would finish in the same positions, giving the NT1 1st and 2nd spot on the podium.
At the start of the Masters A-main the race was on between the top two qualifiers. Moon and Desoto would battle early with an incident dropping them both back in the pack. Maxy Valezco would get in to the lead with Chuck Moon making his way quickly threw the field. Desoto would run in to more issues causing him to retire. Valezco and Moon would trade the lead during pit stops, with Moon eventually taking the lead for good and driving a consistent race to the finish. Valezco would also retire from the race with issues. In the end it was Chuck Moon with smooth pit work from Vince Tate who would finish with a comfortable win. Dan Louis would also have a great race to claim the second spot on the podium with none other than “Red Cup” himself, Jim Rice rounding out the podium for a 1&2&3 Xray finish of the Masters class.
8th Open TQ Paolo Morgante would get out front with DJ Apolaro, Joaquin Desoto Jr., Swauger and Lemieux in tow. The top two had good pace early, with the field battling for third. Early problems dropped Swauger down in the ranks and cost him a chance for a good finish. Reminiscent of the sedan final, Lemieux worked his way by Desoto with good pit work and tire conservation, and assumed the lead during Morgante first tire stop. From there, Lemieux had a great tire stop at the 30min mark from Drew Ellis and Michael Palazzola and never looked back. Lemieux took another comfortable win in the 8th scale division with his RX8, Joaquin Desoto Jr would finish second and a charge back through the pack from DJ Apolaro would earn him a podium spot.