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Winter Indoor Nationals – Main Day Recap

DSCF2338The tension has finally reached the weekend high as racers calm the nerves and settle in for the first round of A mains. The highly anticipated battle in the super competitive 2wd modified class did not disappoint and a nail biter from start to finish.

Leading the pack from the front of the grid, AE/JConcept’s Nick Gibson started to build a small gap from the rest of his competitors. However, the young talent would make the first mistake by coming up short on the double allowing TLR’s JP Richards to the point. Within a few laps, JP Richards would make a minor bobble in the sweeper collecting Gibson in the process as the two would lose time and position. This would allow 3rd place qualifier, AE/JConcepts’ Michael Schoettler to the front as the Washington native would inherit the lead on the 4th lap. Once Schoettler took over the lead, he masterfully controlled the gap to 2nd place and never looked back.

After recovering from his incident, JP Richards would regain 2nd and pushed hard to catch Schoettler the entire race. At one point, the gap was under 2 seconds, but Schoettler’s flawless run would allow him maintain a comfortable gap the entire race. With no time left on the clock, Schoettler would finish 1st, JP Richards 2nd, and Nick Gibson would battle back for 3rd.
 
When asked about his A1 strategy, Schoettler said his plan was simply, “don’t wreck” and if he was able to do that, he believed that “something good will happen if I can keep it clean.” Not overthinking the situation to make things more complicated than it needs to be, Schoettler’s strategy was perfect.

In the 4wd modified class, it would be Schoettler leading the field from the sound of the tone and within the first lap built himself a gap between him and 2nd place. What seemed to be an impossible feat, Schoettler would drive yet another flawless race from start to finish allowing him to take A1 without being contested. 3rd place qualifier, AE/JConcepts’ Michael Twilling would move up a spot from where he qualified with a solid drive to finish 2nd. Putting in the most impressive drive of the race from 7th on the grid, AE/JConcepts’ Daimon Borkowicz would finally get his car dialed and strategically move through the field to finish 3rd in A1. Borkowicz had a rough start to the weekend, but has finally found his groove and said Brent Thielke worked his magic on his Reedy Blackbox ESC and his car felt more comfortable. 

DSCF2339Having made an early mistake in A1 which resulted in an unfavorable 3rd pace finish for the 2wd modified TQ, AE/JConcepts’ Nick Gibson vowed he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. This time, the story was much different as Gibson was able to slowly stretch out his lead from the rest of the pack. In a league of his own and having the fastest car on the track, Gibson was able pull away and cruise to an uncontested win in A2 leaving the rest to battle for 2nd and 3rd.

From the second spot on the grid, TLR’s JP Richards was hanging tough and was going all out to keep pressure on the Gibson, but a costly traction roll at the end of the straight-away allowed Schoettler to once again take over 2nd. With not enough time on the clock to track down the leader, Schoettler was then left to defend his position from a hard charging Richards who had a 3 second deficit to make up. Richards put in a valiant effort, but came up a second short and had to settle for 3rd place while Schoettler would add a 2nd place finish to his A1 victory.

With 1 win under his belt in the 4wd modified class, AE/JConcepts’ Michael Schoettler had only one goal on his mind and that was check out and win A2. Richards, however had other plans on his mind as he shadowed Schoettler’s every move and was glued to his bumper. As the two drivers would slowly pull away from the rest of the field, this intense nose to tail style of racing was exciting for all viewers as they cheered for their favorites. On the 5th lap, Richards would make a mistake that would send him from 2nd to 7th and was unable to get back in his groove.

Capitalizing on Richard’s error, TLR/JConcepts’ Cody Hollis would move from 5th on the grid and work his way into 2nd. Also benefiting from other’s mishaps, Brad Dean would find himself in 3rd and finish out the main with one his best performance of the weekend.
Having won A1 and A2 with flawless drives, Michael Schoettler will be your 2015 JConcepts Winter Indoor National Champion in the modified 4wd class!

IMG_0741The 2wd modified Winter Indoor National Champion of the premier class comes down to the final race between AE/JConcepts’ Michael Schoettler and AE/JConcepts’ Nick Gibson. With Gibson having a win and a 3rd and Schoettler with a win and a 2nd, A3 would decide who would be crowned the new champion.

Once again, Nick Gibson would attack right from the start and put the pressure on the rest of the field as he would try and repeat his perfect run in A2. Gibson’s fast pace was hard to match lap for lap as TLR’s JP Richards would push hard to keep the Kansas City native within striking distance. On the 7th lap, Richards was unable to maintain Gibson’s pace and a mistake would allow Schoettler and Kyosho/JConcepts Mitchel Gardner through to see if they could chase down the leader.

For almost 10 laps, Schoettler would slowly catch Gibson to make it a battle down to the wire. With the lead now cut down to 1.7 seconds, on the 3rd to last lap Gibson would make contact with lap traffic that had the audience holding their breath. Fortunately for Gibson, he was able to recover before Schoettler could seize the moment and stay ahead with the lead now down to less than a second. With 2 lap to go, Gibson would maintain his composure and put in 2 solid laps that didn’t allow Schoettler to attempt a pass and drove to the finish line for the win in A3. As the two drivers walked off the driver stand both smiling and congratulated each other on a fun, intense battle.

Results
1st – Nick Gibson
2nd – Michael Schoettler
3rd – JP Richards
4th – Michel Gardner
5th – Brent Thielke
6th – Cody Hollis
7th – Justin Driemeier
8th – Luke Richards
9th – Brad Dean
10th – Al Horne
11th – Brad Shear

In the 4wd modified class, Schoettler would have the luxury to sit out and watch the action from the sidelines having won A1 and A2. This time, JP Richards would start on point in A3 and maintain his lead from start to finish while his teammate Cody Hollis and AE/JConcepts’ Michael Twilling would together mount a charge to battle Richards on the last 3 laps. The two drivers would close the distance to Richards and the three drivers would drag race down the straight away on the final lap and finish less than .2 seconds apart. Richards would hold off Hollis for the win and Hollis would fend off Twilling for 2nd.

Results
1st – Michael Schoettler
2nd – Cody Hollis
3rd – Michael Twilling
4th – JP Richards
5th – Mitchel Gardner
6th – Brad Dean
7th – Daimon Borkowicz
8th – Colton Kruse
9th – Zach Phillips
10th – Chris Baumgartner
11th – Brad Shear

There was no doubt the modified truck class has captured the interest of many with two new truck releases by TLR and Team Associated. It was a ‘new truck’ showdown between the 22T 2.0 driven by TLR’s Frank Root and top qualifier JP Richards, while the T5M was piloted by Team Associated’s team manager Brent Thielke who qualified 2nd. From the sound of the tone, Thielke would immediately start to pressure Richards, but calm and collected, Richards would slowly inch away in this single 8 minute main event. The two drivers would trade laps running almost identical lap times. As Thielke would make a mistake, Richards looked like he was going to run away with the race. Eventually, Richards would give that time back after having a rough lap towards the last half of the race, but in the end it would be Richards who would emerge victorious. Thielke would finish 2nd and AE/JConcepts’ Nick Gibson finishing 3rd.

Results
1st – JP Richards
2nd – Brent Thielke
3rd – Nick Gibson
4th – Justin Driemeier
5th – Rod Rippee
6th – Frank Root
7th – Adam Rayls
8th – Austin Horne
9th – Ben Ellis
10th – Josh Wiechens