The JConcepts Spring Indoor National Series was held at the Pacific Northwest’s premier offroad dirt track better known as Tacoma R/C Raceway in Tacoma, Washington on May 14th – 15th. Since the addition of TRCR to the Indoor National Series 2 years ago, the 3rd edition of the Spring INS has definitely grown in popularity and has become the Pacific NW’s biggest race. This year’s event attracted drivers from all four corners of the United States as well as pulling in a few racers from Canada to make for an ultra-competitive field of drivers all battling for the Spring Championship title.
The locals at TRCR are dedicated as they are talented. Under the guidance of RC legend and track owner, Scott Brown’s experience mixed with his ability to get some of the best racers to attend a few of his events each year gives his locals the chance to test their skills against some of the industry’s best. Track for track, TRCR has some of the fastest local racers in the nation and the Spring INS was another perfect opportunity for them to test themselves and they did exactly that.
The competition in Stock Buggy was fierce. In qualifying, AE/JConcepts’ Shane Borden was absolutely flying. TQ’ing 3 out of 4 rounds, the local and talented Borden looked as if he had everything under control for the 8 minutes single A-Main. However, only a few laps into the race 2nd place car, Schelle’s Kurt Wenger would attempt a pass on Borden, but unfortunately clip Borden’s rear tire causing him to flip. This allowed AE’s Ron Begeot through to take the lead and stretch out a comfortable gap while the rest would jockey for position. Kyosho/Schuur Speed’s Evan Overmars would spend nearly 6 minutes chipping away at Begeot’s lead and would eventually make a pass over the triple section and take over the race lead. With one minute remaining, Overmars was forced to double single over the triple section slowing him down enough for a skying Begeot to return the favor to the 15 year old and pass Overmars to take back the lead. With the pressure on and time running out, Begeot would make a mistake clipping the pipe at the end of the sweeper giving Overmars back the lead. With a few safety jumps and smart driving, Overmars would cross the line in 1st with Begeot in 2nd. Sneaking through the pack was young and talented Douglas Hobbs driving for Maclan finishing 3rd.
During the modified truck qualifying, Tacoma’s own AE/JConcepts’ Ryan Matesa was able to TQ 3 of 4 rounds over the likes of TLR/JConcepts’ Max Flurer and AE/JConcepts’ Spencer Rivkin while friend and teammate Chris Bridgewater was able to secure the 2nd starting position making it a front row lockout for Tacoma.
In the single 8 minute A-main, Matesa drove a perfect race for 7 minutes and 40 seconds. Rivkin, who started 3rd, quickly moved into 2nd to chase Matesa for almost 6 full minutes. With time running out, Rivkin tried a desperate pass maneuver resulting in the two getting tangled and Matesa needing to be marshaled. As Rivkin waited for Matesa to get going, Flurer would dice his way in from 3rd to pass the two leaders amongst the mayhem and take over the lead. With 1 lap to go, Flurer would be the only one to get the extra lap and finished 1st. Starting from the 6th spot, Max commented that he “was already happy to be in 3rd.” Matesa would go on to finish 2nd and Rivkin 3rd.
After 4 rounds of qualifying, the standout star in the 4wd modified class was AE/JConcepts’ Spencer Rivkin. Putting in lap times that no one could touch, Rivkin wrapped up qualifying by putting up the fastest time in 3 out of the 4 rounds. When the mains came, Rivkin took it to another level and was able to check out and win A1 and A2 relatively uncontested. Since 1st was already decided, A3 proved crucial for the rest of the field. From the tone, AE/JConcepts’ Daimon Borkowicz would tap a pipe losing a spot that allowed AE/JConcepts’ Harley Yoshii through to take over the lead. The talented duo would follow nose to tail for a minute until it was Yoshii’s turn to tap a pipe giving Borkowicz enough room to squeeze by and take back the lead. Yoshii would drop to 2nd with TLR/JConcepts’ Max Flurer in 3rd and Kyosho/JConcepts’ Tanner Day in 4th. Now with clean air and without pressure, Borkowicz would find a groove and clicked off laps. This left a 3 way battle for 2nd with Day heavily pressuring Flurer for the 3rd spot. Flurer would hold his ground to finish 3rd with Yoshii finishing 2nd. With Borkowicz taking the win in A3, the young Florida native would finish 2nd overall.
2wd Modified was an absolute thriller with the current IFMAR World Champion running his brand new B6, all eyes were on the 2wd triple A-mains. In A1, Rivkin would get out to a clean start and just when it looked like he was about to check out, a small bobble a minute into the race would allow Yoshii to get close enough to start his attack. Making another small mistake before the triple, Rivkin would play it smart and double single to avoid a potential wreck. This setup Yoshii perfectly as he would land the triple inside passing Rivkin for the lead. With pressure from behind, Yoshii would touch the pipe going into the high-speed sweeper giving Rivkin enough room to get by and retake the lead. After that, the rest was history as Rivkin would win A1 and SoCal’s Kevin Motter 2nd and Tanner Day in 3rd.
The start of A2 was much different than A1. This time, it was Harley Yoshii making an early mistake that allowed Tanner Day to move into 2nd. After a minute and half, Rivkin would get it wrong in the triple-table section that allowed Day to close the gap and battle for the lead. Immediately, Day would attack the leader on the triple and momentarily take over the lead only to have Rivkin take it back in the sweeper. The two would run nose to tail and once again Rivkin would land wide getting on the straightaway leaving room for Day to land on the inside, but this time Day’s line and momentum was perfect leaving Rivkin unable to defend as the two competitors came onto the straightaway. Halfway down the straightaway, Rivkin was too close to the inside pipe causing him to spin out giving Day the lead for the 2nd time. Only halfway through, Day would face the ultimate test as he would have to defend his lead from the current IFMAR World Champion. Proving to himself and the world, Day would put in a remarkable drive to take home the win in A2 forcing it to go to an A3. Rivkin would 2nd with AE/JConcepts’ Luke Smith 3rd.
As the tone went off in A3, everyone was holding their breath. It was a clean start as the entire group freight trained around the track. Unfortunately, 3rd place car Tanner Day would touch wheels with 2nd place Harley Yoshii requiring a quick corner marshal to get them going again. Seizing the opportunity, Spencer Rivkin would start to pull away and show why he’s the current WC. With the field unable make up any time on the leader, Rivkin was able to cruise to victory in A3. From 4th on the grid, Kevin Motter would capitalize on a pile up to slip by and finish 2nd. AE/JConcepts’ Chris Bridgewater would earn his best finish with a 3rd in A3.
Thank you to all the racers in attendance and HUGE thanks to Scott Brown, Mike Shirk and the Tacoma crew for putting on such a wonderful event. Here are the results from the rest of the classes.