There’s no question that carpet and turf racing is on the rise in the United States and this high-speed, mega traction style of racing is definitely entertaining and intense. Sure, it isn’t dirt and yes it’s not the same, but the fact is… you still get to drive your awesome toy car and competitively race it against others to find out who’s the fastest. Plain and simple, it’s called racing!
Testing the waters a few years back, JConcepts launched the JConcepts Turf Nationals in Enfield, CT and the growth and interest has been well received as entries now hover around 350. Last year, we joined up with Northwest Hobbies in Albany, OR and created the NW Carpet Nationals, which also saw a lot of positive feedback. After a few emails and phone calls with a couple of different tracks, the JConcepts NCTS was born and the United States’ first-ever national carpet and turf series was created.
Last weekend, we kicked off the inaugural JConcepts NCTS at beautiful 702 Raceway in Las Vegas, NV. If you haven’t had a chance to visit 702, you’re missing out on one of the sickest track facilities in the US. This place has a look and aura like no other and was an absolute pleasure to race at. Clean with fresh paint, an awesome wall of race banners, stocked up hobby shop, and even a delightful cup of morning coffee, 702 has a true racer’s soul and currently a hotbed for some of the fastest carpet racers on the planet.
Three words can sum up the layout at 702 Raceway… blazing fast and challenging. With a full-length straightaway and long sweeper, the top speed reached for a 1/10th offroad buggy has to be among the highest anywhere making scrubbing off speed for the first set of doubles very difficult to time. The rumble strips were perfect and only really upset the car if you accelerated too hard through them while giving lots of steering input. Once lined up through the center jump section of the track, the double/triple combo jump section was massively tricky as the setup double greatly determined how the outcome of the triple went. Overjump the setup dubs and next thing you know you had to make a vital decision that determined the outcome of your race. Do you risk bounce landing and still commit to the triple jump or back it down and play it safe knowing it’s going to cost you valuable time? For those who took the risk meant things could potentially end up in chaos and broken parts. Finally, you drive up and around the elevated turn to encounter a dangerous drop off section that required masterful precision because of the narrowing lanes. Whip around the final 180 and hit the small single under full control and back around on to the straightaway resetting for another high energy lap. It was absolutely awesome.
As we kicked off the inaugural NCTS race in Vegas, we got word prior to the event starting that world-famous Scotty Ersnt was going to make an appearance as a racer and guest announcer marking this race as something truly special. As the most popular and prolific announcer of our time, Scotty automatically made the event more enjoyable with his passion and love for racing that fully transcends through his rich style of announcing.
Thanks to Dwayne, Pat, and to the entire Battie family for the wonderful hospitality and for the awesome facility to race at. The program ran silky smooth, the track prep and maintenance was perfect, and the racing spectacular. We can’t wait to make a return next year. Below is a video news clip from Fox5 news as they aired a bit of the Western Carpet Nationals on local Vegas news, which is always great for our hobby.
Spectators headed to 702 RC Raceway to watch the Western Carpet Nationals for the National Carpet and Turf Series. Dylan Kendrick has more:
Posted by FOX5 Las Vegas on Sunday, March 24, 2019
All results and race videos can be found here, courtesy of LiveRC.com!
TQ video interview
21.5 Independent Stock 2wd Buggy
The Independent 21.5 spec 2wd class, presented by Hobbywing, has been a major hit and we’re starting to see a shift in beginner stock racing with the advent of a slower 21.5 turn brushless motor, Zero sponsored drivers, locked timing, spec tire, and spec gearing to limit the battery being a major factor in power, has sparked a lot of interest in the racing community. If you wanna go fast in stock and do everything that’s required to win, race 17.5 Expert 2wd or Mod 2wd. It’s that simple.
Making the trip all the way from Ohio, Joshua Zalovcik, brought the heat as he lit up the track during qualifying to earn himself the overall TQ in the class. But it was Josh Blagg who put up a great fight with Joshua as the two contenders battled for the win on the final lap. A minor mistake by Blagg saw Joshua retake his lead from earlier and cross the line the race victor. Blagg finished the race in 2nd with a very young and talented Trevor Goff in 3rd place.
17.5 2wd Expert Stock Buggy
It was an amazing effort by Yokomo/JConcepts’ Matthew Gonzalez in the 17.5 2wd Expert Stock class as the young SoCal racer found success early on as he TQ’d the class and went on to win A1 and A2 to lock up the overall with some smooth driving. The battle for the 2nd spot on the podium was between Mike Fisk and Motowhips’ Justin Myerson, who ran a very close race in all 3 mains together. It was Mike Fisk’s performance winning A3 run that gave him the tie-breaker for 2nd as both Justin and Mike finished tied with 4 points. Justin stood on the final step of the podium in 3rd.
13.5 Short Course Truck
Too hot to handle, too cold to hold, Scotty Ernst was on the move after figuring out his setup on his 13.5 SCT and was the driver to beat in the end. It was a great back and forth battle between Scotty and Motowhip’s Justin Myerson at the beginning of the race, but Scotty found his rhythm halfway through the 8 minute final and never looked back and crossed the line in 1st. Justin Myerson put in a great effort and took home 2nd. Factory Track’s own Tom Tanner made the journey from Michigan to join us at the inaugural NCTS race and fantastically finished 3rd on the podium.
13.5 Stadium Truck
Perhaps the craziest race of the day was during the 13.5 Stadium Truck class between two Northwest natives, Yokomo/JConcepts’ Andy DiBrino and AE/JConcepts’ Casey Vitale. Unfortunately for class TQ, Casey Vitale, made a mistake on the first lap that saw him shuffle back to almost last place. Forced to put his head down, Casey charged all the way from the back of the pack to take the lead in the closing laps. With the trucks barely able to triple towards the end of an 8-minute run, Dibrino made a risky choice to triple and it paid off as he recaptured the lead while Casey was forced to double single. With no time left on the clock, Andy crossed the line in 1st with Casey 2nd, and once again Justin Myerson amazingly makes another podium, but this time 3rd in truck!
13.5 4wd Buggy
Yokomo/JConcepts’ Matthew Gonzalez has been putting in a lot of time and its starting to show as he set some of the fastest times in 13.5 4wd. Setting the TQ and starting the main out in front, Matty G was going to be hard to dethrone as the young driver impressed many by winning A1 and A2 and took home the overall. AE designer and engineer, Bob Stellflue doesn’t do a lot of offroad, but definitely knows how to drive offroad cars as he finished 2nd with the prototype B74. All the way from Wisconsin, Brian Lutz commented that he is new to carpet racing, but remarkably found his way to 3rd place on the podium. Beginner’s luck? Don’t think so.
40+ 2wd Modified
AE/JConcepts’ Chris Champlin was on another level as he dominated the 40+ 2wd Modified class during the 8 minute A-main after an unfortunate mechanical suffered by AE’s Brent Thielke. From there, uncontested, Chris crossed the line taking an unprecedented win with JConcepts/Yokomo’s Thomas Tran making a huge comeback from 10th on the grid and finished 2nd on the podium. 702’s own Oscar Spartley was on Tran’s tail and closed in, but ultimately finished 3rd overall after 8 minutes of intense racing.
The world was treated to another amazing, Ryan and Ryan show, as the two Yokomo/JConcepts aces both split wins in A1 and A2 making it the ultimate showdown in A3. Early in the race, Cavalieri started to stretch out his lead from pole, but a mistake costed the 4 time WC his lead and was now under fire from the current WC, Ryan Maifield. While the 2 greats put on a stunning show, another late mistake by Cavalieri saw him drop to 2nd and Maifield took the win and the overall. Showing that he has the skills to contend with the best in the world, AE/JConcepts’ Broc Champlin impressed many on home track and finished 3rd overall.
Once again, the Ryan and Ryan show didn’t disappoint as the two greats battled it out along with AE/JConcepts’ Broc Champlin as Broc was able to win A2 and Maifield A1. With everything on the line in A3, it was Ryan Cavalieri going for the win as he wanted to put himself in the mix by winning A3 making it a 3-way tie for the overall. However, Maifield had other plans and defended his lead from Cavalieri for nearly the entire 5-minute run. Maifield finished ahead of his close friend and teammate, by just .2 seconds to secure 1st place overall. Cavalieri put in his best performance yet since joining team Yokomo and finished 2nd. Emerging as one of the US’ best young rising stars, AE/JConcepts’ Broc Champlin earned the overall TQ and managed to stay on the podium in 3rd behind 2 world champions.
Interview: B74 interview with Bob Stellflue
Want the latest on the Team Associated's B74 4wd prototype buggy? Check out this interview with the lead designer himself, Bob Stellflue! #gojconcepts
Posted by JConcepts Inc on Sunday, March 24, 2019
Interview: Stock Talk with Ron Schuur of Hobbywing Schuurspeed
Catching up with Ron Schuur of Hobbywing North America and SchuurSpeed is always a blast. Get the latest on what's going on in the stock world, 21.5, and the impact that Spencer has had on the HW side of things. #gojconcepts
Posted by JConcepts Inc on Sunday, March 24, 2019
Interview: 702’s on Patty Battie
Thanks to Dwayne and Pat Battie of 702 RC Raceway for the awesome facility and hosting the 2019 JConcepts NCTS round 1! If you don't know much about the place, here's the low down of this amazing track and how it came to be about. #gojconcepts
Posted by JConcepts Inc on Friday, March 22, 2019
A1 of 4wd Mod, 17.5 2wd, and 2wd Mod
A2 of 4wd and 17.5 2wd
A2 of 2wd Modified
A3 of 4wd Mod, 17.5 2wd and 2wd Modified