Time To Start Racing Again!

Yea, it’s been too long!

Again, congrats to George Peters on dominating the 2022 NASCAR MADness Series that ended August 6. George has likely completed his media tour and press appearances by now so it’s time to kickoff another series and start racing again. What we do next will depend a lot on interest and driver availability.

One series that I’d like to do before the end of the 2022 season is an ALL IROC Championship series. The first round of the IROC series is currently slated for October 1, 2022 and will consist of four events, four individual races each event, and will include oval and road courses, sometimes on the same race day. The total points winners of the series will take home mondo trophies for being the best Sportsman and Expert “drivers” competing in the series. This series may be run contiguously or  not.

Another series I’m interested in is a weeknight oval course program that could include any type of car we currently run. The racing format will be a bit different than what we’ve been doing. Only one platform (car) will be run at each event. The nightly schedule will include:

    1. Qualifying (best average time of three laps)
    2. Scratch Race 1
    3. Scratch Race 2
    4. Scratch Race 3
    5. “B” Main
    6. “Last Chance”
    7. “A” Main

The twist in this series is that all races after qualifying are reverse staggered starts. This means, if you are the fastest qualifier, you start in the last staggered position in the first Scratch race. If you win the first Scratch race, you again, start in the last staggered position in the second Scratch race, and so on. If you qualify for the “A” Main after the three Scratch races, you start the “A” Main in a reverse staggered position relative to those drivers who who qualified behind you.

Yes, you can sandbag if you’d like. But doing so will cost you valuable points. This series accumulates points from each heat, meaning sandbagging may garner you a better start position in the next race, but you’ll also lose points doing so. You decide how and where you’ll get your points but points are the name of the game in this series.

The primary intent of this racing format is to make things as competitive as possible between all skill levels on race days. Heat/segment points are combined on race days but overall event points are scored separately between Expert and Sportsman drivers–two trophies awarded at the end of the series.

We’ll dial-down the laps for all races to make race nights short and sweet and only one car contested at each event.

Please let us know your thoughts and opinions on these two ideas for our next racing adventures. We’re open to any and all ideas, suggestions, and any comments you may have, of course.

Okay, shut up and drive!

IROC Championship Series

Next up for the 2022 Stewart Raceway season, is an IROC Championship. Yes, take a break from preparing competitive race cars and enjoy the art and leisure of just showing up with your controller and having some fun driving cars you don’t need to worry about.

Unless other track operators chime in and decide to host a road course event, all race days will take place on either SR2 or SR3. Two oval events, and two road course events. We’ll run all sorts of different cars and five races during each race day event.

The first round is tentatively slated for October 1, 2022. There will be two mondo trophies awarded in this series. Both the Expert class winner and the Sportsman class winner will receive hardware for their efforts. Both series winners will be awarded a Mondo trophy and, of course, will be enshrined on the Stewart Raceway Wall of Fame.

The 2022 IROC Series rules, points, and racing format are documented here.

Register here.

Okay, shut up and drive!

Open Track Session Report: August 20, 2022

Thanks to all who came out for a few hours of track time on SR3 Saturday, really appreciate the interest and support!

The goal was to give Sportsman drivers some tips and tricks on driving technic and style. Unfortunately, only one Sportsman drive showed up (Kevin Webster) and he doesn’t really need any help.

Expert driver and 2021 Rookie of the Year, Brad Sandahl showed up with his daughter, Carrie, and did a bunch of laps. Brad certainly doesn’t need much help either but he tested various controller settings and by the end of the day had the fastest lap.

Julian Schwartz, another local junior driver, made an appearance and got to cut a bunch of laps with an OS3 Pro controller, which he seemed to adapt to well, and hopefully, gained some valuable experience for the next Kid’s Race at Stewart Raceway.

Kevin and I tested his various HOPRA-legal SUPER STOCK cars. The purpose of the testing was to determine if the HOPRA SUPER STOCK rules should be adopted. While these cars are very smooth and fast, they really weren’t all that much faster than an L4 V-SPEC Viper (HOPRA SPEC RACER) we currently run. Different, yes, but not really worth the extra expense of forcing a switch to ceramic motor and traction magnets. The HOPRA Super Stock class rules also allow dual-compound tires, which further increases cost and complexity.

The goal of introducing this new class to our racing program was to provide more advanced drivers and builders with a bit more flexibility in tuning their cars. The general consensus was that having to swap magnets and purchase dual compound tires was a bit much from a budget and performance gain perspective.  So, we decided to introduce the Super Stock class into the program but without the ceramic magnet and dual-compound rear tire specs–for now.

So what’s different?

Well, without the ceramic magnets and the dual compound rear tires, not much. But, you can run different gearing than just a 7/23 pinion/crown. Higher gearing, for example, can make the car not only easier to drive on twisty technical courses but also faster on tracks with longer straights. The idea is to allow the more advanced racer more tuning flexibility.

What does this mean to you? This class presents a bit more flexibility in tuning. Meaning, that you can purchase a few different rear axle assemblies with different gearing for different track layouts or conditions. Just swap axle assemblies to change the handling and speed characteristics of a SUPER STOCK class car.

Do I need to buy another car?

No, the Super Stock class is essentially a SPEC RACER chassis. The only difference is that you can run any gearing available in the SUPER STOCK class, the HOPRA SPEC RACER class is restricted to 7/23 gearing.

Will the SUPER STOCK class be run at all Stewart Raceway events?

No, at the moment only a few drivers are interested in this class.  If interest grows, it could be a popular class but only time will tell. Buy a couple of different rear axle assemblies and see if going to higher or lower gearing helps your lap times. If you determine that you’re faster with the gearing flexibility, then lobby in support of this class.

Keep in mind, that both classes allow adjustable armature brush tension on a brush-barrel type chassis, which is also a very useful tuning option. If you’re running that type of chassis, try them both and see what happens.

The SUPER STOCK class is intended to provide a bit more flexibility and a more sophisticated level of tuning for those interested in going faster and finding that winning setup on race days.

Okay, shut up and drive!

Race Report: 2022 NASCAR Madness Series – Round 5 Finale

We started and finished this series with the same five drivers. While we had various other drivers in the mix throughout the series, these five drivers would be the core competitors and finish the series in nearly the same finishing order as they finished the very first round.

The final round was really a battle between 2021 Junior of the Year driver, Jordan Walker,  and the seasoned veteran, Kevin Webster. Separated by just 25 points going into the final round, it was going to be a dogfight between the two drivers for the second position on the series finale podium.

Going into this final round, George Peters, had a commanding points lead that could not be overcome by any other driver. In fact, George also held a commanding lead in the Concours d’ Elegance competition.

Round 5 Overall Results
Place Name Laps Points Total Time
1 George Peters 849 70 10425.69
2 Jordan Walker 781 52 10444.82
3 Kevin Webster 730 50 10472.04
1 Brad Sandahl ♦ 447 32 6825.421
2 Steve Stewart ♦ 895 96 10274.54
Race 1: MegaG+ 1.7 Camaros and Mustangs (IROC)

Kevin Webster provided this very fun-to-drive IROC set. These cars were a great way to start the final round and everybody love them. 2021 Rookie of the Year, Brad Sandahl returned to racing with a bang, winning the first segment by a half-second over Home Cook’n. The rest of the race was a bit of a see-saw as Brad and Home Cook’n swapped segment wins while George Peters bagged all the third-place points. Details

Place Name Laps Points Total Time
1 Steve Stewart 147 16 1545.601
2 Brad Sandahl 145 13 1565.507
3 George Peters 138 11 1564.228
4 Jordan Walker 133 7 1564.923
5 Kevin Webster 123 6 1565.44
Race 2: Tyco 440-X2 Widepan NASCAR Hardbodies

Basically a repurposed Tomahawk, these cars are fast and fun, even with bulky NASCAR hard bodies they’re a hoot to drive. Pretty hot & heavy racing in this one. Brad Sandahl won two segments and George Peters again consistently racked up points with three second-place finishes.  Meanwhile, Jordan and Kevin were clearly focusing on their own epic battle for that second step on the podium. Details

Place Name Laps Points Total Time
1 Steve Stewart 149 16 2321.224
2 Brad Sandahl 145 13 2364.034
3 George Peters 142 11 2339.417
4 Jordan Walker 111 7 2355.51
5 Kevin Webster 111 6 2360.914
Race 3: VSR Viper V-SPEC (SPEC RACER) **Feature Race**

Brad Sandahl actually did much better than the results show here, but he had to leave early so dropped out of this one after the first rotation. Brad won one segment on green and remained in second-place until he had to abandon the race.  George took over the second position and held onto it to the finish. Jordan loves Vipers and actually took a couple of second-place finishes and valuable points needed to help stave off veteran Kevin Webster points chase. Details

Place Name Laps Points Total Time
1 Steve Stewart 299 16 2563.098
2 George Peters 287 13 2602.453
3 Jordan Walker 266 11 2605.644
4 Kevin Webster 223 7 2638.17
5 Brad Sandahl 157 6 2895.88
Race 4: Jag Hobbies PR-5 “Lites” (Box Stock)

Always a wild race, this PR-5 race was wild but pretty uneventful. From the first segment to the last, the leaderboard never changed.  Kevin Webster bagged some much-needed points by besting Jordan Walker by just two laps in the end. Details

Place Name Laps Points Total Time
1 Steve Stewart 100 16 1329.445
2 George Peters 93 13 1348.314
3 Kevin Webster 86 11 1345.622
4 Jordan Walker 84 7 1356.192
Race 5: Jag Hobbies NC-2 “Lites” (BOX STOCK)

The Jag NC-2 platform is another wild ride but a bit easier to drive due to the shorter wheelbase. Kevin Webster took full advantage of a borrowed Johnny Lightning Pull-Back snap-on body and finished third, two laps ahead of Jordan in this one. These bodies are considerably smaller and lighter than AFX/Tomy bodies and clearly a better setup for this class. Details

Place Name Laps Points Total Time
1 Steve Stewart 100 16 1377.697
2 Kevin Webster 93 13 1391.338
3 George Peters 91 11 1407.087
4 Jordan Walker 87 7 1403.812
Race 6: Jag Hobbies TR-3 “Lites” Augoran Bodies (IROC)

We don’t race these that often but they’re another Jag Hobbies car that is way fun and easy to drive.  This IROC set isn’t quite Box Stock and has Jag DF rear hubs and independent front-ends. This leaderboard didn’t change much either. Jordan Walker likes the TR-3, finishing second in every segment and just two seconds behind the leader at the finish. Details

Place Name Laps Points Total Time
1 Steve Stewart 100 16 1137.477
2 Jordan Walker 100 13 1158.738
3 George Peters 98 11 1164.191
4 Kevin Webster 94 7 1170.559
Final Series Standings
Place Name Laps Points Total Time
1 George Peters 4037 383 37636.96
2 Kevin Webster 2629 201 27466.27
3 Jordan Walker 2765 189 30623.72
4 Jerry Pearson 1175 81 14225.5
1 Brad Sandahl ♦ 1347 87 10386.73
2 Steve Stewart ♦ 4284 462 36962.58

♦ indicates Expert Class driver. Scored separately in series.

2021 Junior of the Year and 3rd in the series, Jordan Walker
Kevin Webster takes the second spot on the podium.
Series and Concours d’ Elegance winner, George Peters. Performance and style!

Okay, the 2022 NASCAR MADness Series is in the books. Due to all the controversy, vacations, work, and travel schedules, it was difficult to pull off. But we did it.

Because we often didn’t have marshals at some events, the average lap times and run times are a little wonky. We also skipped using call-buttons and instead relied on the quicker “honor system,” which isn’t always all that “honest.”

Right-click and open a new tab or window to see a larger image.

Congrats to George Peters for a stellar performance in both driving and the art of HO-scale modeling. George won both the racing series and the Concours d’ Elegance competitions!

 

Thank you to all who competed in this exciting five-race series. Hope everyone enjoyed it!

Okay, shut up and drive!

2022 NASCAR MADness Series Finale is August 6!

We’ll conclude the series on the SR3 road course Saturday, August 6, 2022.

George Peters currently leads the series with an unassailable points lead. George also leads the Concours d’ Elegance points and will very likely win that competition as well.

All eyes will be on the battle for the second spot on the coveted Stewart Raceway podium. Kevin Webster leads Jordan Walker by 25-points. Both drivers know that the second podium spot is within their reach. Both drivers will certainly be bringing their “A” game to the party.

Name Laps Points Total Time
1 George Peters 3088 297 26542.46
2 Kevin Webster 1899 151 16994.23
3 Jordan Walker 1903 126 19503.4
4 Jerry Pearson 1175 81 14225.5
1 Brad Sandahl ♦ 900 55 3561.313
2 Steve Stewart ♦ 3291 353 26011.41

Rookie Sportsman driver, Jerry Pearson, is tentative for the finale but has had some very impressive heat wins and lap records in previous rounds of the series.

Regardless of other drivers making an appearance in the final round, the top three spots on the Sportsman podium are pretty much spoken for.

If you haven’t already, please register for Round 5 by 10:00PM, Friday, August 5.

Okay, Shut up and drive!