2013 Hobby Haven Offroad Shootout

Labor Day weekend marked the 14th annual Hobby Haven Offroad Shootout in Urbandale, Iowa. Over the years the Shootout has become one of the largest races in the Midwest. This year was no different, with the race reaching its 250 entry limit just three weeks before the event date. Racers traveled from several different states including Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, all with hopes of taking home a coveted FactoryOne RC Red #1 Plate.
The track opened up for practice Friday morning and racers had to battle more than the challenging track layout when temperatures sored over 100 degrees. The pits were busy with portable fans, while racers did their best to stay cool and get their cars dialed in.
Saturday was qualifying day and the format used qualifying points with the best 2 of 3 rounds going towards the racers' overall qualifying position. The track had a rhythm section consisting of a double, double, double, step-up that proved to be the most challenging section of the track -- especially once the track started to dry out. Getting through the rhythm section clean every lap was crucial for any racer looking for a low score for the round. The first two rounds of qualifying were held under the natural sunlight, but with 250 entries, the racing went well into the night. The lights came on to brighten the track for the third and final round, adding the extra challenge of shadows and shading. The racing concluded around 1:15 a.m. and the tired, sunburnt racers retired for the night in search of some much-needed rest.
As the racers showed up at the track Sunday morning, they were greeted by mangled canopy frames. Iowa hadn't received any rain whatsoever in four weeks, but a severe storm rolled through the area around 4 a.m. consisting of heavy rains and high winds. The racers all worked together, picking up overturned tables and piecing the canopies back together. The track crew had a much larger task to deal with: clearing almost two inches of rain off of the track. While the track crew was busy clearing mud and working miracles, the event organizers kept everyone entertained by giving away hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of door prizes! I'm pretty sure every racer in attendance walked away with at least one door prize.

By 11:00 the track was open for practice. Because of the rain delay, the racers voted to run single A Mains instead of the scheduled triple A Mains. The racing started promptly at noon and the third and final day of the Hobby Haven Offroad Shootout was under way. The racing was highly competitive and close in every class, from the Novice B Main to the Modified Buggy A Main. Once the dust had settled, 10 different class champions were crowned.

The day came to an end with high fives and hand shakes. Racers said goodbye to old racing buddies that they have known for years and new racing buddies they have only known for hours. All with the common thought that they will meet again at a future race down the road.
In closing, in my [Btent Thielke's] 28 years of RC racing, I'm not sure I have ever witnessed a race of this magnitude that needed to overcome such diversity of trials! From the heat to the wind to the rain, the Hobby Haven crew, race directors, track crew and most important, the racers all deserve a pat on the back for making this race a success!
Novice1. Kaden Fuller (TQ)
2. Karysn Moore
3. Michael Allie
Stock 2WD SCT1. Derek Richtsmeier
2. Alex Eklund (TQ)
3. Josh Fenton
Stock 2WD Buggy1. Dave Duncan
2. Mason Fuller
3. Kyle Holmberg (TQ)
Modified 2WD SCT1. Alex Vanderbeek
2. Cole Tollard (TQ)
3. Paul Sinclair
Modified 2WD Buggy1. Alex Sturgeon
2. Rod Rippee
3. Paul Sinclair
(TQ) Mack Vanderbeek
Modified 4WD Buggy1. Matt Gosch (TQ)
2. Cole Tollard
3. David Fast
Stock 2WD Stadium Truck1. Dave Duncan (TQ)
2. Kevin Van Ert
3. Josh Fenton
Modidied 2WD Stadium Truck1. Chad Karstens
2. Cole Tollard (TQ)
3. Rod Rippee
Modified 4WD SCT1. Adam Grimm
2. Jamie Ferrell (TQ)
3. Ashley McCormick
1/8 Electric Buggy
1. Jamie Ferrell
2. Sam Anderson (TQ)
3. Bruce Lohaus