Team Associated 2014 Summer Series
The 2014 Summer Series at "The Plex" was again sponsored by Team Associated. Last year they raised the bar for support in this series by providing a kit for every class to be given away. This year was no exception. Team Associated provided racers with an opportunity to see firsthand why they have the best race equipment in the world. I was fortunate enough to attend all six series races this year. Team Associated was well represented by some of the finest talent in the Midwest. With over 150 entries for each one of the six series races, the field was deep in all classes.
The largest class in the series was 17.5 Stock Buggy. Tom "The Talent" Rinderknecht had some amazing runs to take the Series Championship in five rounds of a very competitive class. Tom utilized the Team Associated B5M Team Car, Reedy SQ 5800 battery, Reedy Sonic Mach 2 17.5, and XP Digital 1015 servo to secure his title. In a class where people believe you have to have every hopup available, Tom was able to win with a car that comes right out of the box! Tom also had his Mod Series debut in Pro2. He had a few rough races in the beginning, but poured it on in rounds 3-6 to secure third overall in the series. Look for him to make a smooth transition to modified, and be racing with the best in the region in no time.
Mod 2WD and Mod Wheeler had some serious talent as always. Chad "Rico" Karstens showed us why he is one of the best in the Midwest. Chad was able to win two of the five races he attended in 2WD, and three of the five in 4WD. Accomplishing this against some very talented local team racers was a victory for sure. Chad had to miss one race - which didn't give him any room for bad luck. He came up just short of a championship in both classes, finishing second in Mod Buggy and third in Mod Wheeler. I, Mack Vanderbeek, was able to stay consistent throughout the series. An extra TQ point and second-place finish in Round 6, helped land me in third place in 2WD overall.
Pro2 was a heated battle last year with Alex Vanderbeek losing the championship in round 6 from an unfortunate break to the defending and 4-time Champion. Leading up to this year, he had his sights set on redemption. Alex had to miss the first round, so any slip in the remaining five rounds would douse any hopes of a title. Alex maintained a cool head in all five rounds he attended, winning four out of five with three TQ's to take the Championship for 2014. He utilized the Team Associated Factory Team SC10.2, Reedy 7000 battery, Reedy Sonic Mach 2 7.5 motor, and XP Digital 1015 servo. Alex also had a solid effort in Mod 2WD, finishing fifth to a stacked field of other Team Drivers. He missed out on third by a single point, allowing the "Old Man" to have one more year of supremacy in our household.
Stock Truck was a close battle for the Championship with newly signed racer Zach Edenburn just missing the win by two points. Zach also missed the first round of the series, or things might have been different for him. Zach finished seventh in the highly contested 17.5 Stock Buggy Class as well.
I would like to personally thank Team Associated and Reedy for another amazing year of racing at this series. Thanks for developing a program that allows young talented racers to be in a team environment for the best radio control company in the world. Thanks as well to Alex Sturgeon and his Track Crew at the Hobbyplex for putting on a great series. Add this to your list of races to attend for next summer!
Thanks to Mack Vanderbeek for this race report.