BMiller Racing’s Brian Strange has only raced on the national RC stage a handful of times, but when he has the results have been impressive. With the goal of taking his driving to another level in 2013, Strange decided to open the year by making the trip to Southern California for the Reedy International Off-Road Race of Champions at West Coast RC Raceway.
Facing a premier list of 100 open division competitors in both 2wd and 4wd buggy, Strange was dialed all weekend with both his vehicles powered by ProTek R/C lipo batteries from A Main Hobbies.
Piloting an Associated B44.1 with white DE Racing Borrego wheels, Strange qualified sixth overall in 4wd to earn a spot in the double A mains. In the 10-minute A1 he drove a steady 31-lap race and bounced between the fourth, fifth and sixth spots before settling for fifth. In A2 Strange was an immediate factor among the lead pack, climbing to third place by the end of lap one. He battled in the third and fourth positions for the first one-third of the race before losing a bottom shock spring cup in lap 11 and falling off the pace. He stayed with it, however, and nursed the car around for a seventh place showing. Combining the two finishes, Strange ended up right where he qualified, placing sixth overall among a stacked field of factory drivers.
His efforts in 2wd were almost equally as impressive. Qualifying 19th, Strange was steady throughout the 10-minute C main and finished second to bump to the B main. It was in the B that he almost pulled off the unthinkable. Starting from the No. 10 spot on the grid, Strange gradually worked his way through the pack and was third at the halfway point but well off the pace of the top two transfer spots. But that did not stop him from putting together a huge surge in the second half of the race with his TLR 22 on white DE Racing Borrego wheels. Running his fastest laps in the final two minutes, Strange closed to within three seconds of second place but had to settle for third in the main and an 11th place overall finish.
“It was a tremendous experience to take part in my first Reedy Race of Champions event,” stated Strange. “The competition was outstanding, and it was a great test to see where I am at right now as I look to become a factor at the national level during the 2013 season. I can’t thank my sponsors enough, BMiller Racing, A Main Hobbies and ProTek R/C, Panther Tires, and DE Racing. Without their support this entire experience would have not been possible.”
Another great story for BMiller Racing at Reedy came via the efforts of young 14-year-old Nathan Bernal. After a tough four rounds of qualifying, Nathan found himself landing in the K main of 2wd. Starting from the eighth spot in the 10-minute main, Nathan drove though the pack to win the K and transfer to the J. He then went on to finish second in the J and I mains, and then won the H main to climb into the upper mains. He then placed second in the G main before finally ending the run with a seventh place finish in the F main, which earned him a Top 50 overall finish. When it was all said and done, Nathan raced 60 minutes of 2wd heads-up action with five bumps.
Nathan’s father, Eddie Bernal, also produced a Top 50 finish for BMiller Racing, placing fourth in the 4wd F main.