A Main Hobbies is putting Chico, California on the worldwide RC map in 2013, and the impressive slate of primetime competitions opened this past weekend with the running of the 4th Annual Outback Shootout at Outback Raceway. The BMiller Race Team made the short trek for the Shootout and came away with a banner showing, tallying four class victories and nine podiums overall.
Justin Moon, a former professional full scale open wheel formula BMW and champ car driver, has been on the verge of a breakout since returning to RC racing two years ago, and he may have gotten it at the Outback Shootout with a victory in Open 2wd Buggy. Driving a T2 Evo buggy from Team C with power provided by a Gen 2 9.5 motor and RS speedo from Tekin and the recently released ProTek R/C Supreme Power 100c Shorty Pack, Moon earned the TQ with four strong rounds of qualifying. In the eight-minute A main he led from start to finish and was the only driver to lay down 32 laps. 14-year-old BMiller Racing teammate Nathan Bernal registered the fastest lap of the race at 15.014 and made a strong charge at the end of the main to finish second just three seconds back of Moon, while A Main Hobbies pro driver Tyler Vik placed third.
Just prior to the Open 2wd Buggy main, the up-and-coming Bernal pulled out a dramatic victory in 2wd Stock Buggy with a borrowed Team Associated B4.2 that was built only hours before qualifying on Saturday. Starting from the No. 2 spot on the grid, Bernal (who also finished 3rd in Open 4wd buggy) trailed teammate Terry Wickum through much of the eight-minute main but strung together a series of impressive late-race laps with a Tekin Gen 2 17.5 motor and RS speedo and ProTek R/C Supreme Power 100c Shorty Pack to eventually take the top spot in the final minute and register a comfortable winning margin. Wickum held on for second while another standout Team Associated youngster, Tanner Matesa, finished third.
Open 4wd Short Course provided the most entertaining races throughout the weekend, and the eight-minute A main did not disappoint. BMiller Racing’s Josh O’Connell started in the second spot on the grid behind teammate Patrick Zhao, who led for the first two minutes. In lap seven, however, O’Connell took advantage of a Zhao miscue and never looked back, guiding his Losi SCTE in consistent fashion behind the power of Tekin electronics (Pro 4 4600 and RX8) and a ProTek R/C Supreme Power 100c Hard Case lipo. O’Connell had to stay aggressive and focused throughout because Team Tekno and A Main Hobbies factory driver Austin Blair was all over him before settling for runner-up honors. Zhao held on for third place, while BMiller drivers Wickum and Lou Figueria finished fourth and fifth, respectively. All four BMiller drivers in 4wd SCT were mounted on Borrego wheels from DE Racing.
Figueria and Zhao also provided an epic battle in Open 2wd Short Course with the top of the box undetermined until the final turn. Zhao earned the TQ with a borrowed Associated SC10 stocked with a Tekin 8.5 and RS speedo and ProTek lipo and led for most of the eight-minute A main. But Figueria, who was driving team owner Brad Miller’s Losi 22SCT with Tekin 10.5 Gen 2 motor and RS Pro speedo and ProTek lipo, was on a mission from his No. 6 qualifying spot. Hanging around in the middle of the pack in the early going, Figueria started to make his move up the charts at the midway point but still trailed Zhao by five seconds. With one minute to go he had closed to within three seconds and then found himself right on Zhao’s bumper with one lap to go when Zhao got tangled with lapped traffic. The two battled as the crowd amped up with Figueria making the hero pass on the final straight to earn the victory. Randy Pike of Team Tekin and Panther Tires rounded out the podium in third. All three podium finishers in Open 2wd SCT had their tires mounted on DE Racing Borrego wheels.
Additional class winners included Eric Albano (Open 4wd Buggy), Tyler Vik (Open 2wd Stadium Truck), Nathan Lavery (Stock 2wd SCT), Kendall Bennett (Stock 2wd Stadium Truck), and Clayton Buck (Rookie).
With two world-class facilities, A Main Hobbies will be the hub of RC off-road action in 2013. More than 10 premier competitions will be held in Chico at Silver Dollar R/C Raceway and Outback Raceway, highlighted by the JConcepts Summer Indoor Nationals in July (7/13-14), ROAR 1/10 Electric Off-Road Nationals in August (8/8-11) and IFMAR Electric Buggy World Championships in September (9/22-29).