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HPI Baja Nationals 2010


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Friday, May 21, 2010 4:35:27 PM by Kevin Hetmanski

I’m sitting trackside at the Diggers Dungeon enjoying a Big Bopper ice cream sandwich and watching some great Baja 5B/ 5T racing. We started a little late today and are about half done with off-road qualifying. I am racing in the 5T, 5B and EDM oval class at the race this weekend and didn’t have too many issues with them this afternoon during practice. We just finished up the first round of 5T qualifying and I didn’t do so well. The track has dried up and I had no rear traction. I’m going to make a few tweaks to my truck later tonight. They are watering the track right now and I should have better luck with my 5B because we’ll have a little more grip. Well, now that I said that it won’t go well for me. We are running three rounds of qualifying and mains. Today we are working on one round, tomorrow we’re fitting in two and Sunday we’re running the mains. The off-road track is SICK and pretty big. We are running mid 40 second lap times on the dry track and they should be a little lower on the now wet track. They are using IFMAR qualifying for this event and we are running 10 min long qualifiers. Later tonight we are racing on the oval track under the lights. I’m really looking forward to that. My EDM buggy is dialed! Qualifying and mains are the same for the oval guys. I shot a bunch of photos of the trucks in action and will post them after buggy qualifying. Hopefully I’ll also have some buggy stuff for you to see too.

Friday, May 21, 2010 9:32:18 PM by Kevin Hetmanski

Well the soaked the track for buggy qualifying and I was up first and that meant that I had to run in a mud bog. My 5B also needs a little tweaking and the mud caked on during the race and made it super heavy so it was a handful. Once the sun had set we fired up the oval trucks and buggies. Wow! I saw some serious speeds tonight. I hear that the fast guy in the EDM class was reaching 43mph down the short straight. I did pretty well in the EDM class and would have done better if I wasn’t fighting off bugs. I still have two rounds tomorrow to make up for it and bug spray is at the top of my list. Qualifying for the oval guys was a little different. We ran 30 lap runs with heads up starts. I have a few tweaks to make early in the morning and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day on the track.
Saturday, May 22, 2010 12:42:41 PM by Kevin Hetmanski

This morning it looked like we were going to have a rainy start and we lucked out. The clouds have moved out of the way and the sun is shining down on us. There was a lot of work done to the off-road and oval tracks this morning to fill in some fo the big holes that showed up at the end of the day yesterday. Today, we started racing on the off-road course at 10 and we have just finished up the second round of qualifying. They are watering the track and looking it over as I write this and we are getting for a possible rough third round of qualifying. The track is pretty blown out at this point and it’s tossing buggies and trucks everywhere. I’m still fighting for traction and haven’t had the best of luck in my classes. I’ve made a few more tweaks and at this point I’m not too worried about making the main. I’m just going to run some laps and have a good time. Who knows, maybe some of the next changes will make a difference. I’m looking forward to the oval racing tonight and I already have some bug spray lined up.
Saturday, May 22, 2010 2:14:11 PM by Kevin Hetmanski

I just finished my last round of 5T qualifying. I have a better handle on my truck just in time for the track to be super BLOWN out. I don’t think I improved much on my starting spot in the main. Buggy is next and I’m sure I’ll have more of a hard time as the track is just falling apart.
Saturday, May 22, 2010 7:56:24 PM by Kevin Hetmanski

Off-road qualifying is now over and the guys are working on their stuff to get it ready for the mains tomorrow. After qualifying a last man standing race was set up. Buggies and trucks were combined and they ran a 30 lap race with no turn marshals and once you flipped or got stuck you were done. Joe O’Neal was the winner and went home with a HPI Blitz RTR. How did I do in my buggy race? Uh….. we’ll skip that part for today. Now the guys are running under the lights on the oval. We have one more round of qualifying to go there. My EDM buggy was fast and sort of hooked up. I made some minor tweaks to the suspension and tires and I can’t wait to hit the dirt again. I never thought that racing Bajas on a dirt oval could be so much fun.

Sunday, May 23, 2010 4:29:42 PM by Kevin Hetmanski

This morning started off with a lot of sun and eventually the clouds rolled in. For a while there it looked like we were in for a serious thunder storm but thankfully the rain went away and the day cooled off. At the track HPI started things off with some photos and gave away some prizes that were provided by the sponsors of the race. All of the racers went home with an armful of products. The off-road mains featured bump ups so we saw some great racing by the guys who were hungry to make it into the next main. We saw 30 min mains in the 5B and 5T classes and the racing was close. I qualified first for the B-Main with my truck and was in second place getting ready to bump into the A and blew a dog bone with 5 min to go. What a bummer. I finally had a pretty good setup on my truck and it was handling pretty well. I moved onto my buggy and found that after all the work I did to the setup, the engine wouldn’t run. With a lot of help from all the guys here we worked hard to find the problem with my engine with no luck and time running out. Then I changed engines and with 15 min before my main it started but didn’t run well. Something was wrong. I found that the fuel tank had a clog somewhere and a couple of us thrashed to get it changed and we finished up just before the start of the warm up laps. My buggy was pretty hooked up. Wish I figured it out during qualifying. About a third of the way into my main the pipe loosened and the engine leaned out. So I gave up on the racing and work on having a good time. So, from time to time I made my way into the field next to the track then over onto the oval during the race. We’re starting to clean up now and get ready to run the oval mains. I’m in the A-main there too and can’t wait to hit the dirt. What a weekend.
Thursday, May 27, 2010 3:15:49 PM by Kevin Hetmanski

Once the off-road mains were wrapped up we shifted gears and ran the mains on the oval track. About half way through the clouds came in and we heard some serious rumbles of thunder off in the distance. The races were then sped up and we were able to get in the last race before the rain came down. I think it’s safe to say that we all had a great weekend of racing and it was cool to see so many Bajas at one track.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010 1:50:56 PM by Kevin Hetmanski

A Main – Off-road Baja 5T
1 Phalen, Tony
2 Scott G 42
3 Schultz, John
4O’neill, Joe
5 Holister, Jack
6Baumgardner, Jady
7 Musawwir, Bari
8 Mihelich, Rusty
9 Clutterback, Dave
10 Owens, Don

A Main – Off-road Baja 5b
1 Scott G
2 Mihelich, Rusty
3 Schultz, John
4 Dayton, Michael
5 Baumgardner, Jady
6 Holister, Jack
7 O’neill, Joe
8 Hetmanski, Kevin
9 Phalen, Tony
10 Murgia, Mark
A Main – 5B Oval
1 Mihelich, Rusty
2 Holister, Jack
3 Murgia, Mark
4 Brown, Dustin
5 Saunders, Woody
6 White, Scott
7 Mowery, Travis
8 Greelish, Dave
9 9 Marr, Bill
10 Goggin, Jerry

A Main – 5T Oval
1 Mihelich, Rusty
2 Holister, Jack 48
3 Massita, Steve
4 Davey, Michael
5 Coleman, Carlton
6 Clutterback, Dave
7 Marr, Bill
8 Brown, Dustin
9 Morris, Randy

A Main – EDM Oval
1 Rob, Hostile
2 Mihelich, Rusty
3 Cross, Henry
4 Higgins, Brian
5 Hawkins, John
6 Hetmanski, Kevin
7 Schultz, John
8 Baumgardner, Jady

A Main – L8ight Model
1 Owens, Don
2 Jones, Lance
3 Schultz, John
4 Smith, Ricky

Updated: January 7, 2011 — 10:08 AM
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