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Online Coverage Of The 2013 Novak Off-Road Race At The Plex (Videos Added)

Online Coverage Of The 2013 Novak Off-Road Race At The Plex (Videos Added)

This past weekend I headed back over to Omaha, NE for the 2013 Novak Off-Road Race.  This is the 2nd year that Novak has sponsored this race and once again it was held at the HobbyTown USA HobbyPlex.  The event brought in 307 entries and there were a total of 10 different classes to compete in.

The most unique class of this race was the Novak Club Racer 17.5 Short Course Buggy class.  Any brand of short course buggy could compete in this class as long as it met ROAR specifications, and a racer could compete in it for free as long as they had already signed up for another class.

Each SCB was equipped with a Novak Club Sensored Brushless ESC and Ballistic 17.5 brushless motor courtesy of Novak.  Once the event was over each SCB driver had the option to purchase the system at a discounted price.  The ESC came with Tamiya plug for the battery, but drivers were allowed to change it to another brand if they wanted to.

Each driver had to use 30 degrees of timing on the motor and the FDR was the same for everyone at 8.50.  Once the FDR was set and approved by the tech team, the gear cover was reinstalled and then marked to make tech much smoother for the rest of the weekend.

Any short course tire out on the market was legal to use, and drivers came up with creative ways to make their SCB stand out from others since many were using similar looking RTR bodies.

Naturally the field was dominated by Losi, Team Associated, and Kyosho buggies, but I did spy a custom built X Factory X-60 SCB competing too.

And of course the Novak race wouldn’t be complete without Mr. Novak himself, Bob Novak.  Bob is a former Omaha area resident and flew in from California to attend this “homecoming” race at the Plex.  Also in attendance with Bob was product support specialist Brent Newman, and together they provided onsite support for racers and through down some fast laps with us.

Thursday night they held a local club race to help break in the track and give drivers a 1st crack at the fresh layout.  On Friday controlled practice began and drivers started to pack the pits.

The weather outside was in the upper 20’s and inside the track was probably around 40 degrees.  It was heated by a lone portable gas heater that was fittingly colored Novak orange.  Many racers simply threw on their favorite RC sweatshirt and the cold wasn’t a distraction at all.  The track was also using the Plex’s newer lighting system which really brightened up the track and made us all feel warm and fuzzy inside.

On Saturday we held a brief driver’s meeting and then 3 rounds of qualifying began.

With 34 heats in a round drivers were set for a long day, and many passed the time by cleaning their cars, watching movies or the race action out on the track, playing games on their tablets or smartphones, flying choppers and quads over the carpet track, sleeping, and of course checking out their favorite RC magazine.

Food was also located near the pits so drivers didn’t have to venture out into the cold, and the hobby shop was well stocked with about anything you could ever need.

The overall TQ for each class would be determined by qualifying points from your best 2 rounds except for the SCB class.  They had 22 SCB entries overall and they split them up into 2 heats.  In Round 1 the top 5 finishers from each SCB heat would automatically be placed into that Saturday’s A Main.  In Round 2 of qualifying anyone not already in the A would race 1 more time with the top 5 bumping up into the main event in Round 3.  Saturday’s A Main featured 15 SCBs and after the clock had expired Dillan Voelker came away with the A1 win.  But he still didn’t have a lock on the title since tomorrow they would run a second A Main to determine the overall winner.

On Sunday we started up our 4th and final round of qualifying.

Food was brought in once again and racers were busy checking the print outs to know which heat they were in.  The SCB class was spread over 2 heats again, and the top 5 from each heat bumped right into the A Main.  The top 5 from the B Main would then move right up into the A Main.

As we got near the end of the round we stopped down the program to hand out door prizes.  Along with Novak, other great sponsors like JConcepts, Spektrum, Team Associated, Duratrax, and Savox donated some nice gear for the racers to take home that weekend.

Once all the qualifying was done we took a short break and then went right into the mains.  For the non SCB classes only the top 8 spots in the A Main were locked up.  In each lower main the top 2 finishing drivers would bump up into the next main, and the 3rd place finisher would receive a plaque.

Once all the mains were ran, the top 10 awards were handed out for each class.  Everyone had a good time and there were lots of great battles on the track.  Alex Sturgeon and the entire Plex crew ran a great race program, and like a kid counting down the days till Christmas, I can’t wait to race at this event next year!

Plexspec Beginners

1. Zach Valgora (TQ)

2. Lucas Leinen

3. Hudson Frank

17.5 Stock Truck

1. Derek Richtsmeier

2. Jeremy Heerde (TQ)

3. Chris Cattlett

Modified Truck

1. Taylor Larsen (TQ)

2. Zach Phillips

3. Kendall Welch

17.5 Stock Buggy

1. Sam Anderson (TQ)

2. Keaton Larsen

3. Mason Fuller

2wd Modified Buggy

1. Zach Phillips

2. Cody Hollis

3. Matt Gosch

TQ was set by Taylor Larsen

Novak Club Racer 17.5 Short Course Buggy

1. Dillan Voelker

2. Don Drozd

3. Dereck Grapler

4wd Modified Buggy

1. Matt Gosch (TQ)

2. Cole Tollard

3. Zach Phillips

17.5 Stock SCT

1. Alex Eklund (TQ)

2. Mason Fuller

3. Derek Richtsmeier

2wd Modified SCT

1. Cole Tollard

2. Jason Hills

3. Devin Mcgee

TQ was set by Taylor Larsen

4wd Modified SCT

1. Danny Bartholomew (TQ)

2. Mike Garrison

3. Brent Newman

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If you like this article, check out this additional article on Racing News.

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Updated: July 21, 2015 — 4:14 PM


Add a Comment
  1. All videos are online now too. Special thanks to Keith Workman for all the video help this past weekend!!

  2. Thanks for keeping us up to speed! Great Coverage from beginning to the Finish Line.

  3. Thanks for the kind words Cory!

  4. Great job this weekend Chilly!

  5. Thanks Fuller!

  6. Nice report Chilly,thanks for all the hard work.

  7. Just some FYI for the racers that were there last weekend.

    A local photographer was taking action shots all weekend long and you can check them out over at in case you want to purchase anything from him.

  8. Way to Go Zach, Lucas & Hudson! Not bad for beginners 😉

    1. It was a great race! Great job to all the plexspec drivers! Hudson was STOKED! Thanks Chilly for the writeup

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