Author: Oladele Bolden
Racers began to descend on the first annual RC Car World/Middle River Hobbies Halloween Classic Warm-up Series. This was race number two held at RC Car World in New Jersey, with race number one held at Middle River hobbies in Maryland a week earlier. Many of the nation’s fastest drivers came in preparation of the Annual Halloween Classic held in OH.
With 55 total entries, stock 17.5 Touring Car was the largest class with 31 entries. Stock touring car featured many of the northeast corridors fastest drivers, R.O.A.R . Nationals Champions Mike Gee, Craig Xavier, Jeff Cuffs.
Fresh off his TQ run at the previous warm up race held at MRH the prior week, XRAY driver Robbie Dodge came to the race looking to build on his momentum. Robbie would need his car to perform at its best to follow up his previous performance.
In the first round of qualifying Robbie dominated the field early setting a TQ of 43 6:07.8, he was the only racer of the round to break the 43 lap barrier. Mike Gee 42 6:02 and Danny Jenkins 42 6:05 rounded out the top three runs of the first heat.
Round two would not be so easy for Mr. Dodge to hold on to his TQ as three additional drivers broke the 43 lap barrier, with Sam Issacs resetting TQ at 43 6:07.6 prior to Robbies second run. In Robbies second run, saw him paired with 2015 ROAR National Champion Awesomatix driver Mike Gee and fellow XRAY driver Craig Xavier. Both had 43 lap runs, and help propel to a new TQ run of 43 6:02.3.
With such close competition the previous rounds, round three of qualifying promised to be full of excitement as Robbie, Mike, Sam and Craig all had their sights set on capturing TQ. With a reshuffle after round two the seven fastest drivers would all be driving together and one mistake, one bobble could prove costly as they made their assault on TQ pace of 4. 6:02.3. Round three didn’t disappoint with Sam Issacs running a 43 6:04.0, Mike Gee running a 43 6:02.2 and Robbie resetting TQ yet again with a 43 6:01.2! This would set the stage for an exciting A main of stock TC racing.
In the A main Robbie had pole position and used to it to his advantage as Mike Gee attempted to run him down. These two old friends battled for the first 12 laps as Robbie was ahead to Mike. Robbie was on a 43 6:00 to Mikes 43 6:03 when a stroke of bad luck struck Mike to he tapped a barrier to end his run moving follow XRAY Driver Craig Xavier into the second position and privateer Patrick Clark driving Team Associated 3rd. With Robbie having a very comfortable lead over second place, our attention turn to the battle between Craig and Patrick for the final quarter of the race. On lap 18 Xavier had a 3.9 second lead on Clark however, Patrick was able to find a rhythm and cut Craig’s lead down 1.2 seconds before running out of time finishing third. Robbie Dodge successful completed the wire to wire TQ and win with his 2015 XRAY T4 2015.
17.5 TC A Main:
- Robbie Dodge 43 6:06.2 (XRAY)
- Craig Xavier 42 6:00.3 (XRAY)
- Patrick Clark 42 6:01.4 (Team Associated)
- Manny Flores 42 6:01.7 (Awesomatix)
- Danny Jenkins 42 6:09.9 (XRAY)
- Micheal Hanulec 41 6:04.7 (Awesomatix)
- Mike Gee 13 1:49.8 (Awesomatix)
- Sam Issacs 7 1:09.9
WGT A Main
- Casey Young 42 6:01.7
- Ralph Morella 42 6:06.6
- Juwan Hunter 40 6:00.6
- Craig Santry 40 6:07.1
- Matt Fichana 39 6:02.4
- Michael Hanulec 37 5:23.4
- Ronald Geotter 37 5:39.2
- Phillip Poles 35 6:08.9
USVTA A Main
- Rich Chambers 46 8:07.7
- Phil Gonesh 44 8:00.5
- Mike Simpson 44 8:01.9
- Gary Sparks 42 8:07.0
- Mike Mandio 39 8:03.4
- Paul Caza 34 8:15.1
MINI A Main
- Phil Gonesh 32 6:07.7
- Brett Parker 29 6:09.4
- Kareem Booker 27 6:09.6