Ryan Lutz headed to the Dirtburners track in St Louis, MO for the annual Futaba OS Nitro Challenge and blogged throughout the event, wtih no Team Durango truggy as of yet he borrowed Chris Conwell’s XRAY truggy and after a bit of setup TQ’d truggy. “In buggy round 3 it was all down between Taylor James and myself for overall TQ. We both made some mistakes early but he ended up making a few bigger ones. It was so hard to see with it being so late and there being no wind the dust was just hanging over the track. I was able to get ahead of him on the track (I started behind him) and I set my sights on Matt Gosh who was in the lead. With about 2 minutes to go I put my head down and started putting in consistent fast laps and with some bobbles by Matt I took the lead and didn’t look back. I was able to take the overall TQ.”

The format for the finals were 2x 20 minute mains for both buggy & truggy; the race order put us in a format of Buggy, marshall, break, truggy, marshall, break, truggy, marshall, break, buggy. So the end of the day was pretty frantic trying to make sure everything stayed together and ran well as this track was tough on vehicles.

Rent-A-Ride Class (Truggy) – In the first main I started on the pole and just wanted to stay at the front. For the first 10 laps or so Jason Branham stayed close in tow and we built a big lead over 3rd. Eventually Jason would make a mistake and later got caught in some lapped traffic which allowed me to cruise out front and build an over 1 lap lead. In the end I took a one lap victory. For the second main all I wanted to do was finish either first or second within a lap of Branham. I felt like my odds were good as the truck and everything felt great. Right on the grid however before they said down and quiet as I was cleaning out my engine my upper rod blew up in my mechanics hand. This was a first for me but I guess it’s just one of those things. The engine had ran great all weekend and showed no signs of anything wrong. Just a freak accident. So in the end I finished in the middle of the pack with a win and a last. A little disappointing with knowing how good everything was working but for borrowing a truck and going out there it was just nice to get to run!

Now for that all important class that really matters! The first main the first 6 on the grid were sorted by finishing order from the dash for cash. (I finished 3rd in the dash for cash. It was 7 laps inverted grid. There was lots of crashing and bumping and I came back from last twice so 3rd was fine with me.) Anyways I was 3rd on the grid and at the start I got caught in a bit of traffic a half lap in. Don’t remember exactly what happened but I was near the back and quickly on lap two made my way back to 3rd. Then I was able to take over second and I found myself about 7 seconds behind Wheeler who got out clean (starting from the pole). Anyways I paced him for a while and made up a little ground and then he flamed out. I thus inherited the lead and he got back out on the track. I stayed clean the rest of the run and came away with I believe an 11 second win.

Next was the second main. I was hoping for some better luck and not what happened in truggy. I chose to run AKA Soft Impacts which is what I had ran throughout all of qualifying. They felt dialed and my Durango DNX408 felt dialed as well. My Alpha Plus A852 was singing and I was ready for a good main. At the tone I got a good start and I wanted revenge from what happened in truggy. I began to build a lead and I was determined to make it stick. I ended up getting out front by over 10 seconds and I began to make a few mistakes due to the swarm of bugs on the driver-stand. They were landing on my neck and in my ear and it was a distraction to say the least. However I believe everyone else was dealing with the same thing as everyone was making mistakes. I got back focused again and just knew I had to finish within 11 seconds of Wheeler. I was able to stay out front though and finished with the Win. Thus I took to overall victory!
Source: www.Lutzinator.com