After a long wait over the winter, the Michigan State Championship Series finally kicked off the 2013 season on April 27th at Dirt Burner’s Raceway & Hobby in Livonia, MI. The Dirt Burner’s crew provided a very fast layout within the tight indoor confines with average lap times under 16 seconds. A total of 145 entries showed up very excited to get the season started and everybody was eager to see if all the preparations done over the winter would pan out.

Phend wins Michigan State Rd1


1/8th Scale Nitro Buggy:

The premier class was, just like at all rounds last year, the biggest class again with 44 entries. Throughout qualifying it became obvious that it would take a perfect run to make the A main. One single mistake could mean the difference between A main and C main, the field was that tight! TLR/Orion/Pro-Line sponsored Dakotah Phend showed early on how to go fast beyond believe to claim the TQ spot and he was the only person able to pull off a 21 lap run in the 5 minute qualifier.

Dakotah was able to get a clean start in the 30 minute main and started to pull away, followed by TLR sponsored Bill Bridges and Team Associated sponsored Brian Borle and the rest of the field. Due to the very high pace, it seemed like a freight train coming through every lap! After a few laps, Brian Borle managed to get past Bill Bridges while A Main Hobbies/AKA/OS Engines sponsored Scott Rapoport was climbing up through the field from 8th on the grid to 4th place, slowly sneaking up to the battle for 2nd. Unfortunately for Bill Bridges, something went wrong on lap 36, causing him to retire from the race, which helped Scott Rapoport move up to 3rd place. Dakotah Phend had a comfortable lead throughout the race, but on lap 93 he had an unexpected flame out, giving the rest of the field hope to take over the lead. However, Doug Phend quickly re-fired the engine and Dakotah was able to resume without losing the lead. With only a few minutes left on the clock, the battle for second was heating up between Brian Borle and Scott Rapoport and Scott managed to squeeze by Brian on lap 109. Brian tried to make a pass back, but ran out of time. When the 30 minutes were over, it was TLR/Orion/Pro-Line sponsored Dakotah Phend in first, A Main Hobbies/AKA/OS Engines sponsored Scott Rapoport in second and Team Associated sponsored Brian Borle in third.

Results:

  1. Dakotah Phend (TLR, Orion, Pro-Line, Spektrum, Horizon Hobbies, Darkside Designs)
  2. Scott Rapoport (A Main Hobbies, AKA, OS Engines, O’Donnell Racing Fuel, ProTek RC)
  3. Brian Borle (Team Associated, Reedy)
  4. Tony Carnes (M2C Racing, TrakPower Speed Equipment, VP PowerMaster Fuel, Futaba, Dirtburner Racing)
  5. Mike Sontag (TLR, Orion, AMS Raceway)

Phend wins Michigan State Rd1

1/8th Scale Nitro Truggy:

TLR/Orion/Pro-Line sponsored Dakotah Phend was hauling the mail with his TLR truggy during qualifying to take the TQ honors and start at the front of the grid in the main. After the start of the main, Dakotah Phend took the lead, followed by Mo Denton and Chad Shorkey. Dakotah set an extremely fast past up front and Mo tried to keep up, but slowly saw the gab between him and Dakotah grow. On lap 75, disaster struck for Mo Denton and he was forced to retire from the race and hand second place over to Shane Snyder, followed by TLR sponsored Mike Marshall. This all changed a few laps later when both Shane and Mike ran into technical issues. At the end of the race, it was TLR/Orion/Pro-Line sponsored Dakotah Phend, followed by Tony Oh Boy and Chad Shorkey.

Results:

  1. Dakotah Phend (TLR, Orion, Pro-Line, Spektrum, Horizon Hobbies, Darkside Designs)
  2. Tony Oh Boy
  3. Chad Shorkey
  4. Mike Marshall (TLR, Dirtburner Hobbies)
  5. Shane Snyder

Phend wins Michigan State Rd1

1/8th Scale Electric Buggy:

Qualifying showed Hot Bodies/Tekin/Venom sponsored Nick Vasquez set the pace early on, but in round 3 of qualifying Panther/DE Racing/Boca Bearings sponsored Kevin Morales stepped it up and took over the TQ honors.

Right after the start of the 10 minute main, Kevin Morales got hung up in the second turn, dropping him back from first to 9th. Nick Vasquez quickly took over to start setting the pace, closely followed by a freight train that was led by Paul Edwards, Tony Carnes, Ron Schwab, Scott Ullig and Edwin Hartman. The field was so evenly matched that for several laps you could throw a blanket over the top 6. Paul Edwards kept the pressure on Nick Vasquez and took over the lead on lap 4. A few laps later, Nick made a few mistakes, causing him to drop back. Up front, the battle was still on between Paul Edwards, Ron Schwab, TrakPower/Futaba/M2C sponsored Tony Carnes and Serpent/VP PowerMaster sponsored Scott Ullig. The battle for in the top 5 continued until the end of the race. Hot Bodies/Tekin/Venom sponsored Nick Vasquez did manage to recover from his mistakes early on to mix it up in the top 5 towards the end of the race. When the 10 minute race was over, it was Schumacher sponsored Paul Edwards in first, Ron Schwab in second and Hot Bodies/Tekin/Venom sponsored Nick Vasquez in third.

Results:

  1. Paul Edwards (Schumacher, Twisted RC)
  2. Ron Schwab
  3. Nick Vasquez (HotBodies, HPI Racing, Tekin, Venom Racing, Reilly Paint, Dirt Burner Racing)
  4. Tony Carnes (M2C Racing, TrakPower Speed Equipment, VP PowerMaster Fuel, Futaba, Dirtburner Racing)
  5. Gary Watts

Phend wins Michigan State Rd1

1/8th Scale Electric Truggy:

Top qualifying honors in the 1/8th Scale Electric Truggy class were taken by Ron Schwab. Ron Schwab started from pole and after a clean start he started putting in the laps to stay ahead of the field, followed by RJ Hart and Rocky Whittaker. After a few laps, Joey Genovese started to mix up the top 4 spots and places 2nd through 4th kept fighting back and forth. At the end of the race, it was Ron Schwab crossing the line in first, Rocky Whittaker in second and Joey Genovese in third.

Results:

  1. Ron Schwab
  2. Rocky Whittaker
  3. Joey Genovese
  4. Ken McDonald
  5. RJ Hart

Phend wins Michigan State Rd1

2WD Short Course:
Last year’s 2WD Short Course champion, Tekin/Panther/TrakPower sponsored Johnny LoGiudice returned to show that he is still the fastest guy in the class. Johnny managed to lay down the fastest run in qualifying to take the TQ honors.

After the start of the main, Tekin/Panther/TrakPower sponsored Johnny LoGiudice took the lead, followed by Gary Watts and TrakPower/Futaba/M2C sponsored Tony Carnes. Behind them, James Raupp was starting to make up ground and moved up to 2nd place after a few laps, closely followed by Gary Watts. Johnny LoGiudice managed to keep a small gab with the field to cruise to the finish, followed by James Raupp and Gary Watts.

Results:

  1. Johnny LoGuidice (Panther, Tekin, TrakPower Speed Equipment)
  2. James Raupp
  3. Gary Watts
  4. Tony Carnes (M2C Racing, TrakPower Speed Equipment, VP PowerMaster Fuel, Futaba, Dirtburner Racing)
  5. Chad Gerow

Phend wins Michigan State Rd1

4WD Short Course:

A Main Hobbies/AKA/OS Engines sponsored Scott Rapoport showed up with his 4WD Short Course ready for battle and managed to claim the TQ spot at the end of qualifying.

Right after the start, Scott Rapoport managed to get a clean start. Unfortunately for 2nd place qualifying Gary Watts, this was not the case and this caused him to drop back to 9th place. This helped Michael McDuffey move up to second place and Richard Bauer to 3rd place. Scott Rapoport slowly pulled away from the field, but the fight behind him was tightening up. Young Richard Bauer managed to move up to the second place, followed by Russell Chester and Michael McDuffey. Towards the end of the race, Michael McDuffey managed to get by Russell Chester to claim the 3rd spot on the podium, behind Scott Rapoport and Richard Bauer.

Results:

  1. Scott Rapoport (A Main Hobbies, AKA, OS Engines, O’Donnell Racing Fuel, ProTek RC)
  2. Richard Bauer
  3. Michael McDuffey
  4. Russell Chester
  5. Gary Watts

Novice Class:

The novice class is a great stepping stone for the young up and coming racers. A great example of this are the 2012 champion, Hayden Heath, and runner up, Mike Valentine Jr, running in the adult classes this year and doing really well!

After 3 rounds of qualifying, Kody Culbert managed to claim the top qualifying honors! Right after the start in the main, Austin Weihl managed to get by Koby to take the lead, but Koby didn’t give up and made a pass back into first on lap 3, but Austin would not give up and make a pass back into first on lap 6 and would not give up the position after that. At the end of the race, Austin Weihl crossed the line in first, followed by Kody Culbert and Nick Chester.

Results:

  1. Austin Weihl
  2. Kody Culbert
  3. Nick Chester
  4. Brayden Hart
  5. Jade Hoffmann

The organizers of the Michigan State Championship Series would like to thank everybody for coming out and supporting the series and helping it grow into the ultimate off-road series of Michigan. A very big thank you as well to the series sponsors: O’Donnell Racing Fuel, Duratrax Performance Tires, Pro-Line Racing, M2C Racing, Dirtburner Racing, Team Durango, TrakPower Speed Equipment, VP PowerMasters Fuel, Sumo R/C Racing Products and Advantage Racing Products. Also a big thanks to the crew at Dirt Burner’s Raceway and Hobby for providing a great facility and a very well run program!

For more race results and information about the Michigan State Championship Series, visit www.michstatechampseries.com.