“This past weekend was the annual “The Dirt” Nitro Challenge held at Fear Farm in Phoenix Arizona. Just like every year, the best drivers in the world were in attendance but so was Tekno in full force. Joe, Ryan, Billy and many more team drivers came out this year and were ready to put in a good showing.
Practice day was like any other, we went out with our base setups and tried to tune to the track from there. The order went truggy, ebuggy, then buggy. Luckily all of the cars were close so we just made some minor changes and were ready for the second round which also acted as the seeding round. At the end of the night, some more good laps were put in on the challenging track and we headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest.
Next up was Thursday which was truggy and ebuggy Qualifying. For the first round of truggy, everyone good runs with Joe coming in 5th, Ryan in 7th and Billy in 14th. Round two, this time Ryan in 5th, Joe in 7th and Billy had a throw out. Round three was one to remember. Joe had one of his best runs to date to grab the TQ for the round! Ryan got another 7 and Billy in 20th for the round. As far as ebuggy, Joe got a 5th and a 3rd in rounds two and three to place him 4th on the grid. Ryan got a 4th and a 7th in rounds one and two for 8th on the grid. Billy with a 18th and a 10th in rounds one and two for 15th overall qualifying position.
Friday was nitro buggy qualifying and one of the most laid back days of the weekend since only one class would be ran that day. Although it was laid back, it was also one of the most challenging. Since we only got on the track three times each throughout the day and the track was always changing, we had to keep a close watch on the conditions so we didn’t get left behind. Joe ran into some fuel mileage issues in the first two rounds running out on the last lap both times, but fortunately rebounded with a 6th in the last round to start 11th on the grid for the final. Ryan just missed the main qualifying 13th overall with a 9th in round one and a 12th in round three. Billy was becoming more and more ill as the day went on, which caused him to struggle and qualify 23rd overall.
Saturday was truggy and ebuggy mains. Since we were not up until later in the day, we got to stay in the hotel for a couple of extra hours and gain some more much needed rest. We went to the track at about 9 am and began to work on our vehicles to be ready for the A-main warmups. The truggy warmup was used to do a couple practice fuel stops, get some runtime knowledge and get a feel for our trucks on the bigger pin tires that we would be using later that night. The ebuggy warmup was more so just a practice to get some lines down and get a feel for the electric cars back. Unfortunately Billy got even more sick the night before so he wouldn’t be able to come to the track. So first up was the ebuggy final. Both Joe and Ryan knew that it would be a 10 minute sprint race so the beginning was important. Joe got out to a good start and held onto the breakaway of the first few guys. Not too much else happened and he finished in the 5th spot. Unfortunately the start didn’t work out as well for Ryan as he got bumped around and got sent to the rear and would only be able to recover to 9th place. Last for the night was the Pro Truck A-main. Joe was starting in the 4th spot and Ryan in 7th. At the tone, the top 4 trucks broke away from the pack and Joe was heavily in a battle. With many lead changes and even more position changes, the first 30 minutes of the main went by very fast. After a couple of issues from two of the front runners, Joe got settled into 2nd place with 7 minutes left and was able to finish there! Ryan was able to make it up to 3rd and was running there on the last lap but crossed the line to finish 4th. Two Tekno trucks in the top 4!
Sunday was buggy main day. First up was the A-main warm up for Joe. Just like the day before, we used it for some runtime testing and to get a feel for the bigger pin tires that he would be running that night. Next up was the B-main for Ryan and Billy. Ryan got out to an early three car breakaway, but soon settled into a comfortable lead and held it until the end for the bump. Billy still wasn’t feeling very good but showed up to try. He hovered around the 10th spot for most of the 30 minute main and would stay there until the end. Still a good effort for the circumstances thrown at him. Last for the night was the Pro Buggy A-main. Knowing the track was going to be very tough, we made a couple of changes to our cars to make them easier to drive and went out to give it out best try. Ryan started out a little slow but made his was forward to 8th by the end. For Joe, he started out good and made his way up to 5th early while the track was still wet. When it started to dry out, he started to struggle and unfortunately started going backwards to finish 10th.
Overall a very good weekend for the Tekno team with some of their best results at this race. Next up for the team is Joe going to Thornhill in Texas for their grand re-opening race, followed by the whole team going back to Las Vegas for the Silver State race. Hopefully we’ll see you all there as well!”