JConcepts Sweeps The Civil War Grand Slam Finals
Over the weekend of 7/7 the best racers in NC/SC as well as some strong racers from Georgia and Virginia attended the Civil War Grand Slam Finals in King, NC. The temps were at 100 degrees on Friday and Saturday, but the track crew kept the track in very good condition considering the conditions. The track took a great groove with dust outside the groove, so precise lines were important to go fast. 173 entries pushed the program into a tight schedule and Chris Smith did a great job of running 17 heats and full length mains, with electric running double A mains, and finishing by 11:15pm. This marked the first race this season that race director Brandon Melton would step out of the scoring booth and hit the track with friends and racing peers. It also gave racers a snap shot of next year’s season with Melton stepping down and turning over the series to the father/son combo of Chris and Adam Smith.
JConcepts drivers showed up ready to battle, with JC taking 6 TQ’s and 6 class wins, completing a full sweep of the event. The range in compounds available made sure that drivers had the perfect mix for the changing conditions. Most choosing green compound for the early morning rounds while the track still had good moisture content, then some drivers opted for orange compound later in the day while some used the harder yellow compound with great success.
In Expert Buggy, Barry Pettit would TQ 2 of 3 rounds to take the overall TQ with 0 points. Georgia driver Tim Smith would qualify strong to start third, with Brandon Melton fourth, and Jason Smith sixth, giving JC 4 of the top 6 spots on the grid. At the tone, Pettit would find himself in a very tight heads up race with Kyosho driver DJ Hepler, the two raced nose to tail and swapping the lead through the first pit stop, with Melton about 5 seconds back coming into the first pit stops. Unfortunately for the top three, troubles would strike all of them, with Pettit and Melton both flaming out in the same corner after exiting the pits. Hepler would run out of gas trying to extend pit stops to ten minutes in the 30 minute main. This turned the race upside down as now Tim Smith and Jason Smith found themselves racing for the lead through out the main, with Chris Pace running a distant third after a troubled start, from his bump up into the A. At the finish it would be TLR Driver Jason Smith with the win, followed by AE’s duo of Tim Smith and Chris Pace, giving JConcepts the 1,2 finish.
In Truggy it was again Jason Smith taking the win with JConcept’s driver John Michael McGinty finishing second. The truggy main was not as close as the buggy race, however McGinty would remain on the lead lap throughout the main, a very impressive run considering Smith is now the back to back Expert Buggy Champ for this series. Team C’s Ken Rand rounded out the truggy podium.
The Electric classes were dominated by AE/JConcepts driver Max Flurer. Max would start P1 in both Pro 2 and Pro 4 SCT, and second behind DJ Hepler in E Buggy. In the SCT classes, Flurer would break away early and never look back, taking both A1 and A2 in convincing fashion. In EBuggy, Hepler would mount a challenge on the leader Flurer, but a couple mistakes would let Max keep the gap he needed to hang on and complete the sweep of all 3 electric classes. Flurer also wrapped up the titles for these classes to complete 2 straight seasons of multiple championships.
The open buggy class was also TQ’ed and won by JConcepts veteran driver Bobby Moore. A longtime 1/8 racer, Bobby was able to use experience to drive nearly mistake free to win the open class. This completed a full sweep of all classes for JConcepts.