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May 2012
18

Sean Gaffney wins at JBRL Nitro Series Round 2

Round 2 of the hotly contested JBRL Nitro series went off this past weekend at Revelation Raceway in a major way.  Over 200 entries showed up, and the list of the top pros read like a national event:  King, Cavalieri, Maifield, Drake, Truhe, Amezcua, Hartson, Saxton, Wernimont, were all in attendance.  Daniel Adams was there with the big Pro-Line truck, giving all us racers the great trackside support Pro-Line is known for.  Dana and the Revelation Raceway crew installed a unique layout for this event a few weeks ago, and I spent the last three weeks running 2-3 times per week getting ready for this race, including sneaking some practice in on Friday the day before the event.

I ran both my Kyosho MP9 TKI2 buggy and ST-RR Evo truggy in one practice session a piece on Saturday morning, just to make sure everything was ready to rock.  Both felt extremely good, my King Edition Orion CRF 5 ports humming along rather nicely – plenty of top end down Revelation’s super long front straight, and very manageable bottom end on the rather loose surface.  I was definitely ready to roll for the first round of qualifying.

In round 1 of truggy qualifying, I got off to a great start and laid down a near flawless run, only one small bobble that cost me a few seconds.  My time held up and I set the TQ mark for round 1 by about 5 seconds over second place.

In my first buggy qualifying session, I wanted to keep the momentum going.  Being in the last heat of 4 heats of Open Buggy, I knew what time I had to get to set the TQ, and with Revelation becoming extremely rough during the later rounds of qualifying, I knew the pressure would be on to get in a good run early on.  I got off to a great start, had one mistake that cost me about five seconds, but still was fast enough to set the overall TQ by 10 seconds over second place.

I was definitely feeling good, my tire choices were spot on for truggy and buggy – M3 Hole Shot VTR for truggy and M3 Tazers for buggy.  Everything fell into place nicely in the first round, so I felt like I could experiment a little bit with setup for round 2.

I kept my truggy setup exactly the same for round two of qualifying – I don’t tend to change the ST-RR Evo setup all that often as it’s so dialed to begin with.  I ran M3 Hole Shot VTR again, and again had a great run, this time completely flawless.  I even bested my own TQ time by 2 seconds on a track that was arguably more difficult in the second round due to the ruts and holes forming.

In round 2 of buggy qualifying, I decided to try a different tire and compound in preparation for what I may run in the main – with a little guidance from my coach Paul King, I decided to run M4 Blockades.  This was definitely the right move – even though the ambient temps were fairly high, around 90 degrees, the M4 compound held up nicely and provided a bit more traction over the M3 compound, while still maintaining a very confident, “non-edgy” feel.  They were so good, that I was on pace to break my round 1 TQ time, but had two mistakes that cost me and I ended up about 4 seconds slower than round 1.  However, I was the only person to do 9 laps in the 2nd round, and because of my round 1 time, I had the buggy TQ locked up – 2 for 2 on the day!

In the truggy main, I stuck with what I knew worked, M4 Hole Shot VTR and kept the ST-RR Evo setup the same.  I got out to an early lead and never looked back.  Even though the track was fairly rough, the Evo handled the bumps with ease and the Hole Shot VTR were definitely hooked up.  I won by a decisive margin, putting a lap on the field up to 2nd place, and I finished right behind 2nd meaning I was getting ready to put him a lap down as well.

As the buggy main drew closer, I was debating about changing the setup a little bit as the track was really getting blown out.  However, I knew the main would come down to driving, not necessarily the setup, so I stuck with the M4 Blockades and kept the MP9 setup the same.  My start didn’t quite go as planned as I flipped in the 2nd turn and was quickly running dead last after 2 turns.  I had my work cut out for me to say the least.  However, I was still in touch with the lead pack and made my way through the field, picking off guys one or two at a time.  My setup was definitely on and I kept turning consistent laps, and re-took the lead about 3 minutes into the race and checked out.  I ended up putting a lap on the entire field and won going away.

This weekend made me 4 for 4 on the season at JBRL – TQing the first two rounds of buggy and truggy qualifying, and winning both buggy and truggy mains.  It’s been a great start to the series, and I’m definitely hungry for more.  My Byron’s Fuel has been awesome this season and gives me plenty of power and keeps the tune consistent throughout the day.  My Lucky7 filters and engine sealant work great, and the convenience of the pre-oiled filter makes it easy to change filters at tracks like Revelation which are on the dusty side.

I want to give a special thanks to Dana and Alan of Revelation Raceway for their effort in giving us racers a great place to race, to Daniel Adams of Pro-Line for his awesome support and help in the pits for the truggy main, and to Steve Godwin for helping my Dad out in the pits for the buggy main.  A huge thanks to Paul and Cody King for their amazing support, they have been instrumental in my growth in this sport and have taught me so much.  And of course, a big thanks to you all, my sponsors, for the awesome support this season!

The next couple races coming up are Round 6 of the Grass Roots series (in 2 weeks) at Pro-Line’s track, which will be awesome, and Round 3 of the JBRL series at Hemet Raceway will be coming up in early June.  I’m looking forward to both these events!

Thanks again, and stay tuned for future reports!

–SG

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Posted by: John Kelishes in Factory Team, Race Events
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