Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck – Rivas Concepts Long Term Testing

tech_yetitest

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This is one of the first RTR version’s of Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Trucks out to the public.   I have had this truck since October 24th 2015.

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The very first run Dominic Longoria and I took it to a local race track and did a short video.

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This truck has been run a lot, I stopped counting after 48 battery packs. It has been a blast.

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Its been jumped, crashed, kind of abused. Hundreds of people have drove this very truck! It has been to a few events as a demo truck for people to drive, before it was released to market.

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It was driven by some random people and a few 1:1 MINT400 drivers. So it has some miles on it for sure. I have had a servo horn screw back out and then in the month of May it took a 10-foot drop breaking the first part. So it has seen seven months of total abuse.  If you drive hard or abuse your trucks, parts will break and you may get away with it once or twice, but its flirting with the breaking point. I have heard people say these are designed to be abused so they shouldn’t break… Umm, I disagree and agree… While I do agree this rig is designed for abuse, I don’t agree that it shouldn’t break. That would mean that some parts are going to be way too soft. Breakage is something that is going to happen. It’s all a sliding scale as you don’t want it too hard or too soft. This truck has been driven pretty hard by lots of people and it stayed together beyond my initial expectation. Its taken a lot of abuse and It took a big drop to break it.

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So here it sits at AXIALFEST 2016. This truck has never had any maintenance done. I do not recommend this at all, but I am going for a true longevity test. The wheels have never even been taken off. Zero upgrades and none of the parts have ever been changed out.

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While at AXIALFEST2016 Johnathan Schultz said it was dirty, I said its never been worked on. He took it as a challenge and stripped this bad boy down.

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Transmission dropped out along with a few debris and about to be opened for the very first time.

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Everything still looks good! I was expecting a completely dry transmission and some metal shavings. 48+ battery packs and tons of desert dust berms, I’m impressed!

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It did managed to get some dust in the receiver compartment, but Las Vegas has some seriously silty areas, so I expected this to be a lot dirtier.

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I think you can tell how much run time and or abuse this truck has seen! The control arms and pan tell the stories of all the good times this rig has given.

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Again I am shocked, the front diff still has grease.

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There is no visible damage when the front end is opened.

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The internals of the rear diff still look really good. If you only knew how many hours of drive time this drivetrain has seen.

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“It might be a racer thing,” Johnathan stated as he took apart every nut and bolt to clean it. But I was also reminded of a rumor I once heard about Johnathan’s father taking apart ScottG’s rig in the middle of a race to help him. Something about half in the garbage and the other half in a cardboard box and handed back to him and their heat was about to start… so I watched Johnathan like a hawk! I want this rig up and running to continue this long term test.

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It’s down to the floor pan. Now comes the cleaning.

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Some simple green, brush, and lots of elbow grease. This little venture has worked well into the night. Since we are at AXIALFEST2016 as part of the early crew setting up, we have a downtime in the evenings and we are just R/C 247′ing up!

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Looks so much better than from when we started.

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The rear axle is cleaned and put back together.

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Transmission looks like knew, its hard to believe it looks this good after all its been through. It spins smooth, no squeaks, or noises.

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Stock ESC, servo, and motor going back in.

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If you scroll back to the top of the page you can see what a difference this is. One thing I will recommend if doing this, get new bearings before you do it. We replaced a few plastic ball ends, simply because they were worn and had some slop. Put shocks back in same position as stock, and I have added some 30 weight oil to the shocks, not full, just enough to lube them.

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My thoughts on the Axial Yeti Trophy Truck.
I’ve really truly enjoyed driving this thing! It reacts and moves how I imagine a real SCORE Trophy Truck would. But hey, that’s the fun of R/C! The rear suspension drop is awesome to watch in action! It handles well out of the box, I couldn’t recommend this as a track truck, but I am not a track racer. The rear locker is fantastic off road, not sure if that’s beneficial on a track. I would recommend a higher pinion for a little more speed. If you purchase this for kids it’s plenty fast, 3S is the way to go. I have heard people are ripping the lexan bodies after a while, I had a wrap done on mine from SOR.Racing and you can see mine has not ripped or torn. Axial also has the Retro Bodies available. I have owned other trucks and you can only go fast so many times and jump so many things before you get bored. This is so scale I run it all over and don’t lose interest. It’s still fun because of how it runs and reacts as a whole.

It was definitely the “reset button” on 1/10 scale off road trucks in my opinion! When “short course” trucks came into the market there has been two groups of people who were attracted to the segment, but things change and transition as a natural progression. One group has almost transitioned back to what racing was prior to the short course trucks.

The other group are those who saw this as inspiration for the next step in scale progression with a live solid axle like the full size big desert racing machines called TROPHY TRUCKS! A Trophy Truck is NOT a short course truck! So thank you AXIAL for recognizing the difference and containing to appeal to the scale enthusiast!

While it took Axial a while to get here, it was a risky move as a business in the public face of R/C short course racing. It’s been funny to watch as most want to categorize the Yeti TT as a short course truck, that it is NOT! This rig offers everyone that same chance to hit the “RESTART BUTTON” on FUN! This is just like what short course trucks did when they came onto the market. For the scale community, this is our truck and the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck is a MUST OWN truck!

In Axial we trust, scale we must!
Just my opinion,
Rivas Concepts

Rally Inspired Wraith™ Spawn Build

tech_rallyspawn

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I started with the Axial Wraith Spawn Rock Racer KIT version. http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax90056

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Once you start building the KIT, everything will remain the same as per the instructions. The exception will be on the front bumper. I will show you why.

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Axles are stock and built as instructed. I am running a stock drivetrain under this build, I wont use brushless or a fast turn motor. I plan on an Axial 27t with 3s.

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Just like the axles, the transmission is built stock per the instructions. To be honest the only real upgrade I have ever needed is the Axial metal gears. http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax30708 that was with a brushless motor.

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Onto the cage. Everything goes together as instructed except for the front bumper. I have a different plan so I built it up to that point.

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You can see why I don’t want the normal front bumper. When trimming the body I left the fender flares on and even sections below to look like mud flaps. On the front section I left some lexan below the formed bumper like an air dam.

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I bought some 1/4″ conduit from a local auto parts store. I will use this for a snorkel.

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I ordered an Intercooler and an oil cooler for a drift car.

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I also used the Axial universal 5 bucket light bar. http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax30709

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I want three lights, so I cut this bar down. I need the ends form both sides, so one light on one end piece, two lights on the other, giving me three. I put them back together with Axial M3x20mm set screws and a dab of shoe goo. I drilled a hole in both sides to be connected, threaded the set screws opposite sides, one top one bottom, then pushed them together with a dab of shoe goo in the center.

http://www.axialracing.com/products/axa0187

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Simply line up all pieces where you want them to fit. Make sure to do this while body is clear, you can do it after painted, but it is much more difficult. On the snorkel you can use a body reamer, ream hole to the desired width and slide conduit in. You can hold it in place with Shoe Goo. The way I did it was use an Axial Gas tank accessory plate, put a spacer in conduit and fasten with a screw from the bottom.

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Once everything is installed you can remove accessory pieces and mask it off for paint.

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After painting underside black, I took an exacto knife and trimmed off the protective film from the outside, on fenders and air dam. I then painted it on the outside with flat black.

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I left the lights clear, this KIT comes with lexan light buckets, so I can come back later and add working lights. I am in a bit of a hurry so I just put the stickers on for now.

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After all your paint work is done and you install your decals you can install your accessories once again.

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For the top of the snorkel I used an Axial wheel cap, held in place with Shoe Goo.

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To keep the upper portion of snorkel in place, I used one side of the Axial pillar post from the light bar. Then fastened it in place with screws and a small black zip tie around the conduit. The pillar post mount is on parts Tree AX80130 http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax80130

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For the oil cooler lines I used fuel line for a Nitro RC and 2 small zip ties. I used one piece of fuel line and ran it through the body, fastening on both ends of oil cooler.

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I mounted the light bar with brackets pictured below. Part #8 on parts on tree AX80085B

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 Part tree AX80085B

http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax80085

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I mounted light bar to hood with the short arms pictured below.

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Part #2 on Axial part tree AX80085A http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax80085

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To mount the body I used the holes at front corners of the cage. Pictured below uou can see I found some pieces to thread in that accept body clips.

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Another small detail touch. The gas decal is from an Axial Honcho bed sticker sheet. I also used an axial transmission bearing cover to act as a Fuel cap. Ream a hole into window and insert in transmission bear cover. Part tree AX80051 part #7. http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax80051

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Add your wheels and when its done it should have a rally inspired look. The mud flaps are part of the lexan, when I trimmed the body I cut lexan to look like mud flaps.

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Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report Part 3 of 3

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Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report Part 3

Just to recap, in Part 1 of my AXIALFEST2016 Report Series, I went over the first day of the event to include Driver Check-In, Vendor’s Row, the Concourse Show & Shine, some 1:1 wheeling with Cody Waggoner, and the CKRC Dollar Dash.

In Part 2, I covered the second day of AXIALFEST2016 that included the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, Opening Ceremony, and the Adventurist Trails.

Now for Part 3 of my AXIALFEST2016 Post Report Series!

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I woke up Saturday morning around 6:30am and things were a little quiet around the campground. I heard Scott G sawing some logs up in his RTT. Must have been out late into the wee hours of the morning scale trailing it up with the tiny trucks!

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I didn’t hear anything coming from this glamper.  Oh how I would love to own an Earth Roamer. I was definitely envious of this guy. Heck, I’d even settle for a used one.  Anyone got an extra $400,000 they want to give me?

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Rock Racing was the first order of business today.  And of course, there was a tech inspection.  I heard racers being warned by John Schultz and Brandon Coonce that if the tech sticker fell off the bottom of the axle housing during the race, it would result in a DQ. It was either the early morning or delirium from three straight days of AXIALFEST fun, but things were definitely lighthearted.  I even heard them tell someone that their tech sticker had to be pointed in the direction of travel or a lap would be deducted. This tech stuff is serious business!

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Mr. Pham brought out an impressive Phleet for the Rock Races. He ran 5 classes.  His daughter drove the 6th one. Yes, even the AXIALFEST style of rock racing requires you to physically run and Pham ran… in 5 CLASSES!

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Bob Tarvin hauled in his rock racing fleet with a Rad Radio Flyer Muscle Wagon making moving equipment around a lot easier than carrying it… WITH STYLE!

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Mr. Hobbywing, Charlie Sue, was up early to compete and support his boys.

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John Schultz went over the rules and specifics before the races began.  Is that Altra Running’s 3/4 Lone Peak adventure shoes Schultz is wearing? What about those Jordache jeans? Anyway, the rules were pretty basic, complete 3 laps before anyone else.  Sounds simple enough, but there are no turn marshals and you aren’t allowed to touch your vehicle, so you better drive smartly.  One bobble and it could be over for you.

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This Axialfester found a nice rock to catch all the action.

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OMG! OMG! OMG! It’s Mike Beir! Actually, it’s Mark Weir, the world famous mountain bike racer-personality-influencer for WTB, Cannondale, Camelbak, and I’m sure a host of other sponsors.  Dude is an MTB Beast of legendary status!  Last year I got a little star struck and accidentally called him the wrong name, so now his AXIALFEST name is Mike Beir.

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The view from the upper road to Fordyce was a excellent vantage point to check out the racing and stay out of the dust.

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Well, line em up.  We haven’t got all morning.  Well, actually we did, but you get what I mean…  Let’s get this racing started!

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The kids were up first.  Last year AXIALFEST2015 didn’t have a kids class in rock racing, but this year the 15 & under class was introduced. This was the best class to watch!  It was awesome to see everyone standing so close cheering them on and shouting encouragement and helpful advice. And with the amount of youth participating this year, I bet this class will break into a couple of age categories next year!

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When I first checked out the track, it looked pretty tame to me.  There was some whoops logs, one jump, and a small rock garden.  That small rock garden proved to be the menace of the race. The rip rap ate every car that entered.  Many did not exit.  I was amazed at how difficult this small section was, for how simple it looked.

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On the right side of the course is Casey Currie, WERTY, and a whole bunch of other spectators cheer on the little guys.  They all gave out huge cheers and gasps when drivers stumbled or made it over an obstacle.

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This young Axialfester, like all of them, were fully committed to driving as much as possible and were seen all over the campground! They got a little confused during the Rock Race and ran on the track for a little while.  I think they too wanted to jump some sweet jumps! They were so focused on driving, I don’t think they heard one person reminding them run along-side the track. I found the innocence endearing.

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Here’s the one jump.  Most guys tried to carefully roll over it, so they didn’t flip and take themselves out of the race.

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Mike Pham didn’t care.  He jumped that log like a boss. (note: His rig is in the air!)

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Oh, hello little lizard.

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I saw lots of rigs on their sides here.  Most ended up spending the rest of the race trying to right themselves.

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WERTY worked hard in the log whoops section.  He did all he could to get through here.  I lost count of the number of times he flipped, got back on his wheels, and flipped again.  His perseverance was honorable.

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I took a little break from the Rock Racing to go check on Skeeno Jr. and see what was happening on the Adventure Trails.  I ran into JConcepts.  How did I miss these guys?They must have slipped in after I cruised Vendor Row.  I love that old, white F250. That’s my favorite Ford body style. Thank you JConcepts for coming all the way out from Florida!

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I tried to get this little one to smile, but she was suspicious of me.  This was the best I could out of her.

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Boom Racing was over checking out all the RTRs CKRC had for sale.  I guess they didn’t have room on their carry on luggage all the way from Hong Kong!

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#yearofthebridges. This one ran all the way across Rattle Snake Creek. TwoChainzScalerz built this 65+ feet of bridge way complete with barge and floating dock!

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There was a snack shack barge in the middle, so you could stop for a soft serve cone on the way over.

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There were some sweet 1:1s around AXIALFEST2016, but the real-deal Randy Slawson 1:1 FULL-SIZE RR10 Bomber was probably the sweetest! Here it poses with a 1:10 version.

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Wait a minute, stop, drop, safari time!
DSCF0701 Hi little mousy. Whatcha doin’?

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WERTY saw me checking out the 1:1 Bomber and wanted in on the action, so he pulled up for a flex shot in his Toyota.

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I’m glad he didn’t run over the Skeeno Skooter in his zeal. That little CT70 saved me a lot of walking.

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Tree even got a little ride time on it.  Good thing it’s a 125cc now.  I don’t think the 70cc engine would have been able to push him around. Also, check the custom Axial badging. That’s limited edition!

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Kimberly Chai, Axial’s Marketing Coordinator and Skeeno-wrangler-handler, also got a little ride on the Skeeno Skooter. I hear she’s sponsored by HRC now, so look for her on the ArenaCross SuperMini tour next year.

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I went back to the Rock Racing to check out the Mains.  Here Pham works his rig through the Garden of Eden.

DSCF0714Hold on little buddy.  It’s a bumpy ride.

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This back corner got a little dusty as the speeds increased.

DSCF0799By the final race in the mains everyone was ready for lunch.  Poor Pham was about to collapse from exhaustion after running 5-classes that was at least 15-laps!  I think he was in every heat race and main event race.  It didn’t help that the temps were approaching the 90′s.

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After lunch, I headed back out to check the Adventurists finishing up their trails.

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Looks like these two are also on a lunch break.

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I saw Reno legend and ex-aMain customer service rep, Nate Hart out getting some wheel time in.

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These guys were cooling off in the “Hot Tub” swimming hole for a cool down!

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I think this was a Unimog, but he wouldn’t slow down for me to confirm.

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Almost thought this was a picture from KOH, but then I saw the trail markers and overpass.

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This is called the concentration crouch. It’s usually spotted next to ledges and areas of possible long falls.

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I loved seeing how many Axialfestettes were out this year.

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Kids, families and friends…  It’s what makes AXIALFEST, AXIALFEST!

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#yearofthebridges. I’m not sure what this one was called, how about the BamBooBridge over AXIALFEST creek? Why yes, yes that is the RC4WD logo on the AXIALFEST2016 Trail Marker! They were displaying in the vendor area as well!

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Mike “Beir” Weir was out on the trail with his son. We will call him “Root-Beir” at AXIALFEST2017.

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#yearofthesnackshack   I bet this guy was getting a cherry dipped cone. At least that’s what I would have ordered.

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#itookoffmyshoesforthesepictures

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You have to get a little muddy at AXIALFEST!  I think it’s in one of the rule books.

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There’s Bob Stern, the oldest Axialfester.  He’s in his 90s somewhere, but age is just a number.  He’s like a little kid out running his toy trucks with his son, grandson, and great grandsons! He is our HERO!!!

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A little father/son time.

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I think that was an outhouse.  Luckily, it was vacant for this picture.

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Pura Vida! My Costa Rican friends were taking a little break up by the camp store.

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These guys were wishing they had Don Hughes’s pit guy with them.  They had to do their own trail repair.

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This gas station was busy all weekend.  They ran out of 87 octane, so this guy had to fill up with premium 92 octane. All the Rock Racers said they want 101+ next year!

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This family came up from Reno to check out the action.  Good call bringing the bikes to get around on.  Cisco Grove is a big campground. That’s why I have the Skeeno Skooter, or else I would be walking all day trying to get to all the Adventure Trails for pictures.

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#yearofthebridges. These guys were crossing the Welcome-Mat Bridge.

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These guys stopped at the camp store for some Ice Cream.  Looks like they went with the Dibs. Notice the #AXIALFEST2016 posters in the window? We love our Cisco Grove Campground!

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More father/son time.

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I had to stop and check out this teardrop trailer.  It was a work in progress, but it sounded like a fun project.  I talked to the builder’s wife.  She was in there reading a book and relaxing while her crew was out wheeling.

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Who doesn’t love a Toyota Hilux?

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Pit stop for a nutrition break.  Gotta keep the littles fueled up. The Finnamex family came up all the way from southern California (8+ hours) for their first ever AXIALFEST.

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Almost time for the Awards ceremony and raffle.  Here, Mr. Rivas Concepts poses, so I can check the lighting and angle for the winners photos. At least that is what I told him as its always hard to get him in front of the camera for a photo! He should win a prize for setting some awesome Adventure Trails. Matt Kett is showing us his good side. They were about to get into their boy-band routine!

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This guy was finishing up on of the many trails and having a great time!

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These Bombers went under the Transition Dirt Jumper that someone will win at the raffle.  #sweetbike

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Tree couldn’t get enough of the Skeeno Skooter.  #bigmanlittlebike

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sPod? I don’t know, but this Yeti SCORE TT won’t have any troubles seeing in the dark.
#BigLightsWithMotorToMatch

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One last picture with my Costa Rican friend, Adolfo Gutierrez.

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After dinner, the crowds started to stream in for the Awards Ceremony and Raffle. Look how excited that guy is.  He knows there’s gonna be thousands of dollars in prizes given out.

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This swag-pile courtesy of Lasernut, Braven, Axial, and Monster upon entry of the Awards Ceremony.

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David and Dolly were ready. They were smart and brought their camp chairs. If you didn’t, you had to sit in the dirt or stand. #ThingsToBringCamping CAMP CHAIRS!

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Look, Chris Zemek and Dan Wilson of Team OldGuysRule. Mr. Zemek make the trip up to AXIALFEST2016 from Texas!

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Hey, that’s Chris Prestwood of ScaleByChris, aka SBC.  He makes some of the coolest scale accessories around.

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This is Shane Krause, aka Big Yeti.  His job was to keep this truck from rolling away.

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Dang, those Two Chainz Scalerz guys again.  They were everywhere.
#twoPlusTwoEqualsFourTiresCHECK

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The OG, Mr. Brad “Bender” Dumont with Mrs. Bender and Mini Bender.  They are sitting with Shaniqua-D of CKRC.

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Once everyone got situated, it was time to present the winners their awards. I was most eager to find out the winners of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro since we they weren’t announced at the race. I was in suspense for two days!

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Let’s start with the Rock Racers.  This is the 15 and Under group:
1. Angelo Lanford, 2. Davey Batta, 3. Cole Parrish

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1.9 SCX10:
1. Johnny Stephens, 2. Mike Pham, 3. Anthony Ramirez

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1.9 Tubers:
1. Mike Pham, 2. Ryan Gerrish, 3. Tom Mazza

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EXO Class:
1. Mike Thompson, 2. Sebastian Valencia, 3. Frank Hsing

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YETI Class:
1. Daniel Ramirez, 2. Ben Thomas, 3. Ben Harmon

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2.2 Tuber:
1. THE Jake Wright, 2. Gene Boyd, 3. Tony Mazza

Now, if you were in the Wraith/Bomber or Stock Bomber Class, you will have to look for yourself in the October issue of RC Driver  magazine. It was Mike Pham’s fault, blame him.

Wraith/Bomber:
1. THE Jake Wright, 2. Mike Thompson, 3. Mike Pham

Stock RR10 Bomber:
1. Mike Pham, 2. Vlad Askenoff, 3. Bob Tarvin

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You saw these guys on day 1 Report. This is the Concourse Show and Shine Winners Group. Last year concourse was just one class, this year EIGHT CLASSES!!!

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This is what I was waiting for, the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro winners.
1. Kyle Listul, 2. Mike Thompson, 3. Casey Currie
This is my competition next year!

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THE Jake Wright DNFed the Altra Ultra after clearing out all the spare parts on the CKRC parts wall.  We was in the lead until a chain of breakages stopped his race.  BUT, despite not finishing, he was awarded a pair of Altra Lone Peak running shoes by Altra’s Chris Cru Jones for setting the FASTEST SINGLE LAP time, so he can start training for next year’s Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. This man is/will be hard to beat!

After the awards came the raffle.  These are just a few pictures of all the bigger prizes that were awarded.  There were also TONS of smaller prizes given out and even more shirts, stickers, and tires tossed out into the crowd at random times during the night.  I think everyone walked away a winner.

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Heather O’Connor won a scale Jersey Barrier.

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My, that’s a big box you have. This guy took home a YETI XL.

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This guy won the sweetest bundle of the night.  Not only did he win a Casey Currie SCX10, but Casey Currie bundled a full size Magna Flow exhaust system with it! Sweet!

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Dang, this guy took home what I wanted, a RR10 Bomber kit for the Altra Ultra 5K next year.

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There’s nothing better than a little winning a big.

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YETI is ready for Rock Racing next year.

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What the heck, this guy took my RR10 Bomber kit, too?

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Best smile of the night went to this guy.  He got the brand new SCX10-2 kit.  That’s the other one I wanted.

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So, that wraps it up for another Skeeno AXIALFEST report.  We made it home safely, and are already preparing for AXIALFEST2017.  Did I mention next year I’m running the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro?  Well, I am! Now, I just need to start building up an RR10 Bomber.  See you next year!

Now, what’s the number to CKRC?  I need to place an order.

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report Part 2 of 3

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In the Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report Part 1, I went over the first day of AXIALFEST2016. Part 2 will cover the sights and sounds of the second day of AXIALFEST2016.

First up on Friday morning, after breakfast of course, was the ALTRA ULTRA 5K ENDURO.  That’s right, A FULL SIZE 5K with Axial rigs! Lets clarify this even further! We are talking about a full-size 5K where participants will run while driving their Axial rigs over tough and rugged terrain as fast as possible! The Axial Crew built a roughly 0.6 or 0.7 kilometer course next to Vendor Row. Participants had to complete a total of 8 laps to complete the race.

DSCF0278Axial penned this as the premiere class for AXIALFEST2016! They chose the right to minimize vehicle allowances to showcase the ATHLETES of R/C! With the participation and sponsorship of ALTRA running shoes, it was apparent that the two parties were serious about this class! They even required timing transponders! The RR10 Bomber seemed to be the vehicle of choice for the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.

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And these RR10 Bombers are really cool!  I’m already planning my build and running the Altra Ultra next year.

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Before the race, John Schultz & Rodney Wills briefed the course marshals on their responsibilities and the mission at hand.  Course marshals has two jobs during the race. The first task was to ensure safety and sportsmanship.  The second task was to to provide real time updates via radio back to the announcers booth, so lead changes and running order could be announced to the crowd on FM 105.3 KAXL. Up until the last couple of laps, when it was radio silence as far as driver placement!

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Fire up those ESCs, it’s getting close.  All drivers had to stage by checking in their transponders before the race could be started.

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Before the starting tone, the National Anthem was played.  Tree proved to be the great flag pole and Casey of ScalerFab lent her smooth voice for a fantastic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

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Chris Cru Jones was sporting the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 trail sneakers.  That is THE official shoe of the Altra Ultra 5k! Not sure if those are Altra socks or not, but they compliment his racing kit perfectly.  I already got a pair of the Lone Peak 2.5. You should to. I’m telling you, the Foot Shape Toe Box is legit. They come in both a regular top and mid-top.

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Jack “Jack Smash” Ingberg from CKRC Hobbies makes one last check of the system before the race began.

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These guys look serious. Helmets, check. Full communication system, check. Altra running shoes, well… NEXT TIME! For those of you who may or may not know… On the left is Randall Davis of Axial and official spotter for Cody Waggoner’s Lazernut moon buggy race car. They were competing the previous weekend up the road at Donner Summit and came down to experience the whole AXIALFEST thing! That’s why we lucked out and got to drive his moon buggy yesterday. While Randall knows a thing or two about R/C’s, Cody himself is an OG Axial team driver from the comp days!

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And like that, BAM! They were off.  Some drivers sprinted, others did the trail trot, and others walked quickly.  There was definitely some strategy to ensure the body and car survived all five kilometers.

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Chris Cru Jones and Ryan Gerrish took it easy on the first big turn, but were moving quickly.

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Looks like Click and Clack are discussing line choices before proceeding.

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Down into the creek bed, things got rocky and wet, but not snorkel & scuba Steve deep, just axle level.

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Charlie Suangka brought his own whistle to cheer himself on.  Everyone else also shouted encouragement to him and all the drivers. It was a little like a mountain bike enduro race.

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Course marshals kept an eye on drivers to make sure there was no funny business in the more challenging sections.

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Jose Fernando Munoz, aka Ferndogg310, got up-close footage of the action. Here he films Mike Thompson and THE Jake Wright. His videos should be on his YouTube page soon if not now.

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Up by the pavilion, the course looked tame, but you had to choose your line wisely. And what you can’t see is the entanglement just behind them!

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I couldn’t tell if some guys were driving in teams or not.  They always seemed to be in pairs. This section was the signature Cody Waggoner death box as he personally gave his input on rock placement as well as picked and hauled most of these rocks down to this section.

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Chris Cru Jones’s headband might have been a little tight. I caught him trying to drive sideways.

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That’s Jason Sherer’s new race rig sitting up by the pavilion.  He, and Jason Berger, are known for winning the 2009 King of the Hammers, the toughest off-road race in the world!

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Speaking of off-road racing legends, that’s Casey Currie driving his RR10 Bomber.  If you haven’t heard of Casey, you might want to check out www.caseycurrie.com

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Just in case any driver needed medical attention, Axial had two EMTs on site during the festivities.  Here they observe the Altra Ultra drivers as they run by.

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THE Jake Wright is really working up a sweat. Look at the shine on his forehead. If you want to know who won, too bad.  We didn’t get to find out until the awards ceremony, so I’ll keep you in suspense also… You may already know… but, just in case…

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Kevin Jelich & Jack Smash where holding down the real-time timing! Massive THANK YOU to the scoring and timing crew!!! Timing and scoring crew consisted of CKRC’s Dominic Longoria (not shown) & Jack “Jack Smash” Ingberg along with the help of A-Main Hobbies Kevin Jelich.

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On Friday the Starkey’s Food Truck made it’s way into the campground.
AWESOME FOOD – PLEASE COME BACK NEXT YEAR!!!

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Pizza and sushi, sounds like an interesting combo, but it worked.  Their Ahi Poke Roll was excellent.  Skeeno Jr. reported that her Napoli Pepperoni and Cheese pizza was equally delicious. I can vouch for the pizza, because Skeeno Jr. didn’t finish hers and I got to enjoy a couple slices. There’s no dieting rules at AXIALFEST.

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The swings got full use all weekend long as there seemed to be a ton of kids in attendance at this year’s AXIALFEST.

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Ok, this was awesome. I want this paint scheme on my CT70.

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After lunch, you know what time it was, ADVENTURE TIME! Over 1,000 Adventurists obliged for the group photo before heading out to the trails. If you missed the World’s Largest RC Surface Event this year, you better be making plans for AXIALFEST2017!
Start by reserving your camp spot with Cisco Grove Campground!
Address: 48415 Hampshire Rocks Rd, Soda Springs, CA 95728
Phone: (530) 426-1600

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As the Adventurists headed off to explore the seven different trails, I spotted Guam’s finest, the Naputi Posse. As we finished snapping the photo, I turned around to leave so I could go get some photos of the adventurist action, but was distracted by a commotion in the back lot. I ran over to check it out.  Was someone injured?  Was a dog lost?
Now, before you go any further, get your tissues ready.

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It was Vanquish President, Steve Brown, presenting AXIALFEST2016 event organizer, Mr. Rodney Wills with a special gift as Steve and Rodney have known each other for over 10+ years! Yes, it caught Rodney completely off guard and even brought some tears. You may not be aware, but Rodney is the conductor of everything at AXIALFEST. Of course, he has lots of help.  He has helpers from around the globe assisting, but he works almost year round planning and coordinating for the event on top of his regularly schedule full time Axial job!  Yes, and now the team is already working on bigger and better things for AXIALFEST2017. I know this because I am already getting texts, phone calls and emails from him!

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So, as a thank you for all his hard work for Axial and all the sponsors, Rodney received a ‘Vanquished Out’ Axial SCX10 JK. Here he’s inspecting it to make sure it passes tech while emotionally choked up and his daughter and team look on.

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I heard rumor that there were some pre-production prototypes pieces as well as every Vanquish part available for the SCX10 on there.  Even Mike Pham would be envious of this thing!

DSCF0442 Cue the tissues. Rodney was very appreciative of the gift, but more importantly, the recognition.  He wanted to make sure you knew that he does all this (AXIALFEST), so YOU can enjoy your Axial vehicles with other Axial fans-owners-enthusiasts. He may be the man behind the scenes, but he has been doing it all for YOU since his first event in 2011!

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Thank you Rodney for making AXIALFEST such an awesome event for all the enthusiast of Axial products.

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Now, back to the Adventurist trails. See if you can spot yourself in here somewhere.

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#yearofthebridges I think this was called Chopstix Bridge built by Rodney Wills himself! SO many bridges this year! Thank you to all who helped make all the bridges!

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Pura Vida! The Costa Rican Crew made their way up the infamous slab of doom.  Don’t worry, Marco, I won’t tell them you rolled down this a few times. Everyone does if you’re pushing the limits!

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Lots of families and friends gathered to watch the action in the creek bed.

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This Adventurist was showing her little sister how to drive. Maybe next year little one.

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Camping and RC with your brother, sounds like a good time to me.

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This young lady shows her brother how to drive.  I heard him ask to have a sip of her Driver Juice.

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There were lots of new SCX10-II’s out on the trails.  I was amazed how many Axialfesters built these up so quickly for AXIALFEST2016.

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Owensville Crawlers in the House, errr Campground!

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Veteran-Axialfester and elder, Dapper Don Hughes is so legendary, he has his own pit crew with him on trail to do his repairs.

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This young Adventurist was driving her tail off.

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Here she gets a high five from her dad for doing such an awesome job navigating a difficult section.

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Down the old Hell’s Highway back to camp.

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I was lucky enough to get a little down time on Friday night, so Skeeno Jr. and I joined Tree for a little night run.

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Had to dip the tires to cool off a bit.

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#yearofthebridges I had to show Tree how to traverse the Bamboo Bridge.  Unfortunately, I could’t take photos and drive, so you just get a picture of Tree driving on tree limbs and about to fall off. I of course made it across with no issues.

That’s a wrap on Day 2 of AXIALFEST2016.

Look for Part 3 of Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report where I’ll go over Day 3.

Skeeno’s AXIALFEST2016 Report Part 1 of 3

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Cisco Grove, CA

July 14-17, 2016

Words and Photos by Matthew ‘Skeeno’ Soileau

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You know what time of year July is; it’s AXIALFEST2016 time!  One again, Skeeno Jr. and I packed our RC and camping supplies and headed West to Cisco Grove Campground for the biggest and best R/C event in the world! Follow along and experience AXIALFEST2016 through our eyes.

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Of course, we had to stop and check in at the camp office.  These fine young ladies told us over 400 campsites were booked.  Basically, the entire campground was sold out!

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We spotted Mr. Frank Testa checking in with the gate man.  He wanted you to know this was his fifth AXIALFEST!

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Immediately behind the camp office, we spotted this bridge.  We had heard AXIALFEST2016 was to be the #yearofthebridges and this one made for the kick off! In fact, the area behind the office is becoming a permanent scale fixture as so many Axial enthusiast stop into Cisco Grove Campground either for a couple of hours or weekends to get their scale trail fix on. This area will hopefully continue to grow in scale coolness.

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Behind the bridge was this scale gas station.  It looked like Elio, aka King of Scale, had been busy this year.

IMAG00304Before registration opened for the general public, Skeeno Jr. and I got our “orange version” (work status) AXIALFEST2016 laminates and lanyards. I do behind-the-scenes private investigative work and Skeeno Jr. helps with the Registration Team. The whole time I thought it was my good looks that got me on the inside, but I was handed a day-by-day work itinerary of activities for this year and asked to report to my station. So I turned the dial to FM105.3KAXL for the live broadcast.

6tag-231044910-1294297754289313635_231044910Did anyone just catch what I said? Yes, Axial was broadcasting live through your radio during the event! They were conducting a test. It was only a test.

DSCF0033The other 1200+ laminates and score cards were PRE-PRINTED WITH ATTENDEES NAMES and alphabetically organized in these boxes waiting for the masses to arrive. Yes, there are benefits to committing to this event before the pre-reg date passes!
Do you needs more examples why?

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Boxes of updated AXIALFEST2016 hats. Yes, these go to the pre-registered attendees!

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And these boxes of water bottles go to the pre-registered attendees. Last years bottles were no joke, but Axial upgraded to Camelbak Podium Chills this year. NICE! We will come back to the pre-reg drivers bags in a moment… My orange card gains me behind-the-scenes status, so I got to check out the goods!

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Once again there were sweet maps of the event location on the campgrounds as well as AXIALFEST2016 sticker sheets. OK, so who went out looking for the Yeti (tiny one indicated on the map, from behind a tree) thinking it was for Pokemon Go?  I also see some never before seen AXIAL patches in that Ziploc baggie.  I wonder what those are? Rain, M90, Topo, Special Ops…

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Anticipation built as people started to line up even before the registration officially opened. I think this was like 8:00am Thursday morning as registration officially opened at 9:00am sharp! Last year the lines were pretty long, so these people wanted to get a jump on it. Axial actually counter-acted in advance and came prepared! This year registration had more lines and more staff, so the lines were never very long. Or so it seamed… What did you guys think?

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This guy was telling me this was his daughter’s first AXIALFEST, but definitely not her last.

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I got to see Axialfest vet, Mr. Michael Pham with some of his Phamily.  Both his daughter and son got to do some driving this weekend as well.

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Saw this interesting Mad Max 6×6 Wraith while waiting for registration to open.

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Once registration opened, people filed in to officially begin their AXIALFEST2016 and collect their plethora of swag in the drivers bags.

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Mr. Adan ‘G-Eazy’ Dean of Two Chainz Scalerz was ready to go.

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The smiling O’Connors, aka Heather and Mike were feeling good.  I saw them everywhere this weekend.

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I also saw another AXIALFEST vet, Mr. Chris “Brokenib” Goris.  He must be listing in on 105.3KAXL or is he special ops impersonating civilian status? Just what does Brokenib mean anyway? We will have to find out in another episode…

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SWAG! The driver bag-o-goodies! Here’s what was in mine: the bag, hat, shirt, water bottle, patches, stickers, and coozie.

IMAG00517Also in the bag was bunch of goodies from AXIALFEST2016 sponsors like stickers, lanyards, battery straps, shock grease, bottle openers, and coupons.

IMAG00518These are super secret limited edition Axial patches; TOPO, Rain, M90, & Special Ops.
These sold for $10/ set. Did you get some? If so, socially share and tag #AxialPatch

DSCF0030 Hiking booties and score card, this doggy is ready to get her scale adventure on..
Just like her human father, “Tenderfoot”.

DSCF0077After registration was tech.  Tech was a little more serious this year, but I only heard warnings. Tech was held at the beginning of each event; Concourse, Ultra, Rock Racing and Adventure. Next year make sure you read all the rules before you bring your truck to tech. Rumor has it, my super-hearing device was spotty, but something-something-something 6-Day Trial style of rules..glitter green paint dabbed frames, yellow paint dabbed motor cans, signature cards, insurance & registration please.
OH, guess I can’t write and speech-read while driving….

DSCF0082BUT, once you passed tech, you got another sweet sticker!

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After tech I went down to check out Vendor Row, that’s where I spotted these goofballs, the legendary Two Chainz Scalerz!  These guys were having fun meeting everyone and handing out limited edition swag. After their massive amount of work put in before the event with all the scale diorama style miniature Cisco Grove Campground!

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They even had a gold plated remote as a hood ornament on their Two Chainz 1:1 Grand Mobile Device. Or is it the DeVice? JeepDeVice? GrandDeVice… There ya’ go!

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Here’s one of their pieces of swag they were passing out, the METAL Two Chainz Remote bottle opener.  It’s the perfect pairing with the AXIALFEST2016 / CKRC coozie.

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Elio ‘Eazy-E’ Dianda pointed out that his 1:1 passed tech, tec?, just like his 1:10 trucks. That’s #CounterFake Elio! We need 100-samples next year for proof of Homologation regulational usage. #KindaRealCOOL

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Eazy-E, G-Eazy, and Crew brought up a whole collection of Axial vehicles to play with.

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And just as I suspected, Elio and his Two Chainz Scalerz crew was busy this year.  Last year, his scale campground was amazing.  This year, words can’t describe how awesome it was.  Check out the replica of the camp office/store and guard shack that Todd Norton busted out.

DSCF0151And a scale camp bathroom.

DSCF0150The fishing hole was back.

DSCF0153Complete with scale fish in the pond.  I wonder if that guy caught anything.  He was there all weekend.

DSCF0158Behind the scale campground was scale Fordyce.

DSCF0159I caught this guy in a compromising position.  I just turned around and walked away.

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Let’s just take a second to admire how amazing this scale campground was.

IMAG00308Unbelievable.  Does the Two Chainz crew ever sleep?

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I went and checked out all the vendors.  Paul Willhite from Pro-Line was there showing off his goods.  I heard a rumor that a new Toyota body would be available soon… why yes!

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The SOR Racing guys were showing off their incredible vehicle wraps.  The P40 Warhawk theme was my favorite. I think my upcoming Bomber build will be rocking it.

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Hmmm, scale adventure trail.  These were spread around the campgrounds.  Each one was the beginning of a different trail.  This one was the RPP Hobbies sponsored trail.

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If you couldn’t find your trail, there were these stickers all over the ground to get you pointed in the right direction.

DSCF1100 There was also this Totem Pole of arrows. Looks like a John Schultz creation, but later found out that Rodney Wills curated this one along with his daughter and nephew.

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Speaking of RPP Hobby, they had a triple tent set up and had all their Gear Head gear on display. They were also the place to get your official AXIALFEST event shirts if you didn’t pre-register. They also had a couple of other rare Axial garments as well!

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The RPP Hobby crew was busy ALL WEEKEND from 7:30am in the morning with their EARLIEST close time at 10:30PM for only one night! YES, 10:30PM! The other nights they stayed opened past midnight! THANK YOU RPP HOBBY!

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Boom Racing flew in from Hong Kong. Their booth was rocking all weekend.
Massive thank you for making the trip all the way over!

DSCF1011Here was one of their giveaway piles.

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You could also win prizes if you played the game of Pong.

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This guy was going big on the $10/ try side.

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A-Main Hobbies had a big booth complete with scale course and showing off a lot of product for the scale enthusiast.

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They also had the Wheel of Win for visitors to spin for a prize.

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This guy was checking out some scale accessories for his Axial truck,  Looks like he won a new body.

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Over at the DS PRO booth, Ryan Gerrish had his wares on display. He also supplied some cool scale trophies for the Concourse event too! Please tag him – tag us in a post if you won one!

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This DS PRO Adventure rig caught my attention.  I really liked this one. And Ryan actually drove it and drove it hard, scratching it up and I was not very happy with him scratching up my dream truck! Now I have to go re-dream about it!

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Scale Builders Guild, aka SBG, made their way down from Canada.

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Mr. Van Den Brink was hanging out with Shaniqua at the CKRC booth.  This booth was rocking all weekend.  They had pretty much any spare part you needed to get your Axial rig back on the trail.

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CKRC Hobbies also had the freshly announced RTR version of the new SCX10-II on display at their booth.  Did you notice it?

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The real deal official Gigabit Off-Road app game guys were on hand at AXIALFEST2016!
If you haven’t played their game yet, get the app now! Super fun.

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It was great to see the ScalerFab crew on site as well.  Casey even sang the National Anthem for the start of the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro event and the opening cerimonies as well!

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The boys from RC4WD brought up tons of scale coolness that excited full size men!

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They had awesome scale off-road rigs and parts on display, several giveaways and my favorite…

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these scale heavy equipment rigs.  Maybe Two Chainz can use these to build the scale campground next year.

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Another Axialfest veteran, Ty from Tekin made it down from Idaho yet again, but this time he brought Jim, the owner!  Ty said that Tekin has some waterproof ESCs that should be on the market any time now…

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Knight Customs makes some of the coolest 3D printed accessories for Axial vehicles. He even makes them in metal! 3D printed metal, how cool is that?
PS: That Military Mighty FC is my favorite Knight build.  Feel free to send it to me when you get bored of it, James. My address is…

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Mr. Chris Cru Jones from Altra Running was on hand in support of AXIALFEST2016 and the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro! He even competed in the event to get a full taste of just what our hobby is all about! They were showing off their amazing trail running shoes and I was so impressed with these that I immediately bought a pair when I got back from AXIALFEST!  I recommend the mid-top Lone Peaks, so comfortable with the Foot Shape Toe Box.

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After checking out Vendor Row, I made my way back up to the pavilion to get ready for the Concourse Show and Shine.  On my way in, I spotted Mr. Wertymade riding around on his radio controlled garden cart.  Well, now it was a camping cart.  He used it to transport his Axial trucks to the various events and shuttle camping supplies from campsite to campsite.

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Last year, the boys from Austria shared a campsite with me.  This year we had the pleasure of hosting Marco Rojas Sr., Marco Rojas Jr., and Adolfo Gutierrez who made the trip up from Costa Rica for Axialfest. Pura Vida!

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Speaking of traveling, up in the pavilion, I met David Yang and Dolly Zhang of KLP Hobbies.  They traveled all the way from Beijing, China! There were also attendees from Panama and Australia.

DSCF0176Up in the pavilion the Show and Shine was underway.  There were a lot of amazing builds. This Golden Eagle Cherokee Double Cab Truck Hybrid was just too cool.

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This SOR Graphics Brenthel SCORE Trophy Truck and tow rig was a perfect match.

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This sparkly green Cherokee was also good looking.

DSCF0170 Overlanding is a personal interest of mine, so this Land Rover was definitely one of my favorites.

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Scale Jersey Barrier complete with scale AXIALFEST2016 graffiti, sick!

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During the Show and Shine, the judges put their heads together and carefully and thoughtfully examined and discussed every vehicle to choose the winners.  It was not an easy choice in any class. Below are some of the winners. Look for the scale trophies from DS PRO compliments of Mr. Ryan Gerrish.

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Best Daily Driver: Jeremy Benamati.  He even had current insurance papers!

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Best Trail Weathered: Elio Dianda.  Even the trailer is weathered.
That VW Single Cab Transporter was also sweet.

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Best Axial Heritage: Jorden Lumsden. An original AX10 Scorpion, the rig that started it all.

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Best Work Trailer: Alec Van Den Brink.  Amazing.

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Most Adventurist: Ryan Gerrish.  I was glad my one of my favorites won.

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Best Adventure Trailer: Chad Martin

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Best of Show: Joshua Elliott aka ESP.  This is where things are just fun to watch unfold! The judges were tired and beat from all the rigs so the judging pool decided that they would mandate the winners of each class to now become the judging pool and choose who they thought best to be the best of show! Josh Elliott was voted The Best of Show of AXIALFEST2016 by all the top finishers. Elliott’s chariot of surf-adventure was a true beauty with complete interiors.  So much hand-made scratch-built action going on, you have to see this in person to truly appreciate it.

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The winners and their trucks. Congrats to all who participated.  You all did amazing work.

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Before going to bed for the night, I was offered a chance to drive the Lasernut moon buggy by Cody Waggoner.  Cody is an Axial OG-Team Driver from way back! Since the original Axialfest West Coast Championships back in 2007! How could I pass up this once in a life opportunity?

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But it would be another OG, Mr. Brad “Bender” Dumont to get behind the controls first!
Please don’t break it!

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Then, it was Axial’s Matt Kearney that jumped in the driver’s seat.
PLEASE DON’T BREAK IT!

DSCF0251THEN, Mr. Waggoner guides Axial’s Brandon Coonce down a ledge.
Come on – don’t break it!

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I don’t want to brag, but I think I was the best driver, well, maybe not, but, I sure had fun!

IMAG00343 Almost got Skeeno Jr. her first official wheel time.

IMAG00347 Unfortunately, fortunately for her, that’s a mega nervous smile, but a battery issue ended our fun before she could drive.

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Just as I was about to reach my camp for some shut eye, I spotted Frank Testa running the CKRC Dollar Dash. $1-per-try, best time wins the pot.

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We all pulled out our dollars and did our best.  Here, Little Sapling (offspring of “Tree”) spends his dad’s money!

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Someone told me this was Driving Juice.  I didn’t believe him, but the blackberry coolaid was delicious.

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Mrs. ScalerFab dropped a few bills.

DSCF0274Skeeno Jr. tried it in reverse.

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At the end of the night, Dan “Smokin Lipo” Wilson took home a cool $250 with a time of only 21 seconds, Dang! He told me to inform all comers for next year that he’s ready and old guy’s rule!

Look for Skeeno’s Axialfest 2016 Report Part 2 coming soon.

SPONSORS & VENDORS for AXIALFEST2016:
ALTRA Running
BFGoodrich
Method Race Wheels
Magnaflow Exhaust
Rigid Industries
Rugged Radios
Transition Bicycles
Braven Audio
RPP Hobbies
Vanquish Products
Team Tekin Racing
CKRC Hobbies
Phoenix Design Labs
Pro-Line Racing
Gearhead RC
Knight Customs
Boom Racing
ScalerFab
J-Concepts
RC4WD
A-Main Hobbies
MKS Servos
Tower Hobbies
Two Chainz Scalerz
TruFab
SOR Graphics
DS PRO
RCCrawler.com
Scale Builders Guild
RIVAS Concepts
Schultz RC Labs
CompetitionX
Gigabit Off Road Games