Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck

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Words and photos by Tony Phalen

A couple weeks ago I showed you how to install headlights, taillights and a roof mounted light bar on your Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck body. It was a pretty simple process – but what if you have a standard Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck body? Well, thankfully the procedure is the same with just a few minor tweaks.

You’ll need a few tools to complete this job, listed here:

Tools
1. Body reamer or something similar to enlarge the holes in the plastic headlight/taillight parts.
2. Shoo Goo or something similar to secure the LEDs in place.
3. Hobby Knife.
4. Silver Sharpie. Optional, but great for that extra detail.
5. Tape. Black for securing wires to the cage, clear for securing wires to the inside of the body.
6. Y-connector for combining the front and rear light strings into one.
7. 6″ (or longer) servo lead extension.

I’ve also included all the Axial parts needed at the bottom of the article.

Let’s get started!

Step 1

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck
The first step will be to remove and modify the front and rear light buckets to accept a pair of LEDs a piece. The front bucket has only 1 hole – the left red arrow shows where you can ream out the hole to add a 2nd LED. Ream only a little at a time, test fitting the LED until it pushes in nice and snug. The rear bucket (on the right) has two holes, but you’ll need to make the lower one a little bigger to accept the larger LED. Again, open the hole a little at a time until the LED sits nice and snug.

I added a little detail to the front light buckets using a silver Sharpie. It’s not necessary by any means, but I do like the way it highlights the all-black buckets.

Step 2

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck  Re-install the front light buckets to the body and press the LEDs in place. Use a dab of Shoo Goo to hold the LEDs in place, letting it dry thoroughly. Route the wires as needed using clear tape to hold them down. Try to keep them in the raised sections of the body so the tires won’t hit them when traveling through rough, rocky terrain. I’ve also installed one of the 3-Port High-Output LED Controllers on the front hood. Route the left and right headlight strings over and plug them into the side-by-side plugs.

Step 3

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck
Using the same procedure as we used for the front, install the buckets and LEDs to the rear of the TT.

Step 4

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck
Run the LED power wires along the rear cage as shown, using the black tape to hold them in place. If you want to do a super trick, feed the wires through some black shrink tubing prior to attaching them.

Step 5

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck
The 2nd 3-Port High-Output LED Controller is mounted to the underside of the roof. Route the left and right taillight strings along the cage and plug them into the side-by-side plugs in the controller. I would suggest mounting the controller so that side-by-side plugs face the rear; if you decide to install a roof-mounted lightbar, it can plug into the single high-output plug facing the front.

Step 6

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck
Take both leads from the 3-Port High-Output Controllers and run them to either side of the TT body, using the clear tape to keep them in place. You may notice that the leads use 2 wires (and a mini-JST plug) while the Y-connector uses a 3-wire plug. That’s OK - just make sure that when you connect them, the black wire mates up to the black wire (or in this case, the brown wire).

Step 7

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck
Flip your TT over and remove the little hatch on the bottom of the chassis. This reveals the receiver we’ll need to plug the light string into. Pop the receiver off the tape and pull it out slightly, like the picture. You’ll also, at this time, want to remove the top black spacer in the clear silicone plug (the spacer is shown just to the left of the receiver box). Now, carefully feed your 6″ extension from the topside of the truck down to the receiver box. It’s a little tricky and you might have to push some other wires out of the way, but it is possible – and I suggest doing it from the top down.

Once you have it through, plug the 6″ extension into port #3, making sure the black wire (or brown wire) is facing the same way as the black wires already installed. Now, press the extension wire into the clear silicone plug, taking up the space of the black spacer you removed earlier.

Step 8

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck
Flip the truck over and you should have about this much of the 6″ extension left sticking out. Adjust how much of the extension is left (if necessary), flip the TT back over and press the receiver back into the box. Coil up any excess extension wire, push it into the receiver box and re-install the receiver box door.

Step 9

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck
Set the driver interior back into place, mate the Y-connector on the body to the 6″ extension and re-install the body.

Our SCORE Trophy Truck body is now ready for some night time driving. Plug the battery in, flip the switch on and check out your fantastic work! Here’s an example of how it should look when you’re finished:

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck

Here’s the list of the Axial parts used in this article:
AX31097 Axial 3-Port High Output LED Controller
AX24252 Axial Double LED Light String (White LED) – Qty 4

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck

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Words and photos by Tony Phalen

Did you know that the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck comes pre-configured for LED lighting? Yup, that’s right, all you have to do is attain and install the LEDs, route the wiring to the receiver and enjoy some brightly lit evening drives.

In this article, I’ll take you through the step-by-step process of installing a full set of LEDs in the front and rear buckets as well as adding an Axial Universal Rigid Light Bar Set. In addition to all the lighting components (listed at the end of the article), you’ll also need a few other tools to make the installation easy.

Tools
1. Body reamer or something similar to enlarge the holes in the plastic headlight/taillight parts and for making holes in the body.
2. Shoo Goo or something similar to secure the LEDs in place.
3. Hobby Knife.
4. Silver Sharpie. Optional, but great for that extra detail.
5. Tape. Black for securing wires to the cage, clear for securing wires to the inside of the body.
6. Y-connector for combining the front and rear light strings into one.
7. 6″ (or longer) servo lead extension.

Step 1

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Before installing the LEDs in the light buckets, there is a little bit of prep work that needs to be done first. The buckets have provisions for 2 LEDs; 1 standard headlight and one smaller turn signal. Since I wanted to have both sockets use the super bright LEDs (for a headlight and driving/fog light), I had to use the reamer to open the hole up in the smaller socket to fit the larger LED. Widen the hole in small increments, test fitting the LED a couple times until the fit is nice and snug.

For some added detail, I highlighted the area with a silver Sharpie. I think it turned out pretty cool looking and having it mounted behind the Lexan body helps protect it.

Step 2

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Once you have the front buckets mounted, press fit the LEDs into the them. We have two solutions to securing the LEDs; you can use the supplied cap and screw (left LED) or Shoo Goo (right LED). Either method works great but since I didn’t have enough of the small 2-56 screws to complete the project, I opted for Shoo Goo.

Step 3

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Using the same procedure, install the buckets and LEDs on the rear of the Retro TT body. You’ll need to ream out the smaller hole in this bucket as well. Since I was using the red tail light stickers on the rear of the Retro body, I opted to use white LEDs. You could also use red ones here instead for more red lighting – I listed the red LED part numbers at the end as well.

Step 4

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Route the rear LED power leads along the rear cage and secure with the black tape. This helps keep the wires away from the spinning tires. If you have some available, you can feed the wires through some shrink tubing for added protection.

Step 5

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Build and mount Axial’s roof-mounted LED bar. A slit can be cut into the roof to pass the wires through. We won’t get into detail about building it – it’s pretty simple. Just take a little extra care to make sure it’s mounted square on the roof.

Step 6

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Flip the Retro TT body over and feed both the front and rear LED power leads into an AX31097 3-Port High Output LED Controller (use double-sided tape to secure the controllers on the body). The roof mounted LED light bar will connect to the high-output port on the rear 3-Port High Output LED Controller. Masterfully tape all the wires down using the clear tape.

Step 7

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Feed the 3-Port High Output LED Controller leads to the side of the body and tape them down using the clear tape. Take your Y-connector and connect them as shown. The LED controller wires use a 2-wire, mini JST plug – our Y-connector has standard 3-wire plug. Just make sure the black wires match up and you’ll be good to go. You can add a little extra tape here to secure any additional wires.

Step 8

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Next, we’ll be installing the 6″ extension, so start by removing the little door on the bottom of your TT to expose the receiver compartment. You may need to ‘pop’ the receiver off of the tape used to secure it to make this a little easier. You’ll also need to remove the little black spacer used in the clear silicone grommet. We’ll be filling that space with the new 6″ wire.

I found it way easier to feed the 6″ extension down to the box from the top of the truck and into the box. Insert the 6″ extension plug into your receiver with the negative wire (black or brown) towards the outside of the receiver. Press the wire into the clear silicone grommet, making sure it’s down below the top of the grommet.

Step 9

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Turn the truck over and inspect how much of the 6″ extension you have available. This picture shows an adequate amount you’ll need. Flip the TT back over, press the receiver back into place and coil up any additional wire into the receiver box. Replace the receiver box cover.

Step 10

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck
Install the plastic interior in place, connect the lighting power wires (black to brown in this case) and fit the Retro body to your TT. We’ve left enough slack in the wire to remove the body without having to unplug the wires each time, but if you feel it’s too long you can always shorten the lead by pulling a little more into the receiver box.

And just like that, we’ve got some very bright lights on our Retro bodied TT! Here’s an example of how it should look when you’re finished:

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck

Adding Lights to the Axial Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck

As promised, here’s the full list of the Axial parts used in this article:
AX31310 Axial TT-380 Retro Trophy Truck Body
AX31152 Axial Universal Rigid Light Bar Set
AX31097 Axial 3-Port High Output LED Controller
AX31098 Axial 8 LED Light String (White LED) – Qty 2
AX24252 Axial Double LED Light String (White LED) – Qty 4

Cool Bonus Accessories on Axial Parts Trees

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Words and photos by Tony Phalen

All RC kits that require you to build them have multiple parts trees that have been injection molded with different types of plastics. Sometimes, after your kit is completely assembled, you might end up with a few extra parts. This is not a mistake – in fact, most manufacturers have brilliant designers that actually group parts together that are used in different kits, saving money for them and, in turn, saving money for you.

So what do you do with those left over parts? Most people probably throw them back in the box or in the trash, but have you ever really taken a close look at the spare parts on Axial’s trees? They’ve actually put little ‘Easter Eggs’ on the trees; parts that really don’t go with any kit but can actually be used with EVERY kit. So, we’ve come up with a little guide identifying all the fun little scale parts Axial has fabricated for us.

Sit back, scroll down and let your imagination begin.

AX30808 EXO Battery Straps

AX30808 EXO Battery Straps

The first part we’re going look at is Axial’s EXO Battery Straps. The two long pieces are the actual straps, but do you know what the other four are? Well, I wasn’t aware either until I did a little snooping and found that the four pieces are used for Nitro engines; carb covers and an exhaust pipe stop. All are made from a rubbery material that won’t melt and have the Axial logo on them. Good parts to keep your Nitro engine safe from the elements.

AX31049 Axial Helmet Set (Black)

AX31049 Helmet Set (Black)

If you have an Axial Yeti or RR10, you’ve probably seen these helmets. Included are three different styles – motocross style with goggles and visor, open design with scary skeleton face and fully enclosed race helmet. A sticker sheet is enclosed with designs to spruce up whichever helmet you choose. I love that the skeleton has goggles. Safety first.

AX31125 Axial Yeti Fuel Cell

AX31125 Yeti Fuel Cell

The Yeti Fuel Cell tree is a direct replacement for the fuel cell included with the Yeti and Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck, but with a little tweaking could definitely be used in other vehicles. The tree includes the top and bottom of the cell, an additional top mount hose adapter, long and short fuel fillers and a mounting cage for the cell itself. This is a cool piece that I’m sure some of you crafty builders would love to install in your rigs!

AX31186 Axial M4 Rod End Set

AX31185 M4 Rod End Set

The M4 Rod End Set parts tree includes a selection of different rod ends, washers and wire looms, but did you know there are also two cool parts attached to the tree as well; a 3-piece ammo can that has a opening lid and a set of Texas Longhorns, you know, the kind that would make Boss Hog proud.

AX31317 Axial RR10 AR60 Axle Component Set

AX31317 RR10 AR60 Axle Component Set

Axial’s RR10 AR60 Axle Components Set doesn’t have any bazookas or barbed wire, but it does have a great looking differential cap that you could use on an AR60-equipped rigs. There’s some great detail there and, of course, an embedded Axial logo to show your support.

AX80037 Axial Interior Detail Parts (Black)

AX80037 Interior Detail Parts (Black)

Here’s one of the parts trees that’s got a little bit of everything; some window cranks, arm rests, a variety of shift knobs, a couple gun racks and, of course, a shotgun and hunting rifle (or sniper rifle – depending on what you’re going to do with it). There’s also a pair of large, old school steering wheels and one that looks oddly similar to a GT model I had in my 1969 Ford Cortina.

AX80038 Axial Exterior Detail Parts (Black)

AX80038 Exterior Detail Parts (Black)

Another parts tree chock full of scale goodies, the AX80038 is all about the exterior; windshield wipers, three sets of mirrors, a fire extinguisher and a large selection of spacers and mounting backplates, something that might be useful with other scale parts you might be mounting up. There’s also a small bag of mounting hardware and a chrome sticker sheet for the mirrors so you can check your hair while out on the trails.

AX80047 Axial Interior Detail Parts (Chrome)

AX80047 Interior Detail Parts (Chrome)

The AX80037 Interior Detail Parts is the same as the AX80037 black parts except, well, chrome. These are great for detailing out an older ride, or projects where bling is better than black…or where you just gotta have a chrome shotgun!

AX80048 Axial Exterior Detail Parts (Chrome)

AX80048 Exterior Detail Parts (Chrome)

Like the interior set, the AX80048 Exterior Detail Parts are chrome versions of the AX80037 parts set. Mirrors, wipers, and a chrome fire extinguisher are included as is the vast selection of chrome spacers and mounting backplates.

AX80085 Axial Universal 5 Bucket Light Bar (Black)

AX80085 Universal Mount 5 Bucket Light Bar

Ready for some night crawling? Axial’s AX80085 has everything you need in this universal set to create a roof-mounted 5-bucket setup. The mounting system allows you to angle the lights and mounts to fit a wide selection of bodies, and spacers and clamps keep everything nice and tidy. Just add one of Axial’s lighting systems and you’ll be ready to do it in the dark!

AX80092 Axial EXO Linkage Set

AX80092 EXO Linkage Set

Axial pulled a sneaky and molded up a revolver on the EXO Linkage Set. Paint it, detail it and set it on the seat in your scale rig – just be ready to show a permit if you get pulled over.

AX80100 Axial EXO Chassis and Toe Block Insert Set

AX80100 EXO Chassis Guard and Toe Block Insert Set

The AX80100 parts tree has some toe blocks, toe block inserts, a skid plate AND … an AR15 rifle. Seeing this makes me want to buy 20 of these trees and build some sort of SWAT vehicle based on a SCX10. No stealing my idea.

AX80105 Axial EXO Chassis Component Mounts

AX80105 EXO Chassis Component Mounts

The next EXO parts tree is the AX80105, containing some component mounts, a gear protector and an AK47 rifle. I can’t wait to see some super scaler detail on the wood areas on this one!

AX80112 Axial EXO Cage Lower Center

AX80112 EXO Cage Lower Center

The AX80112 comes with a couple cage parts for the EXO Terra, but also a 2-piece, folding sand ramp. These can be painted silver, folded and strapped to the roof or side of your rig, allowing you to get out of sticky situations when the HoG (Hand of God) is not allowed. This package has only one ramp so you’ll need to purchase two of these to get a matching set.

AX80119 Axial EXO RTR Links Parts Tree

AX80119 EXO RTR Links Parts Tree

The AX80119 EXO Links Parts Tree comes with six molded links, a pair of braces and the final rifle to our list of cool parts. This AR-10 is nicely detailed and would look great in a diorama or propped up next to Big Jim in his SCX10 Ram Power Wagon. Beer cans optional.

AX80125 Axial SCX10 Poison Spyder JK Brawler Lite Front Bumper

AX80125 SCX10 Poison Spyder JK Brawler Lite Front Bumper

Clinging tight to the Poison Spyder brand, Axial has modeled up this replica JK Brawler bumper complete with mounting bracket and D-ring recovery hooks. A pair of buckets are molded in and ready for lights, and if you’re a crafty one, additional lights or even a winch can be mounted on the top flat area.

AX80129 Axial Roll Cage Top

AX80129 Roll Cage Top

Axial’s AX80129 Roll Cage comes with a pair of unexpected treats. The first is a nice racing steering wheel with the Axial logo molded in the center as well as the famous ‘racing orientation marker’ at the top. The second wheel is simply awesome – a chain wheel that also comes with the logo molded in the center. I’m matching this up with one of those skeleton heads!

AX80131 Axial Helmet Set (White)

AX80131 Helmet Set (White)

Finally, the AX80131 Helmet Set. This is the same as the AX31049 Helmet Set but, obviously, white. If you’re going to do some color matching and detailing, this might be the helmet set you check out. A sticker sheet is also included.

So there you have it; a whole slew of fun parts ready for customizing. Not sure where to start? Well I’ve taken three of the parts mentioned above and gave them a dash of paint as an example. Paint ‘em, detail ‘em or leave them au naturel – the choice is yours. That’s the best part of customizing!

Cool Parts on the Axial Parts Trees

Here’s the full list of the parts trees discussed:
AX30808 Axial EXO Battery Straps
AX31049 Axial Helmet Set (Black)
AX31125 Axial Yeti Fuel Cell
AX31186 Axial M4 Rod End Set
AX31317 Axial RR10 AR60 Axle Component Set
AX80037 Axial Interior Detail Parts (Black)
AX80038 Axial Exterior Detail Parts (Black)
AX80047 Axial Interior Detail Parts (Chrome)
AX80048 Axial Exterior Detail Parts (Chrome)
AX80085 Axial Universal 5 Bucket Light Bar (Black)
AX80092 Axial EXO Linkage Set
AX80100 Axial EXO Chassis and Toe Block Insert Set
AX80105 Axial EXO Chassis Components Mounts
AX80112 Axial EXO Cage Lower Center
AX80119 Axial EXO RTR Links Parts Tree
AX80125 Axial SCX10 Poison Spyder JK Brawler Lite Front Bumper
AX80129 Axial Roll Cage Top
AX80131 Axial Helmet Set (White)

Desert Turtle Racing KOH EMC 2016 Race Recap

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Sure this is going to be a long read, but there is now way to put this into just a few words. I could go on and on about each and every event that took place that day. The bottom line is we are one of the few first timers that actually finished the race on their first attempt.
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I encourage you to stick with it and read it all the way through. We are the Every Man, we have day jobs, and we converted a TJ into an EMC race contender.

Thursday morning came quick and I did not get very much sleep the night before. My brain was still processing preparation lists, my nerves were creeping up and I did not want to over sleep for fear of missing our line-up spot. But none the less 5:30 a.m. came and I had to get up and get the day started. I brewed some java and started sorting out my race suit stuff. Darin was up as well, getting all his stuff together, and we heard a knock at the door of the RV. To my surprise it was my best friend, Johnny, standing at the door. He took some time out of his very busy morning getting Savvy Offroad ready to stop by and give us some much-needed words of encouragement. I was shocked by his visit and it really set our day off on the right foot. We finished getting suited up and loaded up the last of our stuff in the Turtle, then headed for our line-up spot, Number 32, which was in front of 212 Performance Gloves.
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In the line-up we had several people swing by to give us some encouraging words. It was a bit surprising to see so many people wishing us luck the morning of the race.

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The time came for the line to start moving and I knew things were about to get REAL. Everything we planned for was going to be tested in the next few minutes. And the Axial SCX10 was strapped on the back for the ride of its life. We got to the start line and it was us against Lindsay Gilstrap from Texas. I knew she had a car with more power so I suggested we just let her go when the flag drops. Aaron from the Poison Spyder Pit Crew gave us a great countdown  through our Rugged Radio intercom system, and on his mark with the green flag waving at 8:07 a.m., we punched it… and then quickly let off the gas for turn 1, the sharp left-hander that can quickly roll your rig and take you out of the race.
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I figured Lindsay would have left us in the dust, but she was still right there so we got back on the gas and the drag race ensued until the jump at the end of the short course section. We both hit the brakes and rolled through the jump and then she started to check out.
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At that point we were eating her dust and decided to back off a bit so we could get some clean air and see where we needed to go. The first hill climb (part of Short Bus) had become a dust covered canyon from all the previous racers, making it very difficult to see where we needed to be to avoid the rocks. We picked our way through and were headed down the backside in no time.  Finally passing RM01 we were picking up our speed to hit the first small sand hill of the day. As we approached the base of the sand hill doing about 50 — BAHBOOM!!! We hit this pot-hole in the dirt that came out of nowhere. We hit it so hard, it felt like we just drove up a curb in a SmartCar. We continued to drive up the hill without issue and got to the top. I decided to check with Darin and see if he felt a flat. At first he said “It feels good”, but as we approached the southern end of Melville Dry Lake, RM02, he said “It’s flat man, it’s flat.” I said “No big deal, let’s pull off the course and get it changed.” Truth be known, we only tested our scissor jack on the rear of the vehicle and it worked great. As we lifted the front of the car it would only go so far before the impact ran out of torque and would not lift anymore (maybe it’s the jack and not the impact). Anyways we busted out the ratchet and continued cracking. Of course we discovered that we did not have the ½-inch drive ratchet with us and had to use a 3/8-inch drive with an adapter (CREW CHIEF!!!!). But we were able to get it done and get back in the car and get going again. It was frustrating for both of us to get a flat so early but it was actually a good thing — it brought us down a notch and allowed us to get back in our britches, get our wits back and thinking straight. We were on our way and headed for RM03 and by this point the race had been going for about 20 minutes and we were only at RM03. I got on the radio to let Main Pits (Poison Spyder Pits) know that we had a flat and will need to replace the spare when we get back. At the north end of Melville Dry Lake we reached RM04. Just after that is the military base gate — on the base the course runs for about 6 or 7 miles before exiting again. Just after RM14 we reached Remote Pit 1. Knowing that we did not send a spare tire with the crew to Remote Pit 1 and our car seemed to be doing well, I radioed in to let them know we would see them on the flip side. We continued on, picking off mile after mile. Along the way a Legends car or two would pass us but we also saw more and more busted cars off to the side of the course.

Clip1To us it was a little sign of encouragement to keep going and be thankful we were still in the race. The course along the way would vary, from some whoop sections to some goat trails, to some sand washes, and then to some high-speed smooth routes. The mix of terrain was relentless and would change at a moment’s notice. Darin was on his game reading the terrain and checking-up when needed to avoid damage and/or additional flats. Reaching RM31 we checked in on the radio to let the crew know we were at the half way mark and headed for Remote Pit 1 for the second pass. There were some tricky turns on the way and attention had to be paid to the GPS so we wouldn’t miss the marks and stay on track. I think it was at RM32 where we finally got our first Check Point sticker. For us, that was a major mile marker and reassurance that we were still in it. We made our way through the rest of the RM’s periodically calling in to Remote Pit 1 that we were getting close. We finally heard from them about RM46 and we let them know that we were hearing some clanking noises that we wanted them to check on. When we pulled into the pits, a little after RM47, Craig W. stepped up to the window and said he had our spare tires there for us and asked if we wanted it. I was shocked! I am not sure how they pulled it off but I was sure glad to have him and the Poison Spyder Pit Crew supporting us. I was not expecting to have a spare tire there. But my response was quick, “Heck yes I want the spare one! You guys rock!” They continued to check the rest of the rig and give us a splash of gas.

Clip5They found some shock bolts loose and cranked them down tight then sent us on our way. Clicking off the next several miles, it was smooth sailing. The noise that we heard was gone and the car was feeling strong.
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As we approached the next checkpoint I knew we were going to have to make a game-changing decision soon. There is a split in the race course and you have to make a choice to take Alternate 1 or stay on the course, which leads to a rock section covered in sand, making it a very difficult route. Beyond that is Alternate 2 which is even more challenging as it is a steep sand hill with rocks strewn about. Darin and I talked for a bit about our options but without haste and with pure confidence he chose the sand hill (Alternate 2).

Clip6We had avoided this route during our pre-run because we did not have anyone with us to help out if we got stuck. I’m sure Larry McRae’s pep talk in the Poison Spyder trailer the night before helped make this decision, and we were counting on him being there to help us navigate the line. I called out on the radio to see if Larry was at the sand hill and he replied “It’s all clear, come on up.” Passing RM57 and then passing the race course, I knew there was no turning back and we were going to tackle this hill head on. Larry chimed in on the radio giving us the approach line and the “go for launch”. Darin hit the hill like he had done it before and I could hear Larry on the radio calling the driving line for us “Driver, Driver, easy throttle, passenger, driver, driver, passenger, passenger… You made it!!! Nice work boys.” … or at least it sounded something like that. We were caught up in the moment and we just crushed that hill, hitting it blind and in race mode. It was a bit sketchy but really not all that bad, if you avoid the big rocks. Moving on, the next task at hand was navigating some more tight twisty turns in the sand and rocks, and heading towards Main Pits, a little after RM60. There’s not a whole lot of room for speed between the sand hill and main pits but we punched it when we could, trying to make up some of the time we lost with the flat and extended stop at Remote Pit 1.

We reached Main Pits. Darin had finished the first lap and kept the car together. It wasn’t an easy task but he kept his cool and composure and got us through the first lap. Main Pits is where Poison Spyder stepped up the most for us.
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20160204_110237They went to work looking over the car and making sure it was ready for the second lap — the rock sections. Darin and I climbed out of the car to trade seats, as this was the plan after we looked at the course map. We had learned each other’s strong points and both agreed he would do best in the desert and I would do best in the rocks. We took a moment while we were out of the car to take a breath, grab a drink and a snack before getting back in the car.

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There had to be at least 8 guys combined from the Poison Spyder crew and the Desert Turtle Racing crew working on the rig, making adjustments and some slight changes to the car for us to hit the rocks. We climbed back in the car and got strapped in with our DJ Safety Harnesses.
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I was a bit nervous at this point, thinking to myself “I’ve got a lot of work in front of me”, but I was focused and knew that we on a pace to cover some ground and get through the rocks with our Raceline wheels and ProComp Extreme MT2 tires. So with all pit hands cleared we took off for lap 2 heading across the Start/Finish line and making our way to the hill at the end of Short Bus.
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Climbing over the hill we were cruising along. Click! There went mile one, and here comes the pot hole that Darin clipped on Lap 1. So I let off the gas in an attempt to save the tire, which I did, but that lead to not enough momentum to get up this lame worn out sand hill. The Turtle gave it all it could in 4-Hi and petered out just shy of the crest of the hill. It was a no go and we had to roll backwards down the hill. We gave it another attempt with no luck and then decided to give it a go in 4-Lo. Success!! We made the hill but I was pretty well frustrated at this point. I had done this hill in my JK a number of times and never had a problem. Knowing it was just circumstance and with a few calm words from Darin I got my composure back and we were headed around the desert to Remote Pit 2A, located just after RM70. The car was doing well and we opted to pass right by. Heading up the hill after Remote Pit 2A the rig bounced on the trail a little from left to right and back left again and of course it hit another rock. It didn’t feel like we were losing air but it was in the back of my mind that the front left might be going down. We drove into the canyon and into our first rock trail, Boulder Dash. It’s not a really hard trail but it does have a couple small challenges. I felt this was a perfect trail for me to get in a rhythm of reading the terrain and navigating the rocks. We made quick work of the trail and passed a couple rigs on our way over to run down Upper Big Johnson. This trail has a couple of nasty spots if you’re not careful, but it also has a couple of bypass lines if you can spot them. We were careful coming down the trail as to not beat up the front end too much. We were also able to take a bypass line and make up another position. At the bottom of the trail we hit RM72 and headed for the next trail, Claw Hammer. On the way into Claw I hit a few more rocks a little harder than I liked and was again concerned about the front left losing air. We made it to the water fall and climbed right up. Then at the V-notch there was a rig stuck in the line and we had to negotiate an awkward line up the side of the canyon wall to make a hard passenger pivot turn. It took a couple of tries to get up the V-notch, even with the help of the guys that were part of the stuck car. During the process one of the guys shouted to me “You’ve got a left front flat.” Great!!!! Just what we didn’t need — another flat. I opted to pull to the side of the canyon out of the course line and change the flat to avoid any further damage. With our first flat experience we knew exactly what we needed to do and so we got to work. We made quick work of this change and were back on our way climbing out of Claw Hammer. At RM73 Darin radioed in that we had experienced another flat but were still moving and were headed into Wrecking Ball.
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Picking our lines in Wrecking Ball we knew we had to negotiate the waterfall or the bypass line. We had ran the bypass line during our pre-run and were confident we could pull it off again. As we approached we noticed a rig stuck in the waterfall line and that meant we were forced to take the bypass. We got into the bypass line and had to make a quick stop because I overshot the downhill turn. The sketchy part of the bypass is when you stop, at that point the rig slides sideways about three feet which puts you very close to the cliff. We were able to get a good backup and point the Turtle down the hill for a successful pass at the bypass line. Shortly after making it down the bypass we passed another rig that was broken, and then down the trail just a bit further we passed another rig, and another.
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I was feeling relieved that we were making good time down this trail and others appeared to be having difficulties. We approached the bottom of the trail and realized that we had, yet again, another flat on the front right. We finished running the trail and pulled over right near the cross-over at RM74. We were bummed, we had already used our spare in Claw Hammer and now we had another flat. We talked about driving on the flat but I pointed out that we had 5 more really tough rock trails to go through before we would get to Remote Pit 2B, not counting the mileage that was ahead of us between the rock trails. We continued to weigh our options and I suggested to Darin that we could possibly plug the tire with the tire kit we were carrying. Darin looked out the window and said “Hahahaha — No we’re not, there is a 4-inch gash in the sidewall.” So we checked the tire on the carrier and it had a smaller 1-inch hole. I grabbed the plug kit to start plugging the tire, and Darin grabbed the tools to start lifting the car to change the tire. Thankfully, we outfitted our ARB Compressor with an NPT fitting and packed our air hose. We were able to plug the tire with seven plugs and get 20lbs of air in the tire and the tire held the air. We pulled it off the rig and swapped out our third flat. This seemed to take forever but we were back in the game. Darin said “We are in this race until we aren’t!” That was probably the best thing he could have said at that time. I noticed a few of the rigs that we passed in Wrecking Ball had caught up to pass us, so I knew we were losing ground again.
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We got back in the car and Darin called it in, “We plugged the flat and are on the move towards Chocolate Thunder. We are going to need a spare at Remote Pit 2B.” At this point I knew I really had to change my wheeling game and preserve the last chance tire we had left — We could not afford to get another flat. We got over to Chocolate Thunder and started picking our way through. There was a 4600 car in front of us, up at the cross section, having trouble. We watched and waited for him to get through and then made our way up the stair steps.
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We cruised up the steps and while doing so I noticed the 4600 car take a different line that looked way easier than the line I am used to taking. So I half opted for that line and wound up getting the Turtle turtled on some rocks. It was time for Darin to get out and pull some winch line so we could get moving again. This is like the worst place to get stuck because there are a ton of spectators there to give you a hard time about your poor line choice. Darin made quick work of the winch line setup and we were un-stuck and on our way again, climbing the rest of the way out of Chocolate Thunder. Moving on to the next trail, passing RM76, we hit Jack North. At the entrance of the rock canyon for Jack North we caught up to the 4600 that was having problems on Chocolate Thunder. He was struggling pretty badly in a spot and ended up having to winch his way out of it. By this point there were a few rigs piled up behind us so the 4600 car let everyone pass him by. We made our way up to the top of the trail and there was a rig stuck in the main race line, so everyone else had to go around on a bypass line. I looked at the line and told Darin, “That’s not an easy bypass.”  There was a line of about 4-5 rigs ahead of us and we watched a couple make it through the bypass line. Then one guy just about flopped his rig over. Now the main line was blocked and the bypass line was blocked and there was still a car ahead of us that had to get through. Not knowing what they were going to do about the rig that was almost flopped, Darin jumped out of the Turtle and started talking with another co-driver about alternate lines. Darin pointed out a line through the middle of the rocks that he thought might work as an alternate. I don’t think any of us had much faith in the line but Darin called up the next rig and spotted them through. They got through it with a little bit of work and some really good spotting from Darin. Next he called me up. I was wide eyed as I could not believe that the rig before me made it. These rocks seemed as big as the rig and once on top you could not see anything around you because it was all underneath the car. Darin again did a great job spotting and got me through the spot. As I exited this alternate line I could feel the Turtle was getting light and tipsy, but we were able to make an adjustment and pull on through. Thankfully another trail down and no tire issue. We took off and headed over to run down Jack Hammer.
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20160204_145229We made great time coming down Jack Hammer until we got to the second waterfall section and I again got Turtled up due to a lack of forward momentum. Darin quickly jumped out and pulled the winch line. We were unstuck and on our way again in no time.
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After Jack Hammer there was a check point at about RM78 and then right after that was a big sand hill. We attempted to power up this sand hill and almost got it, but the Turtle petered out just before the crest. We had to back down the hill, but this time I knew there was an alternate, so instead of trying the hill again, we opted to go around and keep on the move. We made our way around the mountain and were headed for Sunbonnet Pass. Still, I was keeping in mind that we needed to preserve the tire and could not afford another flat. We spotted a few key lines on Sunbonnet and were able to capitalize on a couple of passes in the rock trails. Quickly another trail was completed, now the only thing left in our way of reaching Remote Pit 2B was Hwy 19/20. This trail just after RM85 has a few tricky spots that can really cause some problems. We remembered some of the bypass lines here and took advantage of them. We even passed another rig that was struggling right were the bypass came back into the trail. We nailed this trail and even took a line that Johnny Rocha told us about, saving us more time. We were on our way out of Hwy 19/20 and were excited to crest the hill and see Remote Pit 2B. It was like a breath of fresh air for me. I was feeling stressed but the sight of the pits gave me focus and reenergized me for more racing. We got to the pits and the guys went to work on the car again.
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Poison Spyder Pit Crew and Desert Turtle Racing Pit Crew were working together to give the car a good look over and make sure we were going to make the rest of the race. I grabbed a couple more snack bites from Kimmie and we were on our way. I asked Justin Z. how much time we had left and he said we still had about an hour and a half. Knowing that we had Aftershock Trail ahead of us, we would have to nail the bypass on that trail to keep in good time and be able to finish the race. I felt like we really still had a chance to finish. We just needed to keep the car together. We peeled out from the pits and were off and running.
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We headed down into Aftershock just after RM88. We picked our way through the rocks and caught up to a rig that was struggling in the rock garden, and that was when we noticed the bypass line. We broke right and skated on by, passing another rig. We got to the bottom of the trail and came across another rig that was broken and passed by him as well. We were on the move and clicking off the miles between Aftershock and Emerson Dry Lake. As we came down the hill approaching Emerson Dry Lake, around RM92, we prepared for our final high-speed run across the lakebed. We were all alone out there and completely dust free. The conditions were perfect so I smashed the skinny pedal and let the motor sing. We were up to 80mph and still climbing. We knew our motor did not have much more and we were running out of space on the lakebed. But knowing there was a bit of a run-out at the end, I stayed in it getting up to a final top speed of 88mph and then let off. We cruised through the next several miles of the flowy desert trail leading up to RM99. Safely making our way there, it was time to cross a totally whooped out section on the course. At around RM100 to RM103, this is where I could lose my lunch and the Turtle if I wasn’t careful. The sun was staring to come down and as we made a slight left around RM105 it put the sun right in our eyes. Through the next couple of miles of whoops, I had to drive with one hand on the wheel and one blocking the sun. It was unsafe to get any sort of speed built up with only one hand on the wheel, so we just cruised keeping the Turtle safe and intact. We made the left a little after RM106 and were headed back on to a portion of course that we ran in Lap 1. It was nice to be back on some familiar trails. At RM55, we reached the final checkpoint and they informed us that we had only 45 minutes to get back to the finish line. Darin said, “There is no way we are timing out after coming this far. Hammer down buddy – Let’s do this.” I was unsure of the distance that we had left and how long it would actually take. But I recalled that the final section had a lot of sand and rocks strewn about, and we would have to tackle the nasty sand hill after RM57 from Lap 1. Picking our way through the sand and rocks, we kept moving along — Sometimes, at what seemed to be a very slow pace, but we were still moving. We came to the sand hill that Larry coached us up before and Darin called out to see if Larry was still there. Nothing but radio silence, so it was up to us to conquer the hill. We hit it hard and screamed up the hill, but at the top the Turtle started to peter-out and was barely creeping along. I worked the rig with a little sand crawl, turning the tires left and right, and we were able to make it up and continue on. Picking through the rest of the rocks and sand we made it out and were headed across the last desert section towards the finish line. I can remember driving along and thinking to myself, just keep it together we are going to make it. We made it to a point where we could see Hammertown and the Start/Finish line – We were just moments away from completing our goal. We were at the bottom of the last hill climb and on the other side was the Finish line. Up and over we go, zooming down the hill to take the checker flag at the Finish line at RM114.
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I was beyond excited and was feeling mentally drained at the moment from driving the rock trails. I was stunned and could not believe that we had just finished the 114 mile course of the 2016 Smittybilt Every Man Challenge on our first attempt! Darin and I were absolutely amazed at the accomplishment. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car and find out if the Axial SCX10 had made it through the journey with us. Yup, it was there! — All covered in dust, but it made it with us. The first ever Axial SCX10 to run the hammers and cross the finish line.
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Axial – The Official R/C vehicles of Ultra4 Racing – King of the Hammers 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Mission Viejo, CA) January 11, 2016.

Axial R/C Inc., A subsidiary of Hobbico Inc., is proud to announce Axial as the Official R/C Vehicles of Ultra4 / King of the Hammers for 2016.

Ultra4 Racing is the latest and greatest off road motorsport event on earth. This style of racing challenges man to a duel with the elements. Unlike standard off road racing in a stadium or in the wide open desert, Ultra4 vehicles face challenges that no other motorsport demands. Competitors are not only made to cross vast areas of open desert, they also travel up boulder strewn canyons and negotiate terrain that appears impassable. To compete in such a demanding environment, competitors build custom four wheel drive vehicles that are made to crawl over the harshest terrain, then conquer the wide open desert at exhilarating triple digit speeds. This element of automotive enthusiasm is precisely what Axial R/C has set out to deliver in 1:10 scale, so the relationship between Axial R/C and Ultra4 is a very natural fit.

Axial’s roots are directly tied to motorsports, especially competitive rock crawling. As full size competitive rock crawling transcended into what is now rock racing, the sport became globally recognized in a short five years, most notably the King of the Hammers [KOH] held annually in Johnson Valley, California. Axial followed suit with its own version of vehicles that translated well within this segment of the off road community. Axial has been very off-road lifestyle driven and fits perfectly with Ultra4 and the King of the Hammers event which is the mecca of enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of rock racing. Axial will be on site at the 2016 King of the Hammers offering enthusiasts an opportunity to experience the endless fun that these rock racing and trail navigating R/Cs have to offer.

Come out and join us at the 2016 King of the Hammers in the Axial compound located smack dab in the middle of Hammertown, USA. This year’s compound will feature a rock racing track and a scale trail where you can traverse a challenging course with your SCX10 vehicles and rip around the track with your Yeti, Wraith or RR10 Bomber. The scale trail will be open for runs during the day, then be closed down for some rock racing in the evenings.

Axial to support drivers chasing the Crown
In 2016, the Axial team will be supporting, following, and cheering on several teams competing in events all week long. Please show these teams some love!

Randy Slawson – Bomber Fab
Casey Currie
Savvy Motorsports
Desert Turtle Racing
Poison Spyder Motorsports
Cody Waggoner – LaserNut
Tom Wayes

The schedule for Axial events is as follows:

Axial Booth open daily Tuesday through Friday 9 AM until Race completion nightly

Tuesday February 2nd, 2016
11-1 Scale Adventure
1:30-2:30 Scale Adventure
3-5 Track open Practice
6PM Outlaw KOH Race for points

Wednesday February 3rd, 2016
11-1 Scale Adventure
1:30-2:30 Scale Adventure
3-5 Track open Practice
6PM Outlaw KOH Race for points

Thursday February 4th, 2016
11-1 Scale Adventure
1:30-2:30 Scale Adventure
3-5 Track open Practice
6PM Outlaw KOH Race for points
Awards immediately following Final Race.

Friday Feb 5th, 2016
Race Day – Get out in the desert and watch the full size racers go for broke chasing the coveted crown and title of “King of the Hammers” for 2016

Outlaw Classes Rules:
1.9 Axial Based Chassis (Except Yeti)
2.2 Axial Based Chassis (Except Yeti)
Yeti Trophy Trucks
Yeti Class (No XL)

Demo Rules:
One try per day – per person
Under 18 – Parent MUST be present.
If you have your own rig, Scale rules apply, Respect the Course!!

**Important Note for 2016**  
There will NOT be a G6 event on Saturday at this year’s King of the Hammers.

About Axial
Founded in 2005, Axial R/C, Inc. has quickly became a global brand leader of hobby grade radio controlled products as Axial is a company of enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We manufacture chassis and accessory products predominantly for the Rock Crawling and Overland Adventure segments, with design emphasis on rugged construction and scale realism. Axial is regularly involved in local and national events which allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of R/C culture, thus earning us awards every year from 2007 through 2010, including “Best Truck”, “Most Innovative”, “Best Engineered Product of the Year”, and “People’s Choice.”

For more information on Axial and Axial products please visit www.axialracing.comtwitter.com/axialracingfacebook.com/axialincyoutube.com/axialvideos

About Ultra4
Ultra4 Racing is the official website of Hammerking Productions. The founders of Hammerking are the force behind the toughest one-day off-road race on the planet: King of The Hammers. King of the Hammers takes place each year in February, on public lands in Johnson Valley, CA. The race has evolved from 12 teams racing for bragging rights and a case of beer, to more than 150 teams competing before thousands of fans both live and online. Due to the incredible success of King of the Hammers, Hammerking has created an equally difficult off-road endurance race called The Stampede which occurs annually in Reno, NV.

In addition to these races, Hammerking has established a racing class known as the Ultra4 class. The defining characteristic of this class is that all cars must be capable of 4-wheel drive. Beyond that, the class is unlimited, which means these cars come in all shapes and sizes and are capable of speeds over 100+ MPH and still contain gear ratios as low as 100 to 1 for technical rock crawling.

To give these cars and their drivers a chance to showcase their unique capabilities, Hammerking has formed the Ultra4 Racing series. The series challenges drivers to compete in a wide variety of terrain from endurance desert racing to competition-style rock crawls to short course racing. Hammerking currently produces five of the six races in the series on their own. The races take place on both public lands and in private motorsports parks across the country including: Exit 28 Motorsports Park in Nevada, Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania and Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

If you would like to know more about Hammerking, Ultra4, the races produced and/or the movies created, please visit www.ultra4racing.comtwitter.com/Ultra4racingfacebook.com/Ultra4Racingyoutube.com/HeavyMetalConcepts

 

AXIALFEST 2015 Pre Drivers Meeting

AXIALFEST 2015 Pre Drivers Meeting

Words and Photos by Matt Soileau 

1 Welcome to the AXIALFEST 2015 pre-event drivers meeting. Think of this as one of the primers behind getting everyone ready to roll (no pun intended) on the AXIALFEST RECON G6 Challenge.  If you have attended a RECON G6 event before, these key points will sound familiar and a good refresher. If this is your first time, these key points will be valuable information to keep you on the right track during the RECON G6 at AXIALFEST 2015.

First, lets start with the SCORE CARD for this year, we have a brand new one for the 2015 edition of AXIALFEST.

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The new AXIALFEST 2015 SCORE CARD looks a little different for those who are familiar with previous ones.  There are colored boxes for each stage section at AXIALFEST 2015.  Make sure you mark in the proper location for each section of the stage. *Note that the Winch Penalty is for human powered winching only*  If you have a powered winch on your vehicle or another vehicle pulls you out, there is no penalty.  There are also locations for stamps and punches, including a place to take notes.  Be keen on taking notes of anything out of the ordinary or unusual. We will have a separate blog post on all the details behind the SCORECARD to follow soon.

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NO HOG
Also known as, No Hand of God. The No HOG rule means; Thou shall not touch your rig in an unscale fashion.  If you roll your rig over while on trail, get your rig uprighted using a winch, tow strap, or assistance from a fellow RECON G6er.

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When using a tow strap solo, use it in a scale winching fashion.  This means pulling like the strap is attached to a winch.  Flipping the truck over with your hand or foot is a violation of RECON G6 No HOG rules. Remember, the scale gods will be watching. Please don’t do the infamous Helicopter Winch were a driver uses their tow strap to lift and carry their rig to a new location.  If you are lifting the tow strap up and or if your rig is in the air, you are doing it wrong. Think scale… would you put a winch line or tow strap at the top of a tree to extract your vehicle?

TRAIL MARKER DIRECTION
There will be a lot of trail markers around the Cisco Grove Campground.  Don’t touch them with your rig, only drive through them. Touching them will result in a time penalty.  Also, make sure you drive through them in the proper direction, which is passing through them with the numbered markers on the right side of the vehicle – PASSENGER SIDE.

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NO SOUVENIRS
Please do not be tempted into taking trail markers, signs with your favorite number or any signs as souvenirs. Missing trail markers ruins the experience for remaining G6ers, as they will not have a proper trail to follow. They seem so simple and inexpensive, but they are bloody expensive to create, time consuming to put together and will lead to increased fees at following AXIALFEST / RECON G6 events. Simply put, PLEASE don’t take the signs.   :)

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CLEAR DIRT
At AXIALFEST / RECON G6 events, water is referred to as “clear dirt.” Rigs may be driving through a fair amount of it at AXIALFEST. The general rule, water will be scale deep, which roughly translates to just above the axle.  Waterproofing your electronics is not mandatory, but highly recommended.  Drive smart and water should never be an issue, but make a slight error near water and your electronics could let out the magic smoke. Patience and looking at the trail as a chess game will usually reveal an easy path. Same time, as your rig is traveling in and around “clear dirt” your shoes will also be seeing the same terrain. Please wear appropriate outdoor footwear and or shoes you do not mind thrashing! Think about this before you wear your nice white DC’s out on trail.

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DEEP WATER CROSSING
Yes, we will forever be inspired by the famous Camel Trophy Challenges and it has become a tradition at AXIALFEST to also include a deep water crossing. This can be achieved by building and using a device to float your truck safely from one side to the other.  Fortunately, flotation devices do not need to be carried on course.  They’ll be collected and staged awaiting for your arrival at the water crossing. Those without flotation devices can drive the long way around or take a ferry ride if you are lucky enough to catch it. Don’t forget to bring “good will fair! for the ferry-operator!” AND THE BIGGEST “DON’T FORGET”, turn off your rig’s ignition and radio while your pride and joy is floating across the water on a makeshift homemade raft. Yes, it happens! Just watch the 2013 AXIALFEST video and note the 13:20 mark of the video as the driver explains how his rig went into the drink: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0qJK5ZBNmw

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DRIVER CHALLENGE SECTIONS
Driving Challenges are generally roped off with a brightly colored ribbon. If you come to an obstacle that is cordoned off with ribbon, do not walk within the trail section as that section is for the passage of the rig only. No driver / pedestrian traffic within the boundaries.

DSCF0355You must walk outside the designated Driver Challenge Section. If you drive your rig into a situation requiring assistance within this Driver Challenge Section it will result in a hefty time penalty, so drive smart. Not fast, not wild. SMART = PATIENCE! Think CHESS MATCH! It’s you and your rig against Parker and his trail!

SEVEN DIFFERENT TRAILS OF AXIALFEST / RECON G6
With so many drivers expected for AXIALFEST, there will be seven different trails to challenge the drivers.  Each trail will be labeled A, B, C, D, E, F and G. At check in, drivers will be given their starting trail assignment, AKA: Run Group. Drivers will complete the stage they were assigned and then proceed, alphabetically, through all the remaining stages. For example: If you are assigned to start the event on Trail C, you will complete C, followed by D, E, F and then over to A, and finish on B. Also, Trail G is for ULTRA classes only. So if you are running in an either ULTRA 1.9 or ULTRA 2.2 you will run Trail G and A and B and C and D and E and then F. And maybe back to G AGAIN… Can you say power bars & electrolyte mix!

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TRAIL ETIQUETTE
There is a high possibility of 100+ drivers starting all at the same time as you. There will be many drivers on each of the trails and crowds are to be expected at bottlenecked obstacles. Patience is going to be your best friend here. Relax and enjoy the day, get to know your trail neighbor and offer assistance. It is your option to take the Trail Marker penalty and move on or practice your selfie stick and revel in the camaraderie experience embraced within the RECON G6 family. Remember, It’s you and your rig vs. Parker and his trails. #AXIALFEST2015 #RECONG6 #AxialAdventures

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Helping each other on the Trails in not mandatory, but highly recommended.  Don’t feel obligated to lend a tow strap or parts or tools to others, but remember that you may need some assistance down the trail.  The golden rule applies to AXIALFEST etiquette; Treat others how you would like to be treated. The Trail Gods such as Mark Smith could be watching over us.

Who is Mark Smith?
Mark A. Smith was a towering figure in 4×4 history. He pioneered the sport as one of the first drivers to traverse the mighty Rubicon Trail. He founded Jeep® Jamboree USA and brought the wonders of responsible off-roading to the world. He worked with Jeep brand engineers for decades, helping to improve the off-road capabilities of all Jeep vehicles. He has had a significant influence on everything the Jeep brand stands for. The Jeep family salutes Mark and all that he did for us. His spirit will live on.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NprkxboCAY

17 Slower drivers please allow faster drivers to pass. You may hear, “ULTRA DRIVER COMING THROUGH!” If you do, please stop, pull over and let these drivers pass. ULTRA DRIVERS, THIS DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO BUMP – KNOCK or DRIVE OVER over any ADVENTURIST! They are not in your Ultra-Race! They are there to smell the butterflies, so please me mindful of their experience as well! Trail gods and note pads will be in action and you don’t want this infraction reflected upon you.

Obstacles: It’s ok to attempt to overcome an obstacle without winching or strap assistance, but be mindful of the trucks behind you. The general rule is to try an obstacle 3-times before letting the next person attempt it.  If a line is piling up, pull over and let others pass.  You can resume your persistence once the obstacle frees of traffic. It is your option to take the Trail Marker penalty and move on.

TRAIL SIDE REPAIR
Trail repairs are allowed.  It is totally fine to pick up a broken rig to repair.
This is not a violation of the NO HOG rule. But please read the fine print:
11Please move your rig out of the way of others passing through on the trail.  *You may want to make a note on your score card as to what trail you are on, trail markers you are between and what is the issue. Then make the required repair out of the way of others and then return your rig to the exact location and position it was in when you picked it up.  For example: If you break a mechanical part, pick up your rig and go make the repair. This could include a trip back to camp if you do not have the part with you. When you are finished, put your rig back down exactly where it was.  But, if you rolled your rig upside down and the result was broken mechanical issue, you will need to place the rig back in it’s upside down position at the place of incident and proceed to get yourself unstuck or right sided up. Its all apart of the experience. *Remember that part about making a note first before you started working on your rig? This information will be helpful to yourself if you have to make a trip back to camp. You will have a note to remind you what trail & section you will re-start your journey.

TRAIL TREASURES
Keep your eye out for things that look out of the ordinary.
5There are often toy animals, toy cars, dolls, gold coins, poker chips, and etc. littering the trail. Sometimes they are easy to spot, sometimes they are a little more difficult to spot.  If you find such, make a note on your score card noting [1] What you found. [2] The Trail Letter [3] Between what Trail Markers the object was found. [4] Place item/s on your rig and bring them back to G-Central. Most times you will be rewarded with a time bonus.  Since this is AXIALFEST, Trail Treasures may mean a prize back at G-Central.  Keep your eyes peeled.

BE PREPARED
As stated before, the RECON G6 Trail’s at AXIALFEST can be quite long.  Expect a walk of several miles long and several hours in length.  You will need to make sure you have everything with you on the trail.  Highly recommended is a backpack with snacks, water, parts, and tools.  You don’t want to be two miles from camp and need a screw driver.  That’s a long walk to make a trail repair.

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And remember, Finishing A RECON G6 IS LIKE WINNING A RECON G6!
Especially at AXIALFEST 2015!  Do Work, Drivers!

*BONUS NOTE – AWARDS CEREMONY!
Make sure you bring a camp chair and a stick of firewood to Axialfest 2015.  Camp chairs and firewood is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED at the Awards Ceremony.  We recommend your comfiest camp chair.  There are so many prizes and awards, the awards ceremony will not be over in 30 minutes.

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John Schultz’s Winning Deadbolt

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Fresh off the tarmac from the 2015 No Limit RC Monster Truck World Finals held at Dennis Anderson’s Diggers Dungeon in Poplar North Carolina, John Schultz, Axial Ambassador, dropped off his custom built Deadbolt Monster Truck conversion at Axial HQ for a closer look.  It’s important to note, Solid Axle was the biggest class in attendance, 70 trucks raced and a total of 80 trucks present, many of which featured Axial’s AR60 axles.

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Upon first peek it might be hard to spot the Deadbolt backbone, but upon a second glance it’ll be more obvious, as will the dusting of Wraith and Yeti parts. We’ll be featuring a more in-depth build report on the truck shortly. In the meantime, here’s a quick parts list and detailed photos of the truck. Lets not forget photos, CLICK HERE for more photos.

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Axial Parts List:

AX31109 – Yeti™ Rear 4 Link Set, F&R

AX30782 – Wraith Rear Sway Bar Set (Soft, Medium, Firm)

AX30781 – Wraith Front Sway Bar Set (Soft, Medium, Firm)

AX30708 – AX10 Locked Transmission – Complete Metal Gear Set – Steel (3pcs)

AX30829 – AR60 OCP Machined Low-Profile Differential Cover (Hard Anodized)

AX30830 – AR60 OCP Machined Link Mounts (Hard Anodized) (2pcs)

AX30836 – Aluminum Servo Horn 25T (Hard Anodized)

AX30780 – AR60 OCP Universal Axle Set F&R

AX30789 – AR60 OCP Aluminum Straight Axle Hub Carrier (2pcs)

AX30395 – Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 38T/13T (Rear Axle)

AX30401 – Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 36T/14T (Front Axle, Overdrive)

AX30760 – XR10 Aluminum Steering Knuckle (Black) (2pcs)

AX30762 – XR10 Aluminum C-Hub Carrier (Black) (2pcs)

Other Parts:

Tires – 10114-02 – Pro-Line Racing Destroyer 2.6” Solid Axle Monster Tire F&R

Wheels – Clod Buster Rims and Adapters F&R

HPI – 88055 - Wheelie King Axle Wideners F&R

HPI – 6589 - Wheelie King Red/Soft Springs

HPI – 87600 – Wheelie King Differentials

Body – 3252-00 – Pro-Line Racing Ford F-250 Body

Graphics/Paint – BKT Ride Truck Graphics

ESC/Motor – 3087 – Novak Electronics – Crusher ESC w/4PHD 4X4 SCT BL Motor

Battery – DTXC1964 – Duratrax – 2s 5000mAh 35c LiPo

Servo – Savox – SV1271SG

Axial partners with SCORE International – Official R/C Vehicles of SCORE

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Mission Viejo, CA) February 25, 2015.

Axial R/C Inc., A subsidiary of Hobbico Inc., is proud to announce Axial as the Official R/C Vehicles of the Baja 500, Baja 1000 and SCORE International.

So much focus in the R/C industry is placed on short course off road racing. It makes perfect sense, as it is easy to gather lots of people into a confined area to experience off road racing vehicles. What many people don’t know is that short course off road racing was born in the desert. What short course promoters are attempting to do is bring desert racing to the masses. What is lost in this process is the adventure. In true Axial style, we are all about chasing adventure. In this case, Axial R/C has partnered with SCORE International to support further growth of the off road racing that started it all.

The Baja 500 and Baja 1000 are two of the most recognizable off road racing events on the planet. The machines, the people and the experiences of these and all of SCORE’s events are the inspiration for many of today’s off road enthusiasts. Axial fans and consumers are driven by adventure, getting out there and experiencing the relationship of man and machine in the wild. Axial will be taking an in depth look at what drives all of these individuals to push themselves and their machines to the absolute limit to conquer Baja.

About Axial
Founded in 2005, Axial R/C, Inc. has quickly became a global brand leader of hobby grade radio controlled products as Axial is a company of enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We manufacture chassis and accessory products predominantly for the Rock Crawling and Overland Adventure segments, with design emphasis on rugged construction and scale realism. Axial is regularly involved in local and national events which allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of R/C culture, thus earning us awards year after year, including “Best Truck”, “Most Innovative”, “Best Engineered Product of the Year”, and “People’s Choice.” For more information on Axial and Axial products please visit www.axialracing.comtwitter.com/axialracingfacebook.com/axialincyoutube.com/axialvideos

About SCORE International
The World’s Foremost Desert Racing Organization, SCORE International was founded in 1973 by the late motorsports innovator Mickey Thompson and continues today under the ownership and director of former SCORE Trophy Truck racing champion Roger Norman. The five-race, internationally-televised SCORE World Desert Championship features 35 Pro and six Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and quads. The series is televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network with international syndication for each of the one-hour programs. The flagship event of the SCORE World Desert Championship is the iconic SCORE Baja 1000, the granddaddy of all desert races. The 2015 SCORE Baja 1000 will air as a two-hour special on the CBS Sports Network. For more information regarding SCORE International, visit www.score-international.com

 

Axial – The Official R/C vehicles of Ultra4 Racing – King of the Hammers 2015

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Mission Viejo, CA) January 14, 2015.

Axial R/C Inc., A subsidiary of Hobbico Inc., is proud to announce Axial as the Official R/C Vehicles of Ultra4 / King of the Hammers for 2015.

Ultra4 Racing is the latest and greatest off road motorsport event on earth. This style of racing challenges man to a duel with the elements. Unlike standard off road racing in a stadium or in the wide open desert, Ultra4 vehicles face challenges that no other motorsport demands. Competitors are not only made to cross vast areas of open desert, they also travel up boulder strewn canyons and negotiate terrain that appears impassable. To compete in such a demanding environment, competitors build custom four wheel drive vehicles that are made to crawl over the harshest terrain, then conquer the wide open desert at exhilarating triple digit speeds. This element of automotive enthusiasm is precisely what Axial R/C has set out to deliver in 1:10 scale, so the relationship between Axial R/C and Ultra4 is a very natural fit.

Axial’s roots are directly tied to motorsports, especially competitive rock crawling. As full size competitive rock crawling transcended into what is now rock racing, the sport became globally recognized in a short five years, most notably the King of the Hammers [KOH] held annually in Johnson Valley, California. Axial followed suit with its own version of vehicles that translated well within this segment of the off road community. Axial has been very offroad lifestyle driven and fits perfectly with Ultra4 and the King of the Hammers event which is the mecca of enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of rock racing. Axial will be on site at the 2015 King of the Hammers offering enthusiasts an opportunity to experience the endless fun that these rock racing and trail navigating R/Cs have to offer.

On the Saturday following KOH [Feb 7th], there will be a radio controlled version of King of the Hammers as Axial hosts the RECON Ultra4 G6 at King of the Hammers.

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Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 at King of the Hammers
When: Feb. 7 – 12:00 Noon
Where: (GPS- N34 24.927, W116 31.090) just west of Hammer Town at the base of the mountain.

R/C motorsports joins full size motorsports once again as Axial joins forces with Ultra4 / King of the Hammers. 2015 will once again see Axial bring the RECON G6 Series along for the full experience. Axial has teamed with full size motorsports in the past and is doing it again in Johnson Valley, Ca. ,on Saturday Feb. 7th, the day after the King of the Hammers main event. This is the last event on the 2015 KOH schedule starting at noon on Saturday, if you own an Axial R/C, come out and get your fix in this historic RECON Ultra4 G6. The RECON G6 series is made up of R/C endurance events featuring man and scale machine tackling the elements, a true test for your R/C vehicle with a major emphasis on a family fun atmosphere. The object is to conquer the course set forth by RECON G6 mastermind Brian Parker. For more information on this event, and to register to participate, please click here.

About Axial
Founded in 2005, Axial R/C, Inc. has quickly became a global brand leader of hobby grade radio controlled products as Axial is a company of enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We manufacture chassis and accessory products predominantly for the Rock Crawling and Overland Adventure segments, with design emphasis on rugged construction and scale realism. Axial is regularly involved in local and national events which allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of R/C culture, thus earning us awards every year from 2007 through 2010, including “Best Truck”, “Most Innovative”, “Best Engineered Product of the Year”, and “People’s Choice.” For more information on Axial and Axial products please visit www.axialracing.comtwitter.com/axialracingfacebook.com/axialincyoutube.com/axialvideos

About Ultra4
Ultra4 Racing is the official website of Hammerking Productions. The founders of Hammerking are the force behind the toughest one-day off-road race on the planet: King of The Hammers. King of the Hammers takes place each year in February, on public lands in Johnson Valley, CA. The race has evolved from 12 teams racing for bragging rights and a case of beer, to more than 150 teams competing before thousands of fans both live and online. Due to the incredible success of King of the Hammers, Hammerking has created an equally difficult off-road endurance race called The Stampede which occurs annually in Reno, NV.

In addition to these races, Hammerking has established a racing class known as the Ultra4 class. The defining characteristic of this class is that all cars must be capable of 4-wheel drive. Beyond that, the class is unlimited, which means these cars come in all shapes and sizes and are capable of speeds over 100+ MPH and still contain gear ratios as low as 100 to 1 for technical rock crawling.

To give these cars and their drivers a chance to showcase their unique capabilities, Hammerking has formed the Ultra4 Racing series. The series challenges drivers to compete in a wide variety of terrain from endurance desert racing to competition-style rock crawls to short course racing. Hammerking currently produces five of the six races in the series on their own. The races take place on both public lands and in private motorsports parks across the country including: Exit 28 Motorsports Park in Nevada, Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania and Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

Hammerking Productions has also produced three full-length feature films chronicling the first three King of the Hammers races. These award winning movies have helped shine a spotlight on this new form of racing throughout the world. Currently, fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Hammerking’s fourth production which will be coming to theaters and DVD by mid 2011.

If you would like to know more about Hammerking, Ultra4, the races produced and/or the movies created, please visit www.ultra4racing.comtwitter.com/Ultra4racingfacebook.com/Ultra4Racingyoutube.com/HeavyMetalConcepts

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Axial Driver Jake Hallenbeck – NorCal Rock Racing – 2014 Finale

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Axial Driver Jake Hallenbeck – NorCal Rock Racing – 2014 Finale

Words & photos: Michael Plunkett

With this being Nor Cal Rock Racing’s Championship race, we all knew that Jake being the defending 2013 Champion, might as well have a bull’s-eye on his back! Every team had one thing in mind, “beating Jake Hallenbeck!” As things were getting started and heat races were being randomly drawn, Jake found out he had been drawn to start in the back of the pack. Starting in the back forces Jake to work his way through slower traffic, which sometimes is a challenge in itself on a course like this.

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With the two other power house teams of concern drawing the same heat race, this would give us an idea of how the rest of the day was going to go. Jake found himself being held up by certain drivers, slowing him down considerably. By the end of the race, Jake had worked his way up to finish 2nd behind his closest competitor in the points standings. This was going to be a showdown!

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As the team was going over the car in the pits, Jake found out that they had a transmission cooler failure. Without a spare cooler, they decided to bypass the trans-cooler altogether and hope for the best.

Starting in the back of heat race 2 once again meant that Jake would have to rely on his skills to get him out in front to secure a better starting position for the main event. As the race started and Jake charged through the pack, he suffered a broken axle in the first rock pile. He maintained his pace the best he could to finish that heat in what appeared to be 4th place. Jake and his team quickly went to work pulling the axle, and in the meantime damaged the inner seal.

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Fortunately, with Trail Gear’s large fill cap on their axles, they were able to get a pry bar in there so they could get the axle changed without having to pull the entire axle apart to put the seal housing back in. As it was, they finished with minutes to spare for the start of the main event!

When the teams lined up for the main event, I could see Jon Cagliero starting in the front row. Jon was only two points behind Jake in the points race. Jake was forced to start mid-pack and have to work his way through traffic once again! With the lineup in place and the sun in their eyes, the race for the Championship was about to begin!

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From what I could see, Jake got a great hole shot and by the first and second rock pile he found himself in 3rd place. He drove the wheels off his bomber buggy and began to reel in the leaders…until his engine’s heating issue began to come back and haunt him. He was forced to pace himself for the longer main event so he could be in the hunt at the finish. He maintained his 3rd place position throughout the race until he got over taken by a car during a yellow flag.

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Out of his control at that point, Jake knew he needed to gain that position back and get closer to the front for a chance to keep his lead in the points standings. With one lap to go, Jake overtook that 3rd position again but was running out of time to catch the leaders. When the race came to an end, Gary Ferravanti Sr. crossed the line first, followed by Jon Cagliero, and Jake finishing in 3rd and collecting another podium finish!

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With the results of the race in place, it was time to figure out the point standings and who would be the 2014 Season Champion! With Jon Cagliero finishing the race in 2nd and Jake finishing in 3rd, it meant that they were tied in points for the 2014 season. With nothing in the rule book stating what to do in the case of a tie, John Goodby of Nor Cal Rock Racing decided to go with a motocross rule that states whoever crossed the finish line first between the two points leaders would be the new Champion.

Like the true Sportsman and Champion that Jake Hallenbeck is, he looked at Goodby and stated, “As long as you will assure me that this will be in the rule books in the future, I am good with that.” In the same breath, Jake asked John if he could deliver the Championship trophy to Jon Cagliero himself. Goodby agreed as long as he could be present. They together they delivered the trophy to Jon Cagliero and named him the 2014 Nor Cal Rock Racing Champion! It’s never easy in racing to except a 2nd place finish, but Jake did it with grace and style.

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As the season concludes, I look forward to seeing if Jake can pick up new sponsors in the off season so he too can upgrade his rig to what most of the powerhouse rigs are running. Jake proves to me that you can stay on the podium with driving skills alone, but to be able to win races consistently you have to equal the playing field and run Independent Front Suspension with big horsepower!

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All in all, in two years of racing the Ultra4 class, Jake has achieved a Nor Cal Championship, a tie for another Nor Cal Championship, The Ultra4 Racing series Rookie of the Year Award, and is still in contention in the 2014 Ultra4 Racing Series on driving ability alone. If given the Independent Front Suspension and the horsepower other teams are running, in my opinion, Jake Hallenbeck would be a force to be reckoned with!