Wraith Tuning Tips

The Wraith is a very capable rig out of the box. But, as usual, there are ways to improve it’s performance to make it even better. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your Wraith with minimal cash out of pocket, and a little time/effort spent at the workbench.

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Soften up the suspension:

The Wraith’s suspension is a little stiff out of the box, if you plan on just bashing with it as is. If you add scale accessories, a driver figure, spare tire, use a standard 6 cell stick pack, etc. it is probably about right. I left my Wraith pretty much stock, and found myself wanting a little bit softer suspension for those high speed rocky sections of trail. First thing I did was grab two packages of our “black” super soft comp shock springs, Part# AX30223 x 2. I rebuilt all four shocks using our 30wt oil, our 3 hole shock pistons and soft springs. If you don’t have 3 hole pistons, you can drill the existing holes out in the standard 2 hole pistons so they are just a tad bigger. Making this modification almost converts the Wraith to a “droop” suspension set-up, meaning there is very little “up” travel to the shocks, it’s almost all “down” travel. Under the it’s own weight sitting on a shelf, my shocks sit about mid-way into their overall stroke. How is that better you ask? This made my Wraith a lot more stable at speeds, as it lowered the overall center of gravity. This mod also helps it floats over rocks at full speed a lot better too, because the shocks can cycle through their travel more efficiently. As the tires come off the ground at speed the shocks extend under the weight of the axles, which will help absorb that next bump in the trail. If I had to suggest only one modification to a fellow Wraith owner, this would be the tip I give them. It makes a huge difference in how the Wraith handles at speed and over jumps.

The springs.

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The shock ride height after making this mod.

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Aluminum servo horn:

Another great mod is going to an aluminum servo horn on the steering servo, that is compatible with Futaba servos. Using an aluminum arm instead of plastic is a lot more durable, and helps your steering track a little straighter in the rough stuff at speeds. The plastic steering linkage will still flex enough in hard crashes to protect your servo. Plus, the stock Wraith servo has metal gears which most RTR’s don’t have.

Steel ball studs:

For performance reasons, I like to replace any plastic ball studs with steel. Ball studs are the pivot points that allow your links to cycle through their travel. The steel ball studs will smooth out the motion on your suspension and steering links. Over time dirt will work it’s way into either set-up and wear parts out. But, with steel ball studs the dirt is less likely to hinder link movement. This mod works very well when done alongside the shock rebuilding tips I mentioned earlier. All you will need is 4 packages of our steel ball studs/flanged balls, Part# AXA1331 x 4. I don’t have a link for these, but your local hobby shop or online retailer can get the correct parts with that number.

The ball studs/flange balls.

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Taking time to make these few adjustments will make a pretty big difference in how a Wraith performs, especially at speed on rough terrain. Happy Trails!!

2010 Axial West Coast Championship Finals

After months of waiting, and running numerous qualifiers, it was finally time to pack the Axial RV and head off to the Axial West Coast Championship Finals in Cisco Grove, Ca. The build-up for this years comp began back in January when the first 2010 AWCC Qualifier was held in Escondido, Ca. For this year’s championships no one got a free ticket into the main event Saturday afternoon. You either had to attend one of the 5 qualifier events, and earn an invite by a top 10 finish or sign up for the “Last Chance Qualifier” on Friday before the finals and make the top 20 on that day. So, this event anyone you were competing against earned their way into the main event. Axial hoped this would make for a really tight/competitive comp as far as the top scores go, and that is pretty much how it all played out. Hit one bad gate on any one of the 5 courses and you dropped 10 places in the overall standings instantly. There was no room for error at this year’s event……………….period.

The drive through California via the 395 highway.

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The RV was getting a little thirsty, so we stopped off for a drink.

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Back on the road.

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Settling into our campsite.

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Axial staff hard at work.

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Game on!!

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Brandon spotting for me on course #1.

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Team Axial driver Becky Barger working course #2.

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Scott Hughes and his freshly built XR10 working course #1.

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Jason Gainey works course #1.

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A few more random shots from the 3 courses down by the river.

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RCCrawler.com was on hand broadcasting video of the weekend’s events.

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John Hubbard from RCCrawler working the live feed. He looks so content in this picture for some strange reason.
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No clue what is going on here.

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More pictures from courses 4 and 5.

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Brandon on course #4.

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Scott H working course #4.

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Me on course #4.

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After everyone was done running courses it was time to gather around the Axial tent for the trophy presentation.

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And the winners are……….
Last Chance Qualifier-Pro
1st Chris Mcmullin
2nd Doug Toney
3rd Kevin Gunderson

Last Chance Qualifier-Sport
1st Eric Hill
2nd Justin McCoy
3rd Dustin Howe

Sport Class-Finals
1st Michael Boling
2nd James Roque
3rd Tom Havel

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1st Shannon Davis
2nd Natalia Morales
3rd Kacie Vess

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1st Becky Barger
2nd Candance Flaming
3rd Jess Downing

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Pro Shafty-Finals
1st Jay Robbinette
2nd Jake Wright
3rd Tom Brown

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Pro Overall-Finals
1st John Ripplinger
2nd John Hall
3rd Jason Veal

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Congrats to all the winners, you guys really earned it!! Axial would like to thank everyone that helped us with this event, and the overall series. A huge thanks goes out to Brian Parker and Stuart Gartner for all their hard work throughout this whole series, we couldn’t have done it without you guys! Thanks to all the sponsors that helped support the finals too, Vanquish Products, Futaba, Novak, Pro-Line, RCCrawler.com, and Xtreme R/C. We couldn’t have done it without your support either.

The dust has barely settled on this year’s AWCC Series, and I am already excited for next year’s series to start. If you couldn’t make it to any of these events this year, try and make it to one next year, you won’t be disappointed. And like Warren Miller always says, “If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do.” See you next year!!

Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier, Round 5

The last stop on Axial’s West Coast Qualifier Series was held this past Saturday, April 10th. The location for this final event was in beautiful Northern California at Lake Amador Resort. Lake Amador is best known for it’s fishing and camping. The resort constantly stocks the lake with a rare breed of trout known to put up a healthy fight when caught. They also boast about their huge catfish, as well as unbeatable bass fishing. Combine that with the fact that they have an RV park on site, Lake Amador is a fisherman’s dream come true. On the other hand, off to the west side of the lake, down in a ravine, is an R/C rock crawlers dream come true. The ravine has a good sized rock formation that has sharp ledges sticking up everywhere. The rock/ledge located at this particular spot is very unique, and has unbelievable traction. We have had an amazing amount of various terrain throughout this series, but this location was very different from what I am used to. It was the perfect location to close down what has been and awesome qualifier series. Let’s hit the road.

My fuel for the weekend………………………….Mocha Frappee’s from Mickey D’s.
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The ride through the Cali countryside.
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Brandon and Scott were busy watching Sesame Street all the way there.
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Parker’s latest course design, moving courses. Ever try rock crawling on a rock pile that’s going down the highway at 70mph? Hold your line driver!!
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On the way to the comp site Friday we stopped by Modesto Hobby and Craft for a quick visit. Very cool hobby shop, with courteous employees and numerous R/C related items. I wish I had more pictures to post from inside, but I’m an idiot and only brought our zoom lens on this trip.
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Pulling into the resort.
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Overlooking the lake.
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Partial view of the comp site.
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The Michael Angelo of rock crawling courses, Parker sets gates first thing Saturday morning.
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Each course had a sign letting everyone know which course was which.
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The parking lot was almost like a car show. Here’s Axial team driver Dean Hsiao’s Impala wagon, soooo clean!
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Of course there were a few sweet off-road vehicles in the parking lot too.
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Group shot of the drivers.
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Group shot of the rigs.

Driver’s meeting
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Time to do some work!!
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Axial’s own Brandon Coonce working course #1

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Me flailing around on course #1
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Mr. Scott Hughes working it
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Brent Brammer working his Axial SWX through course #2
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Brandon on course #2
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Dean Hsiao on course #2

Climbing into the alternate line.
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Scott on Course #2
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Captain Axial at it yet again harassing competitors, passing out free t-shirts and stealing motorcycles.
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According to the locals the fire department conducts fire training in this area frequently. There were helicopters flying overhead all day long.
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Parker’s newest hobby…………………..Ventriloquism.
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And the winners are……..
Sport Class
1st place Shannon Davis
2nd place James Roque
3rd place Jerry Sanders
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Pro Shafty
1st place Brian Lorenz
2nd place Brandon Coonce
3rd place Dean Hsiao
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Pro Overall
1st place Daniel Flemming
2nd place John Hall
3rd place Lenny Tyler
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The Rock Candy Girls

CanDance, Pro Rock candy winner (left), Shannon Davis, sport rock candy winner (center), Mindy Howe (right). Watch your back guys, they are gunning for us.
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Well, that does it for this first qualifier series. I would personally like to thank Axial and Vanquish Products for their support during this series. I would also like to thank Brian Parker, Stuart Gartner and all the volunteers/judges that helped us with these events. We definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone in this great R/C community. If you didn’t get a chance to attend any of these 5 qualifiers, come on out to the finals on June 24th-26th. You can run the last chance qualifier and still get into the main event. I guarantee the finals will be a memorable weekend whether you come out to compete, or just watch. See you then.

Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier, Round 4

The latest stop in Axial’s West Coast Championship Series was Long Beach, Washington. Long Beach is a small tourist town located in the southwest corner of Washington. There are many things to do in this small town from cart racing, moped rentals, horse back riding, clam digging, biking, etc. There are also a number of good restaurants in town as well, making Long Beach a nice location for a family vacation/getaway. The competition was held right on the beach by the ocean. The terrain was a mix of sandstone and jagged water eroded ledge that was covered in moss. The traction there, to my surprise, was extremely high almost like sand paper. We went into this comp expecting rain all day since that had been the forecast all week. But, to everyone’s surprise the sun was out and shining all day long giving us perfect weather.

For this comp Scott Hughes and I flew into Portland, Oregon. Once there we met up with Steve Brown from Vanquish Products who was riding along with us to check out the comp. After loading up the rental car we hit the road destined for Tammies Hobbies in Beaverton, Oregon. Tammies is known to have tons of crawler products in stock from scale accessories to full on competition parts.

A few pictures from Tammies Hobbies.
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Steve Brown and Ryan Gerrish showing off some sweet Vanquish wheels
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Ryan’s custom rock racer, 50% rock crawler, 50% 4×4 Slash……………….100% sick!!
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Got scale crawler parts?
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Need motors?
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Comp wheels?
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Maybe trains are your thing?
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Me getting an education in rock crawling
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Back on the road again, this was my view for the 2 hour ride from Beaverton to Long Beach along the Lewis and Clark trail. Yawn…..
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That’s a little better view
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Scott and Steve, or Lewis and Clark…………………….it’s tough to tell the difference.

Almost there
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Once we checked into the hotel, and scoped out the comp site a little we all met at the Light Ship bar and grill above our hotel for early tech. The view from the dining area was sweet.
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Stuart checks drivers in while Brian ponders the meaning of life.
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For dinner I choose pasta
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Stuart dives into his freshly prepared steak
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Brad Bailey helped Brian and Stuart with rig tech
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Drivers file in for tech inspection
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The comp site on game day.
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Group shot before comp
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Driver’s meeting
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Comp time
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Scott Hughes on his first course
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Me on course #2
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Cory Hannah working course #1
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Parker doing work

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A group of vehicles pulled into a cove beyond the comp site early in the morning. Once the tide came up they were trapped on an out cropping of rock for hours until the tide went back out. Coast Guard made a few passes through to make sure no one was in immediate danger.
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Stuart Gartner on course #1
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Random shots
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Rock Candy winner Mindy Howe

Captain Axial, or a really bad Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume? What is that on the side of your………………..never mind I don’t want to know.
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More random shots

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Ryan Gerrish

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And the winners are…….

Rock Candy:
Mindy Howe
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Sport Class:
1st Cole Bailey
2nd Tazz Judkins
3rd Rod Comstock
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Pro Shafty:
1st Dave Copher
2nd Cody Cannell
3rd Marc Linn
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Overall:
1st Dustin Siegfried
2nd Josh Smith (not pictured)
3rd Ryan Gerrish
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That wraps event #4 up. What a weekend!! Great weather, good people and an awesome location, what more could we ask for? A huge thanks to the Oregon and Washington clubs for all their help, we couldn’t have done it without you. Also Axial would like to thanks all the judges, volunteers and anyone else that helped this event along, we really appreciate all the help. See you in 2 weeks at Lake Amador, Ca.

Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier, Round 3

Axial held the 3rd round of their West Coast Championship Qualifier’s this past weekend (March 13th) in St. George, Utah. St. George is located in the southwest corner of Utah. It’s well known for it’s golf courses, mountain biking, hiking, camping, off-road trails, etc. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, like myself, then St. George is tough to beat as far as activities and sight seeing goes. The location for this comp was incredible. There are massive red rock formations everywhere, with endless lines to be had for an R/C rock crawling comp. Plus, for this comp we worked alongside 801RC, the local Utah club of crawlers. 801RC has a hardcore group of crawler fanatics that love everything about this sport, just like we do. So it was a no brainer for Axial to team up with them to put on another great comp in this series. Anyone up for another road trip?

Thursday morning started with the task of loading the RV up with everything we’ll need for this event. Let’s go over the checklist……..gates check, banners check, stickers check, AWCCQ flyers check, cameras check, comp rigs check, batteries check, demo rigs check, Axial flags check, flag pole check, clipboards check, timers check, Parker’s choke chain and leash check.

Loading the RV
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The new mascot for the RV ensures we don’t stray off course.
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We pulled into Vegas about 7:30 in the evening to pick up Parker and Stuart. Once we spotted them we stopped the RV, waited for them to get close, then punched it just to see how fast they could run. Needless to say it wasn’t very fast.
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After we made them chase us for a few blocks we decided to stop and let them load up.
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Before we left the airport Brian had to go to the bathroom, so we made a quick stop so he could relieve himself.
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A quick drive down the strip before heading to Mesquite.
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Next day we were on the road early in the morning so we had time to test and tune at the comp site. The drive from Mesquite to St. George is relatively short but very picturesque.
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This was my first trip to St George and when we pulled into the comp site you couldn’t help but smile if you are into rock crawling. I think Brian shed a few more tears too.
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After the test and tune session it was time to find our campsite. We stayed at Snow Canyon State Park just up the road from the comp site. This spot was awesome. They have a bunch of hiking trails that wind around some petrified sand dunes. There are huge red rock formations throughout the park, and there are even a few lava chutes you can hike/climb down into.

Pulling into the RV park
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Myself, Brian and Stuart taking in the scenery.
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I hope this guy ate some spinach before starting that ascent.
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Notice the black lava rock spread throughout the field.
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Parked…………time to wrench and charge batteries.
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6am on game day
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Stuart preps the tech table
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Sunrise
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Parker and Stuart scope out potential courses, and possible napping spots.
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Got gates?
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Mike “Naz-T” Thompson sets a couple courses first thing in the morning. Someone get this guy a coffee.
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Rig tech
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Let’s get a closer look at Stuart’s mouse pad………………….oh my!!
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Group shot of the comp rigs
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Driver’s meeting
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Brain Parker holding court
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Go time!! Scott Hughes on course 5. Not sure that is the best line through there…………………..just kidding Scott.
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Scott dropping into the alternate line looking for an extra -10 points
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Random shots from the comp
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Me getting ready to run course 4
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Scott H. on course 4
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Naz-T…………………….America’s next top model?
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More random shots
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Jess Downing wrenches between courses
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It’s just like a car accident……………..you want to look away………………….but you can’t.
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More shots
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Scott Hughes and Brian Parker……………….nuff said
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A freak storm blew in throwing 50mph winds and hail at anyone still on the hill. For the safety of everyone involved we decided to call the comp for the day and finish Sunday morning. After we picked everything up and headed back to our campsite the sun started shining again. So, we decided to check out the petrified sand dunes and lava tubes.
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Parker and I decided to take the Honchos with us and get a scale run in while it was still nice
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The lava tubes
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Armed with a cell phone light and a mini mag light between the 4 of us, we descended into the darkness. Brian, no matter how many times you ask……………I’m not holding your hand.
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Next morning while the last few guys finished running comp courses we set out to run the scalers on the trail run I set-up Saturday morning.
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And the winners are………

Pro Overall:
1st place Jake Wright
2nd place Marty Mann
3rd place Tom Barger
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Pro Shafty:
1st place Jake Wright
2nd place Marty Mann
3rd place Don Hughes
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Rock Candy Sportsman:
Natalia Morales
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Rock Candy Pro:
Becky Barger
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Well that brings us to the end of yet another AWCC Qualifier. Next stop is Long Beach, Washington in 2 weeks (March 27th). It’ll be nice to get back up to the great northwest and compete with the guys from ORCRC, who will be hosting this next event. These last two qualifiers will be must attend events if you are relatively close to these locations. See you there!!

Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier, Round 2

Axial hosted it’s second west coast qualifier this past weekend (Feb. 27th) in Farmington, New Mexico.  Farmington is notorious in the 1:1 off-road world for having some of the best rock crawling anywhere in the US; numerous 1:1 competitions have been held there since the birth of rock crawling as well. This was my first trip to Farmington and needless to say the terrain didn’t disappoint. Massive sandstone rock formations were everywhere at the Brown Springs comp site, which had everyone excited to get this comp underway. R/C rock crawlers that live in the Farmington area are truly blessed with some awesome terrain. Here’s a breakdown of how the competition and the trip went for us.

On Wednesday afternoon, we started loading all the comp supplies into the RV. I went through my extensive checklist to make sure we had everything we could possibly need from scorecards, to course boundaries, gates, stop watches, pens, t-shirts for the giveaways, clip boards, banners, tools, spare parts, scalers, comp rigs, chargers, batteries, radios, spare electronics, etc. You get the idea. Everything was loaded into the RV with very little room to spare.

We started rolling Thursday morning by 6am. After a quick stop for some chocolate, Frappuccinos and petrol we hit the road bound for Las Vegas to pick-up Brian “Captain Axial” Parker and his main man Stuart Gartner.

Here is what my view looked like for 1600+ miles and a lot of hours driving.
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Same view…
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Still the same view…..
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After we hit Vegas and picked-up the boys, we headed over to BJ’s Brewhouse for lunch and a break from the road. The pepperoni pizza was my choice with home brewed root beer, which was very tasty. Makes me hungry right now.
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About 30 miles down the road we entered into the Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area.
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The local helicopter tour was taking flight as we drove down into the dam.
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The RV and Parker had to get a thorough inspection from authorities before being allowed to drive over the dam.  Parker and the two security guards disappeared into a small tent for about 20 minutes after the RV inspection was done.  When Brian returned he was walking a little funny and mumbling something about a cavity search?
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Local Jeep tour vehicle was passing through security at the same time as us.
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Looks like they are in the process of building a huge new bridge right over the dam. Once finished the view from the bridge should be amazing to say the least……………………..anyone up for a base jump?
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Crossing into Arizona by the dam. After a few hours driving in Arizona I thought I was on the set of “The Hills have Eyes.”
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A few more pics of the dam and surrounding area
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Here you can see how low the water levels are right now in the lake and inlet.
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Back on the road
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Meanwhile, Brian meditates in the RV before numbering the Axial gate markers (whilst visions of impassable gates danced in his head).
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Finally…………….we pull into the much anticipated comp site. After a quick look around we started giggling like school girls as we checked out the terrain. Brian started tearing up a little, and tried to blame it on something being in his eye, but we knew better. Sorry Brian.
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After a little test and tune session at the comp site, it was time to shower and hit the local bar for early tech. Three River’s Brewery was the place to be on Friday night. They were gracious enough to let us set-up a tech table right inside the bar and then supplied us with a free pool table and complimentary nachos. We asked a few locals what was the best beer to order, since we had no idea. Everyone said the “Double Barrel Amber” was the way to go. They were right too, it was one of the best beers I have ever had…………..period. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.

Here’s Brian getting the party started.
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The Colorado crew talk strategy and rig set-up.
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These lovely ladies greeted me at the door with popcorn and a fresh beverage…………….I wish.
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Here’s how the tech table looked through my eyes after 4 or 5 Double Barrel Ambers.
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Game day. We were at the comp site by 6am on Saturday morning to set everything up. To our surprise there were people already there. Some even camped overnight despite the cold temps.
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Got wheel speed?
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Brian bundled up and doing work setting courses.
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Driver’s meeting
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Group shot
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Got snow?
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Alright, now let’s run some courses!!
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Dropping into Gate #3 on Course 1
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Colorado driver Becky Barger working her rig through course 4
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Axial team driver Jason “Sparky J” Rioux on course 3
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Sparky and I working course 5
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More random goodness
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Colorado driver, Jay Robinette
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Brain Parker (left) and Stuart Gartner (right) watch as competitors run their courses. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Stuart Gartner, he is one of the big players in this whole series. Brian and Stuart put in endless and sometimes thankless, hours of work behind the scenes at these AWCCQ Series comps for us. And we thank them for that!!
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And of course “Captain Axial” was on hand passing out free t-shirts to the spectators and competitors. I still find it weird how you never see Parker and Captain Axial in the same place at the same time.
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This guy looks impressed
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Ummm……..
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Colorado driver Matt Boken takes time out from competing to snap a picture with the R/C superhero.
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Here you can see Captain Axial’s ability to blend into any background, almost like a chameleon.
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Rescuing damsels in distress, a hero’s work is never done.
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Time to warm up…
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Once all the dust, snow, and rock settled here is how the top 3 for each class ended up.

Pro Shafty:
1st place Jay Robinette
2nd place Brad “Bender” Dumont
3rd place Kris Donaldson
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Pro M.O.A:
1st place Ryan Winkleman
2nd place Rob Youngsma
3rd place Tom Long
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Sport Class:
1st place Cody Mathews
2nd place Anthony Zajicek
3rd place Ron Loveland
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Rock Candy Sport Winner: Melissa Mathews
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Rock Candy Pro Winner: Becky Barger
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Wow, what a weekend!! Brutal courses but again, those that were some of the best that I’ve driven. Unbridled enthusiasm and comradery between all the competitors is usually the theme at most comps I attend, and this one was no different. Axial Racing would like to thank everyone involved in this event. A big thanks to the Farmington club 4CRC (4 Corners R/C) for all their help in organizing the land use and promotion of this event.  See you in St. George in 2 weeks.

Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier, Round 1

Axial held it’s first AWCC Qualifier this past weekend in the hills of Escondido, CA at scenic Lake Wohlford. This is the first of five events taking place over the next few months. The top 10 drivers from each of the five events will get automatic invites to the Axial West Coast Championships on June 25th-27th at Cisco Grove, CA.

Rain was threatening to make this first event a soggy one, but the Rock Gods smiled upon us by giving us a beautiful sunny day. Comp ring leader, Brian Parker, was out on the rocks at 6 a.m. sharp setting up courses in the dark.  Brian sets up what I would consider national caliber comp courses. A quick walk-through of the 5 courses told everyone in attendance it was time to get serious if they wanted a shot at a podium spot, regardless of the class you signed up for.  Brian has an eye for setting comp courses like no one I’ve ever seen. Not only are the gates challenging, getting from gate to gate was just as big of a challenge.  If you didn’t go scope out the courses a little to figure out your lines beforehand, you probably weren’t going to do very well. You and your rig had to be at the top of your game to even finish these courses and if you did finish, you either had no time left or had to eat a gate or two to get there.

Here’s a few highlights from the mayhem:

Setting everything up first thing in the morning
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Rig tech
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Don Hughes patiently waits his turn in the tech line
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Sunshine was a welcomed sight after nearly 5 straight days of rain
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Dealing with gates like these all day gave new meaning to the term “Do work driver.”
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Game on!!
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Don Clark and his tuber throwing down
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Me on course #3
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Kacie Vess and her Sportsman class AX10
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Jess Downing working course #4
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The Axial superhero showed up about mid day to pass out free swag and keep competitors in check
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Nabil Jamali has his rig blessed by Axial Man before starting his next course
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Don’t ask, I have no idea
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Axial’s own Brandon Coonce working course #2
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Me working gate #2 on course #5
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Brandon on course #5
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The local wildlife was even checking out the comp
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More shots of Brandon Coonce, Josh Theide and myself
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This section was more technical than difficult and consumed a lot of time if you weren’t careful dropping in
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The finish gate on course #3
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Josh working course #3
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Axial Man trying to point the line out to me
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This ledge was impassable by most without taking a gate
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2.2 Sportsman Class winners, 1st place Matt Doyle, 2nd place Kacie Vess, 3rd place Bryce McDougall
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2.2 Shafty Class winners, 1st place Jake Wright, 2nd place Nabil Jamali, 3rd place Chris Dahl (not pictured)
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Overall 2.2 winners, 1st place Jake Wright, 2nd place Jon Privett, 3rd place Don Clark
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All in all this event was an absolute blast. Nice weather, good people, awesome location, great support from sponsors, etc., made for a memorable event. If you couldn’t make this first round of the AWCCQ Series, make it a point to attend one of the other 4 because you won’t be disappointed.

Here is a sweet video shot at the first event thanks to Lisa Budvarson.

Axial WCC Qualifier at Lucia Falls

Axial held it’s first West Coast Championship Qualifier this past weekend at Lucia Falls in Washington. Winning this event gets you a paid invite to the Axial West Coast Championships in Donner California, one of the biggest, baddest R/C rock crawling events of the year!! The comp location of Lucia Falls was absolutely amazing. The scenery was awesome, the terrain was killer, the waterfalls were picturesque and the competition was tough. One of the best comp spots I’ve ever been too personally. Endless lines to choose from for a competition of this level was a key factor to the success of this event. BPRCA’s very own mad scientist/course designer Brian Parker was on hand and laid out some of the funnest courses I’ve ever had the pleasure of running on. Brian threw in almost every situation possible to test man and machine in this epic back country location. Here’s a handful of pics from last Sunday’s comp.

The backdrop
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The mad scientist himself Brian Parker with his “magic stick” laying out the 2.2 courses
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ORCRC’s own Ryan Gerrish setting up the 1.9 and super courses
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Group shot before the madness begins
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Game on!!
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Axial Team Driver Nathan Eells ended up in the first place spot with his SWX AX10 after 5 grueling courses
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Various competitors from the novice and pro classes
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There was a fine line between finishing a course and ending up in the drink
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3rd place finisher Chad Hargrove on course number 4
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Team Axial Driver Dustin Siegfried on course number 1
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More random shots
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After judging all day long Brian Parker ran all 4 courses back to back putting him in 2nd place going into the top 5 shootout
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You had to negotiate 14 gates inside 6 minutes to complete course 4 if you were a pro driver
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Parker “Doing Work”
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3rd place Chad Hargrove
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2nd place Dave Ripplinger
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1st place Nathan Eells
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After all was said and done Sunday afternoon everyone left with a smile on their face. It was one of the best comps I’ve attended. If you are ever up in the great Pacific Northwest, and are into R/C rock crawling, you must make a stop at Lucia Falls for some crawling. You will not be disappointed, I guarantee it!!

Team Axial Driver Nathan Eells Wins 2009 WCC Qualifier

I made the trip up to Lucia Falls in Washington for the first Axial West Coast Championship Qualifier this past weekend. Winning this comp gets you a paid ride into the Axial West Coast Championships in Donner California, one of the biggest, baddest R/C rock crawling events of the year!! Axial Team Driver Nathan Eells (aka Tanis on RCCrawler.com) and his SWX chassis walked away with the win, and paid invite for the 2009 WCC event. Congrats again Nathan on an awesome victory over some of the best drivers in the nation. Look for the full write-up on the event with tons of pictures soon right here on Axial’s Blog. Also keep an eye out for the announcement of Axial’s full team of drivers as well.

Top 5 Pro Drivers
1st Nathan Eells
2nd Dave Ripplinger
3rd Chad Hargrove
4th Brian Parker
5th Brad Dumont

Brian Parker (left) and Nathan Eells (right)
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Nathan’s winning SWX AX10
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