My location: United States
Dec 22, 2008

Another good event for Serpent America at the Toys for Tots race.

Toys for Tots Race 2008

Every year the Homestead race crew holds the \"Toys for Tots\" race for the less privileged children. I love being apart of this race to raise as many toys as possible. It is nice to see racers in a different mind frame. Putting the kids first and being a part of an awesome cause.

The attached pictures show DJ’s TQ and Winning Serpent 960 along with Paolo who performed excellent pit during the final.

The 960-08 set-up is posted under set-ups section in racing or in the 903008 page. Try it, its different.

DJ and pit-mate Paolo.

This year was a very good turnout of toys and the level of racing was very high. Paolo and myself both wanted to be a part of such an honorable event.

I showed up on Sunday morning, since I could not go Saturday to practice. I started with a completely new set-up I wanted to try. The last time I drove the 960 it was too twitchy for me. I drive the car more like a sedan and needed to get the car smooth, but fast. I will post my set-up on the serpent web site within a few days. On sunday morning I started with working on the motors and finding a smooth power band for me. I played with gearing, header and tires. The chassis itself I was going to work on last. As it turned out I did not have to work on the chassis at all.

From practice to the start of qualifying my chassis was great. In the first qualifier I was running a close race for 1st and ran out of fuel. For the second round I made some changes and put the motor on edge to make the time. It was a little slower and not as consistent, but I made the time and was able to take the TQ for the day, while also setting a new track record. This made me happy, since I was not really sure what to expect with the car. For the main I made one small change and went from 4mm of caster to 2mm. Wow this made my car perfect. I was able to drive hard where ever I wanted and the car was perfect. Serpent was looking good with myself and Paolo in the final. For the final I planned on pushing hard at the beginning and seeing what the other drivers would do. I was hoping to get them to push also and make them run my race. In the warm-up Paolo broke a motor and ended up pitting for me in the final.

I had to pit early since I put the motor back to normal and knew I could not make time. I was going to have to make 1 extra pit so I needed to make some ground on second. At the beginning I started to pull ground and was able to pull some really fast laps. By the 10 minute mark, of a 20 minute race, I was about 1/2 lap on Danny in second. I miss calculated the tire wear and from about the 15 minute mark started to slow down. I was still as fast as 2nd, but was no longer pulling away. With having to make and extra pit and Danny trying to make the normal pits it was going to be close. At the 16 minute mark Paolo called me in so I could spend the remanding time on the track trying to chase Danny. When I came in for the last stop I was about 6 second in front and with the pit I came out 1 second behind. Danny and I ran within that 1 second for the rest of the race and I was trying to calculate (in my head) if he could make time. Based on his pit stop I though he would run about 2 laps short. With 30 second to go he was still running and now I was getting worried, but then it happened. On the last lap he ran out and I was able to take the win. It felt really good, since we both played different strategies it came down to the wire. In the end it felt great to have the TQ, New Track Record, New Lap Record and then to take the win. That capped the entire event for me and my pit crew.

I would like to thank the entire Homestead Crew for the great work and for having an event to help the kids. Thanks to Eduardo Cabal, Kevin Hutchinson and Paolo for the pit help through the day. I also would like to thank my sponsors; the Novarossi motor was ballistic, the Maxy\'s fuel was good and the Twister Tires were outstanding. That combined with the Xceed tools and Serpent 960 08\' made for the perfect combination. Thank again !!!!!!!!!!!!

Till next race ..........

DJ Apolaro