My location: United States
May 28, 2008

Team Serpent USA driver Randy Caster took part in one America best known events the Reedy Race where he was in action at the controls of the S400. Here is his account of the big race -

We arrived at the 08 Reedy Race on Thursday and got our pits set up. I got my car all together and ready to go, but when I went out for my first round of practice, my car had no steering. Somehow the circuit board on my servo had gone bad and the servo was dead causing me to miss my first run. I put a new servo in and got on the track for the second round of practice, got a full run in, but the car was very loose. I put more rear toe into the car and completed rounds 3-8 of practice finishing in the top 3 fastest runs in each of those rounds, and set the fastest time in practice in the last round which gave me tons of confidence going into the next day which would begin the qualifiers.

We got to the track early on Friday morning, but it had rained through most of the night and everything was soaked. The decision was made that everyone would come back around noon as there was supposed to be a break in weather, and qualifiers would start in the early afternoon. The track crew did an excellent job of prepping the track, and the grip barely changed from the previous day.

In my first qualifier electronic problems caused me to pull off after only 7 laps, which stuck me in dead last for the round. They used qualpoints counting your top 2 of 4 rounds, so I knew I had to do well in all of the other rounds in order to make the main at this point. We completed rounds 2 and 3 of qualifying that day, and I managed to get a 3rd place finish and a 2nd place finish, which put me 3rd qualifier after that day. The rain held off through the night, and the track was at it\'s fastest of the week on Sunday morning. I managed to TQ the last round of qualifying again setting the fastest time in the open class, boosting my confidence again for the mains.

I tied in points for 2nd on the grid, and when they combined our 2 fastest runs times I lost the tiebreaker by a second, sitting me 3rd on the grid. At the tone on A1 I got a great start and moved into 2nd place mid-way through the first lap. I got hit by a car just after I took over 2nd and my car got stuck on a pipe letting the entire field pass before I got marshalled. I caught back up to the field and worked my way up to 6th place in A1. In A2 I got another great start and the top 3 cars pulled away from the field and stayed within about a half second of each other in the first minute when my car unexpectedly broke loose and spun around. This happened a couple more times putting me back to mid field and again finishing 6th. Unfortunately the hit in my first main broke both of my rear dogbone blades and pitted my outdrives badly, and without enough time to put new outdrives in the diff I could only replace the blades before A2, once the blades wore out the car started spinning out.

Again in A3 I had a good start, and it was now the top 4 cars breaking away from the field. Again at about a minute into the race my blades wore out and my car started breaking loose, but I could predict it a bit better this run and used it to my advantage to gain steering through the tight areas on the track. I worked my way up to 2nd place and reeled in the leader from about 5 seconds down, but I ran out of time and finished about 10 feet behind him at the line.

I had managed to get 8 points out of the mains, which gave me a 5th place finishing position. The S400 was excellent from the start of practice all the way through the mains, I just had some unfortunate luck which I feel cost me a very good shot at winning the race. The ROAR nationals begin in about 3 weeks from now on a very similar track and I definately feel that my Reedy Race setup will be extremely competitive there.



[i]Special thanks to Boomers World and Carl Hyndman for the race pics[/i]