The 2012 Sportsman Off-Road Shootout at LSR Speedway in Sacramento on Saturday featured great racing action, an amazing raffle, and fun for all. Hosted by BMiller Racing and directed by Randy Pike Race Productions, the first-ever Sportsman Shootout featured more than 100 entries comprised of intermediate and novice level racers. Also on hand were pro drivers from Tekin, Panther Tires, A Main Hobbies, and BMiller Racing, providing assistance and direction for all the racers throughout the day.
“This was a unique event that gave sportsman and novice drivers a chance to compete against fellow competitors at their same level,” stated Pike. “The racing proved to be outstanding. Everyone improved over the course of the day, and the mains were very exciting. With pro drivers also on-hand to provide instruction, the Sportsman Shootout was a tremendous success.”
The day’s activities featured three rounds of qualifying and mains in five classes – 2wd Open Buggy, 2wd Short Course, 4wd Short Course, Stadium Truck, and Rookie Debut.
Local veteran racer Tom Leman came away with the victory in 2wd Open Buggy, keeping fellow local and TQ Travis Ott at bay over the final three minutes of the eight-minute A main. Hugo Colmenero finished third.
Richard Bautista made the trip from to Clear Lake, California to compete in four classes and walked away with the title in Stadium Truck after qualifying in the seventh spot. Young phenom Drew Lorenzo finished second and Brian Romo was third in the eight-minute main.
Nine-year-old Lorenzo stepped to the top of the box in 4wd Short Course, putting together an outstanding showing during the six-minute A main to win convincingly.
Mike Johnson held off a charging Aaron Chinn by less than five-tenths of a second for second and third, respectively.
In 2wd Short Course, local newcomer Jace Tillman survived the attrition to pull out the victory in the eight-minute A main. Lorenzo led the first half of the race but then broke. Johnson held the top spot for a few laps but then also had to retire due to mechanical failure, putting the steady Tillman in first with three minutes to go. Chris Budd and Matthew Yapelli battled in the final laps to finish second and third, respectively, but could not catch Tillman.
The concept behind the development of the Sportsman Shootout was to give intermediate and novice drivers an event that was focused solely on having fun and the enjoyment of racing against similar level racers. That led to the addition of a Rookie Debut class. Racers of all ages competed in the class with Garrison Samples pulling off the win, followed by Gregory Yee, Jr. and Melissa Elze.
The raffle proved to be one of the biggest highlights of the day with prizes for pretty much everyone in attendance. Numerous RC industry leaders stepped up in a big way with raffle prizes, including Tekin, Team Losi Racing, Team Associated, A Main Hobbies, Panther Tires, Great Planes Hobby, Futaba, Racer’s Edge, B-Fast R/C Performance Products, DE Racing, RPM RC Products, Duratrax, RC Insider, and Chef Dave.
Sportsmanship and big smiles certainly were prevalent throughout the day, not only on the track, but in the pits as well. It was great to see buggy driver and LSR regular Brian Crum win a Reedy charger in the raffle, and then hand it over to young Couver Smith, who did not own a charger of his own.
Another sampling of the behind the scenes highlights came in the C main of 2wd Short Course when little Cameron Townsend won for the first time in his young RC career. His dad was overwhelmed with joy as Cameron walked off the drivers stand and gave him a huge hug. But that meant a bump into the B main, and suddenly Dad realized, “oh wait, what do we do now – do we have time to charge a battery?” Of course there were plenty of people right there on hand to help young Cameron and Dad get ready for the B main. Oh for the joys of that first-ever win!
A special thanks goes out to track owners Scott and Heather Rowles and the LSR track crew and race volunteers. The clay track and new layout was dialed, and the program was smooth, efficient, and entertaining. The only question everyone was asking as they left the building was … when is the next Sportsman Off-Road Shootout?