Badlands R/C SupercrossDecember 5, 2008
Event Name: 7th Annual Fall Brawl
Event Location: Badlands R/C Supercross, Myrtle Beach, SC
Over the weekend of December 5-7 some of the fastest racers from the East Coast gathered in Myrtle Beach, SC for the 7th annual Fall Brawl at The Badlands R/C Supercross. Racers came from PA, MD, VA, NC, SC, WV, and GA. The race is known for its high traction and high-speed racing. This year's weather was much different, with some rain on Thursday before the race accompanied by unseasonably cool temperatures. The track started out very slick for qualifying on Saturday, but by the final mains on Sunday the groove came in and it was the Badlands that we have come to expect. The Badlands race directors did an awesome job with the organization of the race, as 130 racers were able to run four rounds of qualifying and leave the track right at dark.
Team Associated drivers in attendance were Ryan Maifield, Brandon Melton, and Chris Pace. Brandon and Chris have turned many laps in the past at the facility and were confident going down that the team would have great results. The team felt comfortable with the setups that were in place and spent Friday testing tire combinations for what would be used in more varying conditions than usual.
In buggy qualifying, local Losi driver and track favorite Travis Dupree showed that he would not back down easily on his home turf. Travis TQ'd three out of four rounds using qual points, but during the last round of qualifying Ryan Maifield hit his RC8 tire set perfectly and went on to best Travis's fastest run by 2 seconds as the temps dropped and the track slowed down. Brandon Melton took second for the round and Chris Pace took fourth. The last round success of the team gave great confidence going into the main as all 3 drivers were comfortably in the main with Ryan second, Brandon fourth, and Chris sixth.
In truggy qualifying, it was all Ryan Maifield as he grabbed the TQ spot with his RC8T. Ryan TQ'd three out of the four rounds to comfortably start 1st for the mains. Chris fell victim of a rare electrical problem on a great run which would have allowed him to move up in the order. Local racer Jason Smith put in a great round to grab TQ for the second round. Truggy qualifying would see Ryan TQ, Chris start fourth, and Brandon seventh.
The Buggy main event was one to remember, and proved to be a crowd favorite. Travis Dupree had shown during qualifying that he would have the speed to compete for the win; however, everyone knew that Ryan would be rock solid when the race is on the line. At the tone, the start of the race was fairly clean and the top five cars or so got out to a good start. Ryan was able to make a clean pass early on Travis and after a small bobble, Brandon would take over the second position. He would hold this position until the first fuel stop, and then Travis moved back into second and set his sights ahead to Maifield. Throughout the entire main the two leaders were within seconds of each other, and then with about 10 minutes to go, Travis would catch Ryan for an unbelievable battle. The two rubbed wheels and swapped spots a couple times. Ryan short pitted to break themselves of each other which would leave him a little more than 8 minutes to run to the end. After stops were complete, the whole crowd would not be disappointed in the treat that they witnessed. After coincidental contact in mid air, Ryan would wait for Travis with about four minutes to go. In the stretch, Ryan's consistency and clutch driving along with extended fuel mileage would prove superior as he went on to take the win and a check for $500, compliments of the Badlands Supercross.
In the Truggy main event, it was the Ryan Maifield show, as Ryan led from tone to tone. The rest of the field had an awesome battle that would show Brandon Melton, Chris Pace, Barry Pettit, and Shannon Amos battle for the 3-6 spots throughout the first couple pit stops. Brandon unfortunately fell out early, and Chris Pace was able to grab the last podium spot finishing a strong third place. As a sign of true sportsmanship, Maifield donated the $300 cash prize for winning Truggy to a local racer who had a tough weekend of racing.
Thanks to the organizers and sponsors for an excellent event.
(Photos courtesy of www.thebadlands3.com)