The 15th Annual Hobby Haven Off-Road Shootout was held over the Labor Day weekend in Urbandale, IA. This is one of the biggest off-road races each year in the Midwest, and this year was no different as we saw 260 entries competing in 10 different classes. But not only did we see Midwest drivers from Iowa and surrounding states like Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Illinois, and Wisconsin at this year's race, but there were also drivers competing from distant states like Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Florida. At this year's race there were many familiar faces along with a few new ones.

JConcepts was the official Platinum sponsor for the sixth year in a row, and for the third consecutive year Florida native Dave Duncan flew in to compete at the Shootout and offer product support to all the JConcepts drivers in attendance.

Team Losi Racing was this year's official Gold sponsor and they flew in factory pilot Dustin Evans to compete at the Shootout in three different modified classes.

This was Dustin's first time at this race and he also provided support to all the TLR drivers in attendance.

X Factory was also in attendance again this year, and for the fourth consecutive time they were the official sponsor of the Stock 2WD Buggy class. This class was the biggest class of the weekend with 48 entries, and the highest finishing driver without a chassis sponsor in this class would receive a FREE X - 6 Cubed conversion kit. Plus on Friday night they were going to host a FREE R/C seminar at 7:30pm after practice had concluded that day.

Another new factory driver to the Shootout was Team Associated's Chad Due.

He also competed in three different modified classes while helping out fellow AE drivers with question regarding setup, tire selection, etc.

Also making his first time to the Shootout was world class RC announcer Scotty Ernst.

Scotty made the trip down from Wisconsin to compete in three different classes that weekend, and even volunteered do some guest announcing for some of the races on Sunday.

The race program for this year called for controlled practice on Friday, three rounds of IFMAR style qualifying on Saturday, and on Sunday door prizes would be handed out followed by all of the mains.

Since this race is held outdoors weather is always a factor in how the entire event would run. Thursday night into Friday morning the track was pounded with three inches of rain.

Drivers arrived to the track early that day only to be greeted with a closed track.

The track crew worked feverishly to get the track dried out so that drivers could get some laps in that day.

Bags of lime were brought in to pour on the track surface and the crew worked it into the dirt and then waited for the sun to do the rest.

Once the rain was soaked up the crew worked to smooth out the surface of the track and practice began around 2:30pm. But unfortunately a second storm front rolled in and practice was cancelled for the day.

Storms continued throughout the night, but the forecast for Saturday was sunny with no rain. However, another 2 inches of rain had fallen overnight so once again the lime was brought in and the team went back to work along with some racers who volunteered to help.

At this point it would not be possible to hold all three qualifiers on Saturday now. So in the driver's meeting the race director decided to run two qualifiers today and the third would be pushed back until Sunday.

Since we were waiting for the track to dry out we decided to hand out the door prizes next. Each racer was handed a brown paper sack that contained their raffle ticket plus door prizes that fit inside.

Then each racer received a FREE JConcepts event shirt and commemorative pit towel from Hobby Haven.

Once these were handed out racers checked their tickets as we started to give away the larger items.

The racers were treated with some awesome door prizes thanks to the Shootout's many generous sponsors!

Mitchell Pavel was the lucky winner of a new TLR 22 2.0 kit, pit mat and bottles of shock oil. TLR driver Dustin Evans presented Mitchell with the grand prize.

Around 11am the track was runnable again so we held practice for 2 hours, and then began the first round of qualifying.

The track's surface was both very hard and slick since the track crew had to use 1600 pounds of lime now to rebuild the track two different times by this point. Drivers now had to scramble to find the right tire to hook up with the new surface which included many indoor tires.

Qualifying went till about 10:30pm that night as we finished the frist two rounds of qualifying.

Immediately after the qualifying was done for the day X Factory held their FREE seminar that was postponed from Friday.

Chief Engineer Paul Sinclair answered questions from the racers in attendance, and X Factory even provided some free pizza to all who attended.

On Sunday racers made their way back to the track for the final day of the Shootout. The forecast called for storms early that evening, so to make sure that we could complete qualifying and the mains safely it was decided that we would run single 5 minutes mains right after the third round of qualifying.

Once again this year all 10 cars in the A Mains would be decked out with special number plates thanks to FactoryOne RC and their "Quest For The Red Plate" promotion. Racers who TQ their class received a white number 1 sticker with a red background, and positions 2-10 ran stickers with black numbers on a white background. These decals not only helped to line up the cars for each main, but they also made it easier to identify them for the race director and spectators in attendance.

The racing was intense in the winner take all single mains, especially in the Stock classes where many TQs would not finish on top of the podium. We were able to finish all of the mains that day with only a few sprinkles falling from the sky.

Once the racing had wrapped up it was time to hand out the hardware plus the special awards from our class sponsors.

The highest finishing non chassis sponsored driver in the Stock 2WD Buggy Class was Greg Guertin so he received a FREE X - 6 Cubed conversion kit.

ORCA was the official sponsor of the Mod 2WD Buggy class, and they gave away one of their brushless ESCs and a LiPo battery to the highest finishing driver that didn't currently already have an electronics sponsorship. After the dust had settled Derek Wood walked away with a new power system courtesy of ORCA.

Over in the Stock 2WD SCT class, REDS Racing USA was the official sponsor and they awarded a partial sponsorship to the highest finishing unsponsored driver in this class. James Nelson was third on the podium this year and was the winner of this sponsorship plus he received a REDS Racing USA t-shirt, banner, and VX 540 17.5 brushless motor.

Just A Print Promotions was the official sponsor of the Stock Stadium Truck class, and all three drivers that made the podium received a "check" for their hard work that weekend.

MB2 Raceway Iowa ran a unique promotion at this year's race called the 2nd Place Winner Awards. In all 10 classes, the 2nd place finisher received a gift certificate good for a FREE 14 lap race at MB2 Raceway Iowa. We were scheduled to also give away 10 more gift certificates Friday night, but since practice got cancelled we gave away those race passes to each 3rd place finisher too.

Finally, a new sponsor to this year's race was CowRC. They created a custom Cow RC jumbo (24" x 30") magnetic pit with matching vinyl valued at approximately $125. To earn this special award a racer had to go above and beyond at this year's Shootout. Local racer Paul Edenburn spent many hours working on the track before and during the race, plus he repaired the announcer's booth and hung up many of the banners on the track. So thanks to his hard work and dedication he was this year's recipient of the CowRC Shootout Sportsmanship award!

So once again another successful Shootout is in the books. This race gets bigger and better each year and I can't wait to see what new surprises are in store for next year's event!


1. Easton Mccormick
2. Emerson Sturgeon
3. John Rockwood

TQ was Aiden Olson

Vintage 2WD Buggy

1. Dave Smith (TQ)
2. Greg Guertin
3. Rich Richtsmeier

Stock 2WD SCT

1. Scotty Ernst
2. Dave Duncan (TQ)
3. James Nelson

Stock Truck

1. Dave Duncan
2. Scotty Ernst (TQ)
3. Zane Johnson

Stock 2WD Buggy

1. Corey Liebherr
2. Scotty Ernst
3. Sarah Ann Ernst (TQ)

Modified 4WD Buggy

1. Dustin Evans (TQ)
2. Chad Due
3. Alex Sturgeon

Modified Truck

1. Neil Feneis (TQ)
2. David Fast
3. Jamie Ferrell

Modified 2WD SCT

1. Dustin Evans (TQ)
2. Chad Due
3. Alex Vanderbeek

Modified 2WD Buggy

1. Dustin Evans (TQ)
2. Cole Tollard
3. Alex Vanderbeek

Modified 4WD SCT

1. Dustin Hosick (TQ)
2. Adam Grimm
3. Mitchell Pavel