This past summer the HobbyTown USA HobbyPlex in Omaha, NE held its annual Summer Series.

For 10 years now they have conducted a Summer Series starting way back in 2005 when they still ran on their outdoor track.

A new building was built over the old outdoor track in 2011 and since 2012 this series has ran under a roof. Starting in 2013 Team Associated and Reedy became the official title sponsor for this series.

There were six rounds for this series, and your best five finishes counted towards your overall points in each class you competed in. So you had one drop in case you had bad luck in one round or couldn’t make the event that weekend. In any round if you finished in 1st place you received 100 points, 2nd place would earn 99, and so forth. If you were the top qualifier for a class that round you also received one bonus point even if you didn’t finish the A Main in 1st place. So the magic number to capture a class win in the series was 500, and heading into the finals this past Saturday four of nine class titles were already decided.

Each round consisted of a one day race on a Saturday with the doors opening at 7am, open practice till about 10:30am, and then IFMAR style qualifying starting at 11am. Each qualifier ran for five minutes, and after the first round of qualifying was complete drivers would be resorted so that in the 2nd qualifier they ran in a heat with drivers at a similar pace. Then after the qualifying was complete the Mains would be printed. Each lower main ran for 5 minutes and the top two finishers would bump up into the next higher main and race later on. Each single A main consisted of a full 10 car field, and they competed for eight minutes except for the PlexSpec Beginner class which only ran for five minutes in their main.

Since this was the finals they were also many door prizes to be given away that day. Only drivers that have competed in five rounds were eligible for all the giveaways.

When qualifying drivers signed up in round 6, they received a small brown paper sack, and inside there were some small prizes plus a raffle ticket. They would take that ticket and match it up to the prizes laid on the tables near the pit area.

If they couldn’t match their ticket up to anything on the table then this meant they were the lucky winner of a more expensive door prize that was located in the race director’s booth!

The HobbyPlex also held a raffle for new a RC10 Worlds kit. Drivers and spectators could purchase as many tickets as they wanted, and the winning ticket was drawn shortly before the mains.

Alyssa Valles was the big winner and walked away with a new kit that day!

And as if that wasn’t enough, the title sponsor Team Associated also donated some vehicles to be given away too.

One kit or RTR vehicle was available for each class, and drivers that raced a minimum of five rounds were eligible to win.

All the qualified driver’s names were literally placed in a hat and then a name was drawn. So depending on the number of eligible drivers in each class, your odds could be very high or very low. And if you were competing in more than one class, you could only receive one free kit that day, so no double dipping was allowed.

These were all handed out during the award ceremony and it put a big smile on the lucky winner’s faces, especially one young Plexspec Beginners racer.

After the drawing was completed for the Plexspec Beginners class, other classes started to draw for the vehicle giveaways. In the Mod Truck class, veteran racer Mack Vanderbeek won a new T5M kit. But instead of accepting it he decided to give it away to the racers in the Plexspec Beginners class so Jake Wiggs was able to win a new T5M kit! Great job by Mack!!

But what we were really all in Omaha for was the racing, so here is how the series shook down coming into the finals.

Plexspec Beginners

After five rounds, Jake Wiggs lead over Jacob Heidbreder by two points. Jake would TQ qualifying that day, but in the A Main Jacob took the win. But once all the points and drops were calculated, Jake would take the overall series title by one point, Jacob then took 2nd, and Zane Kern took 3rd.

17.5 Stock Truck

After five rounds of racing, Zach Edenburn had already captured the overall title and decided to sit this round out. Cole Henriksen was sitting in 2nd place with a comfortable lead over Chad Rubenking and Todd Brewer. So the real battle that day was between Chad and Todd for 3rd place. Chad was on fire during the finals and he was able to TQ and win that day. This firmly cemented him into 3rd place for the series, and Cole stayed in 2nd.

4wd Modified

HobbyPlex’s race director Alex Sturgeon captured this overall title after five rounds and sat out the finals. Tom Rindernecht had a solid lead in 2nd place, so the real battle that day was between Alex Vanderbeek and Derek Wood since they came into the finals tied in points with one drop each. Alex would finish ahead of Derek in the single A Main and take final spot on the podium for the series with Tom staying in 2nd place.

17.5 Stock SCT

Just like 17.5 Stock Truck, Zach Edenburn had already captured this title and sat out for round 6. The real battle coming into the finals was for 2nd place between Brady Shay and Cole Henriksen. But Brady was unable to attend this round, and with a TQ and win that day, Cole firmly placed himself into 2nd place for the series. Todd Brewer finished strong that day in 2nd place in the A Main, but it wasn’t enough to pass Brady in points so he held onto 3rd place for the series.

Pro 2 SCT

Leading up to the finals, Alex Vanderbeek had totally dominated this class. In the four previous rounds he had attended, he won all four mains and that included three TQs. But he still hadn’t reached the magic 500 number, and still needed to finish strong in round six to capture the series title. He would TQ and win again in this round, so the real battle was for 2nd place between Dan Belcher, James Nelson, and Rob Turner. In the Main, Dan was able to finish higher than James, so that gave him 2nd place overall in the series, and James took 3rd place.

17.5 Stock Buggy

It is starting to sound like déjà vu in the stock classes, since again after five weeks Zach Edenburn had wrapped this title up. He did compete in this class for round six, but the real battle on the track was for 3rd place between Chad Rubenking and Brady Shay. Chad finished in 3rd place in the A Main, and since Brady wasn’t able to race, this gave Chad 3rd place for the series. Cole Henriksen TQed and won in the A Main in this round and that also gave him 2nd place for the series as well.

2wd Modified

Coming into the finals, the battle for 1st place was between Alex Sturgeon and Derek Wood. They both had two wins in previous rounds, and were only separated by four points. Alex Vanderbeek was just coming off a Round five win in this class, but he was sitting in 3rd place for points with only a one point lead over his father Mack Vanderbeek. In the single A Main, Derek had some bad luck and broke out after one lap. Alex Vanderbeek was able to TQ and lap the entire field to take the A Main win. But when the points were tallied, the series title went to Alex Sturgeon, with Derek taking 2nd place in a tie breaker with Alex Vanderbeek who then finished in 3rd.

Mod Truck

Mack Vanderbeek held a slim four point lead over Derek Richtsmeier coming into round six. The battle for 3rd place was also close since Drew Rubenking only led Dustin Hosick by one point. Mack went on to TQ and win in the final round with Drew taking 2nd and Derek in 3rd. But after the series points were calculated, Derek and Drew flipped positions, so Drew end up in 3rd for the series, Derek landed in 2nd, and Mack captured the overall title.

Pro 4 SCT

After five previous rounds, Taylan Schoen had a four point lead over Dan Blecher and Mitchell Pavel. Dan and Mitchell were also locked into a good battle since they were tied in points. And sitting just two points behind them was Dan Stevens so a lot was on the line for the single main this day. Taylan would TQ and win in round six, with Dan ending up in 2nd and Mitchell in 3rd. After the points were tallied up, the drivers would finish in the same order for the series.

So this wraps up yet another successful Summer Series at the Plex. I had fun covering this event plus competing in it all summer long. Special thanks to the HobbyPlex crew, the series sponsors, and the racers that competed this year. Below are the links to all the videos I shot over the summer for each round I attended, and I hope to compete at the series next year. Till next time!

Round 1:


Round 3:

Round 4: N/A

Round 5:

Round 6: