The final round of the 2016 Team Associated/Reedy Summer Series at the Plex was held on July 9th in Omaha, NE at the Hobbytown USA Hobbyplex. Since 2005 the Hobbyplex has ran its annual Summer Series on both their old outdoor track, and more recently their indoor track. But this is the 4th year in a row that Team Associated and Reedy were named the title sponsor for this entire series.

This year's series saw a record turnout for attendance due to many new drivers from surrounding states. The Plex will be hosting the 2016 ROAR 1/10 Electric Off-Road Nationals next month, so many drivers wanted to attend this series so they could get some track time in preparation for that event too.

Normally the series runs for 6 Rounds and only your best 5 Rounds count towards your overall points in each class you compete in. But since they are hosting the ROAR event in August this year's series only ran for 5 Rounds and your best scores from 4 Rounds were used to calculate your overall score.

The way your overall score was tallied went like this. For each round if you finished in 1st place you received 100 points, 2nd place would earn 99, and so on. 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.

Each round of the series was held on a Saturday and consisted of 2 qualifiers and single A Mains. A brief practice session for the new layout was held the night before starting at 4pm, and then on Saturday the doors would open up at 7am for open practice till 10:30am. Then after a brief driver's meeting, the sheets were posted and 2 rounds of IFMAR style qualifying would begin 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. Your best qualifying run would be used to seat you for the mains, and only the top 8 qualifiers were locked into their respective class A Mains. 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 A main.

Since this was the finals, and also the last "big" race before the ROAR Nats next month, many pro drivers and race teams were in attendance to get in some extra testing. And on Sunday, the HobbyPlex ran a controlled practice session from 10am to 6pm. Since the track would be grooved in from the day before, this meant that the track conditions would be very similar to the ROAR Nats in a few weeks, and drivers had to simply pick up a $10 wristband in order to cut some more laps.

Photo credit: Jared Tebo

Multiple IFMAR and National champion driver Jared Tebo made his way to the last 2 finals rounds of the Summer Series. He was running a prototype Kyosho RB6.6 with a laydown transmission which officially debuted at the 19th Annual Hot Rod Hobbies Off-Road Shootout last weekend.

Photo credit: Paul Wynn

JConcepts engineer Paul Wynn was in attendance to run some more testing on the track surface, plus support the team drivers for the finals.

Photo credit: HobbyTown

Starting on July 12th, the 2016 HobbyTown National Convention was held over in Lincoln, NE at the Embassy Suites. So in preparation for that event Team Associated flew out early so they could also attend the finals too. They flew out Traci Hohwart and Nick Wautlet to attend the convention, support the customers and race team, plus engineer Kody Numedahl was also in attendance that weekend for extended testing and product support.

And since this was the finals, there was lots of RC swag to be given away!

Any driver who competed in 4 Rounds had a chance to win a new kit or RTR vehicle for each class they competed in courtesy of Team Associated!!

So for example, if you competed in 2 classes, and competed in 4 Rounds for each class, you had 2 chances to win a new car that day!

The finals also meant some awesome door prizes for any racer that competed in 4 Rounds too. Each qualifying driver was awarded 2 raffle tickets which they used to find their goodies located near the Team Associated pits. Some great prizes were handed out thanks to the title sponsors, plus other sponsors like JConcepts, AKA, Schelle, and more!!

And to sweeten the deal, Team Associated also gave away one of their new RC10B6D kits. To qualify for that you had to show the Associated reps in attendance that you were either using an Associated Vehicle, or a Reedy ESC and motor.

Iowa racer Dave Peavler took home the kit, and Reedy also decided to give away a few ESCs which made some racer's day too!!!

Speaking of Associated, their highly anticipated B6 and B6D kits were finally in the hands of team drivers, and for the finals many B6D buggies were spotted in the pits.

Many were running the stock kit setup, but some drivers were experimenting with the optional laydown transmission that comes standard with the B6 kit.

Finally, an impromptu event that was held during the finals was the Team Oreo Drift Challenge. The Plex has a large indoor carpet track located near the pit area so it is very common to see racers wheeling on road cars around the track to kill time on a long race day. Emerson Sturgeon ran this mini event before the mains and it consisted of drivers maneuvering around an obstacle course and also sliding into a parking space.

The best overall score took home the title and this year's winner was local racer Kevin Lesac!

Now let's get down to business and talk about the race series itself!

Plexspec Beginners

Coming into the finals in 1st place was Chris Fields who had a 4 point lead over John Geisinger in 2nd, and Zane kern was 5 points behind John in 3rd. After the finals had completed, those 3 drivers would finish the series in that same order.

13.5 4wd Buggy

A new class for this year's Series was the 13.5 4wd Buggy class. Heading into the finals, local driver Kyle Gannon had a comfortable 7 point lead over Iowa driver Josh Havens. The battle for 3rd was between Iowa drivers Cole Henriksen and Chad Rubenking, plus local racer Don Drozd. When everything was added up, Kyle took 1st, Josh 2nd, and Chad 3rd.

17.5 Truck

After 4 rounds, Dave Peavler had locked up the series title. 2nd place points leader Kevin Lesac had a 6 point lead over 3rd place, so the real battle was for 3rd-6th since many drivers were a few points apart. After all the dust had settled, Kevin Lesac would retain 2nd place, Iowa driver Jon Berding would take 3rd, and of course Dave finished in 1st place.

4wd Modified

Heading into the finals, local racer Derek Wood was sitting in 1st place with only a 1 point lead over Iowa driver Tom Rinderknecht. 2 points behind Tom in 3rd place was Kansas driver Dave Alberico who held a 5 point lead over 4th. So after an exciting A Main, the points were tallied and Derek Wood would retain 1st place, with Dave Alberico taking 2nd and Tom 3rd.

17.5 SCT

In this class Iowa driver Cole Henriksen held a slim 2 point lead over 2nd place local driver Dan Bleacher. Tied for 3rd place behind Dan was local driver Todd Brewer and Iowa driver Jon Berding, who were both 3 points behind Dan. After the final truck had crossed the line, the points were added up and Dan took the overall title, with Cole in 2nd and Todd in 3rd.

17.5 2wd Buggy

This class was the most competitive all summer since 36 drivers competed in it. Coming into the finals local driver Kyle Gannon was tied for 1st place with Kansas driver Dalton Redd. Iowa drivers Josh Havens and Dave Peavler were tied for 3rd place, and fellow Iowa driver Cole Henriksen was only 3 points behind them. After another close A Main, Dalton would capture the series title, Kyle would take 2nd, and Dave 3rd place.

2wd Modified

Coming into the finals, sitting in 1st place was Iowa driver Alex Vanderbeek. Local driver and race director Alex Sturgeon was only 2 points behind him, and the battle for 3rd was between Iowa driver Tom Rinderknecht and local racer Derek Wood. After the A Main was officially in the books, Alex Sturgeon took home 1st place in a tie breaker which meant 2nd place went to Alex Vanderbeek, and Derek captured 3rd.

Mod Truck

For the finals, Iowa Driver Alex Vanderbeek held a slim 3 point lead over local driver Derek Wood. Siting 2 points behind Derek was local racer Will Brinton. After the points were all added up, those 3 drivers would finish in that same order.

Pro 4 SCT

After 4 rounds of exciting slashing, bashing, and crashing local driver Don Drozd held a slim 1 point lead over fellow Omaha driver Dan Bleacher. The battle for 3rd place was between Nebraska driver Mitchell Pavel and Dan Stevens. After another exciting and entertaining A Main, Don would take home the title, Dan held onto 2nd, and Mitchell finished in 3rd.

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 in the series next year. Till next time!

Round 1:


Round 3:

Round 4: N/A

Round 5: