The 310 degree mistake.
I found out the hard way…
Always temp your motors. Even if you never change the gearing because air temps, track conditions and running gear condition are always large contributors to motor heat. You just never know if you have a bearing hanging up that could cause this and increase temperatures. In oval racing I try to keep the motor temps under 170˚. Most manufactures say 160˚ to 165˚ is where you should be, but at some point you may have to gear it more, if so do not go over 180˚ as you can still lose Magnet strength going over even just 165˚.
So how did I reach 301˚? My race was 150 lap special event tied to the points race and that day the track was “heavier”. I had a little push in the feature so I was using a little brake to turn the car by trying to slide the rear a little. Now in oval racing you are already sliding sideways thru the corners. The added traction and added braking along with a longer race caused my motor temps to rocket to the 310˚ mark. This melted the sensor wires right off the motor! I lost my best motor trying to keep the point lead and I was running 3rd in the race. It cost me way more than my $50 third place prize money… because I thought I could just pop in a new motor and off we go……. Wrong again…. My new motor was not as fast and after burning the other one up this was starting to get pricey. I always temp motors now. It’s a good habit to get into and will save you time, money and your race position!
All this talk brings me back to the point of maintenance. If you want to be fast and stay fast you need to take your car apart regularly to check for broken or loose parts. In the end you will be happier finding a loose part before you encounter it vs. having it fall off during a race.
Lately I have been doing fairly well with a handful of podium finishes. When I won my first feature in the summer series at Attitude Raceway I thought I would be getting more, but besides the podium 2nd and 3rd place finishes I have been leading at times but the ball is not bouncing my way as I have either hit a car or even spun out on my own. Don’t get frustrated if this happens to you. Keep pushing yourself and remember to have fun. Sometimes we can get caught up in points races and start to lose a little fun out of the hobby.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying “Don’t be competitive” as I am even more competitive than before. Just remember to smile once in awhile and have a good time. I am really into trying to get the win, but it might be awhile before I do again so always cherish your wins! Bring a camera for the memory and always keep your mind and eyes open to keep learning as you can always find something you didn’t know before, and sometimes even from the brand new people that you are helping at the track.
Getting the photo of my car in RC Car Action Magazine (http://www.rccaraction-digital.com/rccaraction/november_2013#pg27) was a real cool deal. I try whatever I can do to make my car stand out and I like to represent Venom, Atomik and my other sponsors with a flash of color and something that draws people to look at. I’m also trying to get the best exposure for them and when they put my car in the magazine it was pretty cool.
After a season long battle against many different drivers. It came down to myself and the two other drivers Aaron Streblow and Wayne Peterson. I knew I had to drive the best race I could on two separate days of racing to hold them of. I have to say that it was hard staying focused and at the end I drove the best I could and tried not to mess up. I put a lot into this season and getting so consumed into the points battle, but in the end it worked out for me.
I have to remember that in the end this is a hobby and we all need to enjoy it, but it is a business too and I wanted to get that track championship for myself and my sponsors Venom RC, Atomik RC, RacingGraphics.com, Redwood signs, Diggity Design and Paints for the cool paint jobs. Also a big thanks to Joe’s Sandbar Bar and Grill in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. As well as Adam Sippel for the great Modified Body. I also like to thank Aaron Streblow and Attitude RC Raceway for having one of the best dirt oval tracks that I know of for side by side racing and for all the help I got from fellow racers like Wayne Peterson and Brett Trochinski.
Having fun is what it is about, just check out this photo! This was at our fall special 2 day event. Trailer races and figure 8 races… You may have seen this photo on Venoms Facebook page just before Halloween.
I ended the outdoor season taking a 3rd place trophy in the stock sportsman’s class and a third place trophy in the SC Modified class along with the SC Late Model Championship. It has been a great year, but there was a lot of growing into the sport, too. I felt as the year went on I was learning how to drive better and better each week. I also was learning the feel of the car and what to do to correct it. This all comes with time and experience, but I know a person can get frustrated in the beginning trying to learn all this.
Next up the winter season which has started already… I had my first two races and scored a victory and two second place finishes. I feel like I am learning more and more and it is coming faster to me now. Racing different tracks also helps you learn more about and how to drive on different surfaces and makes you a better driver so be sure to try other tracks as it will benefit you as it did for me last year. Remember: Take your time and have fun…
Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself of that as well.
See you all in 2014!
-Paul Peterson - Venom Team Pilot