Blast from the past.

Race Report: SCX NASCAR 2019.
Bristol Oval.

The SCX NASCAR class made a welcome return to the calendar at Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club in 2019. With an increasingly crowded race schedule, we made the difficult decision to reduce this class to a single annual race rather than a full championship. The first single race was meant to take place in 2018, but that event was snowed off, so the 2019 race would see our racers’ SCX NASCAR models get their first running in two years!

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Steve started race one at the front of the grid, and saw his clean getaway pay off as a number of his rivals endured a range of hiccups in the early stages. Anthony started well just behind Steve but, having only minimal running in free practice, resulted in his car being less warmed up than some others. Struggling for pace, his race went from bad to worse, when his Chevrolet deslotted on the main straight and he lost a lap. Pushing on, Anthony was eventually classified in fourth, having run out of fuel in the final moments of the race.

Challenge

With Cliff, Alex and Norman all tripping over each other at the start, it was Scott – who had started at the back of the grid – who took the challenge to Steve. His Pennzoil Chevrolet was certainly quick, and he prevented Steve from pulling away at the front. The game of cat n’ mouse between the two leaders continued for much of the race. It was in the pit stops that Steve was able to assert control on the race, with Scott requiring an extra stop late on, Steve ended the race nine laps ahead. Just behind second placed Scott was Norman, who posted fastest lap of the race on his way to a well-earned third.

Race One Result: 
1st Steve (Chevrolet Impala) – 104 laps
2nd Scott (Chevrolet Impala) – 95 laps
3rd Norman (Chevrolet Impala) – 95 laps
4th Anthony (Chevrolet Impala) – 95 laps
5th Alex (Ford Fusion) – 60 laps
6th Cliff (Chevrolet Impala) – 35 laps
Fastest Lap: Norman – 4.684

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Race two once again saw a close battle at the front between Steve and Scott, but this time Scott was making no mistakes with fuel strategy. Again, seeming to have the edge on raw pace, the club newcomer – in only his third Digital race, and his first on the Bristol Oval – took a solid race win. Indeed, this time it was Steve who misjudged his fuel levels and was forced to make an extra stop in the final minute of the race.

Struggle

Behind them, Lee struggled to extract pace from his Ford and could not compete with the leaders’ raw speed. He would be classified third after running out of fuel. Behind him, Alex, Norman and Cliff had a few too many spins to trouble the leading positions, and finished a number of laps down on the leading trio.

Race Two Result: 
1st Scott (Chevrolet Impala) – 106 laps
2nd Steve (Chevrolet Impala) – 104 laps
3rd Lee (Ford Fusion) – 98 laps
4th Alex (Ford Fusion) – 97 laps
5th Norman (Chevrolet Impala) – 92 laps
6th Cliff (Chevrolet Impala) – 80 laps
Fastest Lap: Scott – 4.343

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Anthony emerged from the first lap melee of race four leading the race, but his lead would be short-lived. Another crash on the main straight resulted in another lost lap. Switching to a fuel conserving strategy, he would find himself back at the sharp end later in the race, and ran second for a time. Again, his car appeared to lack the pace of some others, so would drop behind the eventual leading duo.

Dismay

That leading duo was Alex and Scott. It was the latter who initially took over from Anthony at the front, but Alex wasn’t far behind and was able to outwit him on fuel strategy and built a four lap lead. To his dismay, however, Alex ran out of fuel in the final half minute of the race! This enabled Scott to clock up four laps to match Alex’s total before he too ran out of fuel just before the race timed-out. At the back, Cliff made a huge improvement on his previous races, clocking 99 laps. In fifth, Darren struggled for pace and handling with his Toyota, while Norman ran out of fuel on his 59th lap.

Race Three Result: 
1st Alex (Ford Fusion) – 105 laps
2nd Scott (Chevrolet Impala) – 105 laps
3rd Anthony (Chevrolet Impala) – 102 laps
4th Cliff (Chevrolet Impala) – 99 laps
5th Darren (Toyota Camry) – 92 laps
6th Norman (Chevrolet Impala) – 59 laps
Fastest Lap: Scott – 4.480

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The early stages of race four saw the lead contested by Lee and George. Behind them, Steve crashed out on the first lap and dropped to the back of the field. Deciding to play the long game, Steve set about running a conservative strategy, and would not feature again until much later in the race.

Spins

At the front, George started to pull away from Lee, who was fairly secure in second place. Meanwhile, Steve had taken advantage of some spins from Scott and Cliff, and now found himself running round just behind Norman. In the final third of the race, pit strategy had catapulted Steve ahead of Norman and right on Lee’s tail. Catching him off-guard, Steve made his move and grabbed second. He was then to pass leader George in the final stops, and with former leader now nursing his fuel reserves to the end of the race, the win was his.

Race Four Result: 
1st Steve (Chevrolet Impala) – 101 laps
2nd George (Toyota Camry) – 101 laps
3rd Norman (Chevrolet Impala) – 100 laps
4th Scott (Chevrolet Impala) – 96 laps
5th Cliff (Chevrolet Impala) – 88 laps
6th Lee (Ford Fusion) – 87 laps
Fastest Lap: Cliff – 4.362

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George was keen to get himself back on top in race five, and found himself battling Alex for the lead early on. As the race wore on, they were joined by Darren, but he was to drop back after the first pit stops, seemingly struggling with armfuls of over-steer with his Toyota.

Into the fray

At half distance, a new challenger entered the fray. Scott, who – until that point – had been having a relatively quiet race, passed George in the pits and then caught and passed leader Alex. Alex – who had been leading by a good two laps – didn’t let his head drop and set about his pursuit of Scott. With four minutes to go, Scott came in for his third pit stop and rejoined the action back in second. Now focused on chasing down Alex, his attention was clearly drawn away from his fuel gauge and he ran out of fuel with a minute to go.

Race Five Result: 
1st Alex (Ford Fusion) – 106 laps
2nd George (Toyota Camry) – 101 laps
3rd Norman (Chevrolet Impala) – 100 laps
4th Anthony (Chevrolet Impala) – 98 laps
5th Darren (Toyota Camry) – 97 laps
6th Scott (Chevrolet Impala) – 93 laps
Fastest Lap: Anthony – 4.218

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Race six saw Steve once again battling at the front  – this time with Lee. The fight carried on until car issues hampered Lee’s progress, and he dropped back. Steve was to find himself out on his own at the front, and therefore managed his pace and fuel til the end of the race.

Speed

Behind him, Cliff was having his race of the night – showing a good turn of speed with his Chevrolet, securing second spot and clocking a handy 103 laps.

Race Six Result: 
1st Steve (Chevrolet Impala) – 106 laps
2nd Cliff (Chevrolet Impala) – 103 laps
3rd George (Toyota Camry) – 100 laps
4th Norman (Chevrolet Impala) – 99 laps
5th Lee (Ford Fusion) – 98 laps
6th Darren (Toyota Camry) – 98 laps
Fastest Lap: George – 4.362

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Clearly with a taste for life at the front, Alex made a great start in race seven, and asserted his position at head of the queue for 25 laps. A crash dropped him behind Lee and Scott, and he was to run in third for a good portion of the race. Third would become fourth for Alex, however, as Anthony once again came into play after the first stops, having run much deeper into the race than the others. By the four minute mark, he was leading and – other than a brief period after his first stop – he was to hold onto the lead til the end of the race.

Tricky

Lee held on in second place,  and finished two laps down on Anthony, but just ahead of George. A tricky race for Scott saw him running lower down the order than he’d become accustomed to, but he fared better than Darren (wayward handling) and Alex (out of fuel).

Race Seven Result: 
1st Anthony (Chevrolet Impala) – 104 laps
2nd Lee (Ford Fusion) – 102 laps
3rd George (Toyota Camry) – 101 laps
4th Scott (Chevrolet Impala) – 97 laps
5th Darren (Toyota Camry) – 91 laps
6th Alex (Ford Fusion) – 89 laps
Fastest Lap: Scott – 4.504

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The eighth, and penultimate race of the evening saw Anthony continue to enjoy an upswing in performance from his Chevrolet, which was now, apparently, nicely run-in! He and Steve were the class of the field, in a close battle that raged for the whole race. With Lee experiencing more problems with his Ford, and Darren again struggling with his Toyota’s handling, the leaders were free to fight without the worry of anyone else getting involved.

Fumes

In the end, the leaders were running on fumes, and both were cruising to the flag. Steve was actually leading Anthony by a matter of feet, when he blinked, coming in for a quick splash n’ dash. He’d assumed Anthony would do the same, but he did not, so held on to take the win.

Race Eight Result: 
1st Anthony (Chevrolet Impala) – 105 laps
2nd Steve (Chevrolet Impala) – 104 laps
3rd Darren (Toyota Camry) – 96 laps
4th Lee (Ford Fusion) – 94 laps
5th Alex (Ford Fusion) – 92 laps
6th George (Toyota Camry) – 81 laps
Fastest Lap: Anthony – 4.534

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The final race of the 2019 SCX NASCAR event was to be a case of ‘What Might Have Been’ for Lee. With his Ford causing him such problems in the previous two races, he switched to the Chevrolet Scott had been racing for race nine, and saw what he could have achieved. This was a completely dominant performance, which left his two closest challengers languishing five and seven laps down.

Second

Anthony was to finish second, after again having a race-long battle with Steve, from which he emerged with a two lap lead. Steve, however, though running third, still added a solid tally of laps to his total to take the overall event win.

Race Nine Result:
1st Lee (Chevrolet Impala) – 112 laps
2nd Anthony (Chevrolet Impala) – 107 laps
3rd Steve (Chevrolet Impala) – 105 laps
4th Cliff (Chevrolet Impala) – 99 laps
5th George (Toyota Camry) – 98 laps
6th Darren (Toyota Camry) – 97 laps
Fastest Lap: Lee – 4.329

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Final Results:

Total Laps
1st Steve
624
2nd Anthony611
3rd Scott592
4th Lee591
5th George582
6th Darren571
7th Alex549
8th Norman545
9th Cliff504

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