As posted by Chris Brandt

DMV Racing - Race 2 - Sears Point – 11/3/2018

The inaugural DMV Racing season continued with race number two at a new track, Sears Point. Nine drivers were on the grid. Some drivers came well prepared. Don had pinulated out his first 37 moves and Kevin asked for a copy of the track several weeks ago. Some drivers, upon seeing the track in detail for the first time, had to wing it. We were trying out a new venue, Dream Wizards Game Store, in Rockville, Maryland.

The Track

A carryover from our inaugural year, Sears Point sees many different kinds of car and motorcycle races. There are lots of elevations changes, although they are not reflected in the track design. It is 59 spaces long, or just over two miles. The start finish line is on a short straight that leads three wide into the first curve quite quickly. Then comes the part of the track that really eats up wear. The curves are all in the 60-100 MPH range and are only four to seven spaces apart from each other. It’s hard to push too fast for fear of the “two curve wear spend” eating up four wear in one turn. But, once drivers get through that part, there’s a short (7 space) straight, before a slow but wide (40 with arrow) curve leading to the “main straight”. Straight is a loosely used term because the track does have some back and forth motion, but analysis showed little braking was done so those “curves” were integrated into the design by adding spaces on the “outside” edge. This did come into play frequently because the pack was often three wide, forcing drivers to take the longer route occasionally. At the end of the 22 space straight, was another 40 MPH curve with an arrow, but this curve is only two lanes and puts a premium on braking. It was another curve in which prodigious amounts of wear were spent over the course of the race... Then a sprint to the finish line, three wide.

The Designs on the Grid

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The builds were similar to last season’s race. We only had one person who opted for a top speed other than 160 and that was eventual winner Don Tatum at 140. Last year everyone opted for 160 except Brian, who selected 180 last year, but who missed the start this season due to some chronological miscalculations

Chris and Don clearly planned to run from the front... and for one of them, it worked.  Tim and will opted for the 20 start speed but they chose different build strategies to offset that weakness. Tim opted for an 80 accel, which makes sense with 40 MPH curves at the start of the main straight and start straight, the second longest straight. Will opted to go heavy into driver skill. He said he wanted to get a taste of the new balance rules by rolling a lot. There were not enough chips for the whole race, though.

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The Start

Bids for P1 were high. Chris and Don sat on the front row, as expected with start speeds of 120 and 100 respectively and bids of 6.5 and 6. Last year’s pole bid was 4.5 in contrast. Don and Chris shot out quickly but Kevin also pushed his start to stay close behind.

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As they wound through the closely spaced, narrow 80 MPH curves, Chris and Don managed to nip and tuck toward the hairpin at the start of the main straight. That’s when Kevin crashed the party. Spending wear like a drunken sailor on leave in drivers lounge, he caught Chris and pulled behind Don. There, Chris decided to slow, not wanting to emergency brake for the corner. “Beeg Mistake.”

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Needing to accelerate coming out of the slow curve, Chris become the first dice roll casualty, spending just -1 for the DRM and bustin’ an eleven to be rewarded with a broken accelerator. With an initial accel of only 40, this was the kiss of death. Cars began streaming by Chris on the straight and the first lap ended in the following order:

1. Don
2. Kevin
3. Mike G
4. Will
5. Chris
6. Dave
7. Mike P
8. Tim

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At this point, probably only Chris was out of it because of the wide variety of car builds and remaining wear. But then, Sears Point claimed another victim. Mike Polcen’s accelerator failed entering the start/finish straight for the second lap.

The Second Lap

The second lap was uneventful. Drivers held positions for the first part, but as the second lap ended, Tim’s gigantic engine started making a move. Though still in last, he had a pile of wear, a really powerful car and a car that was set up for the tough accel/decel roller coaster that is Sears Point. Kevin had edged by Don for the lap two lead and the order after 2/3 of the race was:

1. Kevin
2. Don
3. Mike G
4. Will
5. Chris
6. Mike P
7. Dave
8. Tim “Boxcars” Mossman

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Lap Three

In lap three the field began to string out further. Wear was in short supply, Will was out of DRM chips, and two cars were broken.

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Kevin ran out of wear, Don caught him, passed him, and began to pull away. But Tim’s engine roared to life. He careened through turns 1, 2, and 3... but his rich tradition of rolling boxcars bit him on turn 4 and he crashed... though the other drivers escaped without incident.

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Don won by five spaces, a large margin in CFR and he drove an excellent, well-pinulated race. Mike Greason saved wear for the end and got by Kevin for second, Mike’s best finished in the young history of DMV racing. Kevin followed him to the finish line, followed by Mike P, Dave, Will (who simply ran out of DRMs), and Chris’s crippled Red Bull. Tim’s DNF netted him zero points, after winning at Sears Point last season.

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In the Points!

This was the second of five races. In DMV racing we have a five race season and only the top three finishes count toward the championship. So nobody is out of the title chase yet, even people who haven’t scored a single point!

1. Don Tatum 25
2. Mike Greason 18
3. Kevin Keller 15
4. Mike Polcen 12
5. Dave Ingraham 10
6. Will Kennard 8
7. Chris Brandt 6
8. Tim Mossman 0

The field lines up for a photo opportunity:

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Combining this with the first race results, here are the new standings:

1. Don Tatum 37 (12+25)
2. Doug Schulz 25 (25+DNS)
3. Mike Greason 24 (6+18)
4. Kevin Keller 23 (8+15)
5. Will Kennard 23 (15+8)
6. Dave Ingraham 20 (10+10)
7. Tim Mossman 18 (18+DNF)
8. Mike Polcen 12 (DNF+12)
9. Chris Brandt 10 (4+6)
10. Brian DeWitt 0 (DNF+DNS)

Next Race

Race three is scheduled for December 8, at Dream Wizards Game Store in Rockville, MD. Dream Wizards was a splendid venue. We had plenty of space and table space, it was busy but not so noisy that we couldn’t hear ourselves communicate and the bathroom was clean and nearby. Water, soda, and snacks were for sale.

Looking beyond the next race, DMV race 4 will likely be in mid-late January. Then Prezcon hits at the end of February, so the final race will probably be in late Spring 2019.