Before we get started, you can click here for part one of this series if you missed it.
The Central Illinois R/C Pulling Association (CIRCPA) holds their events in the town of Jerseyville, IL. It’s about 45 minutes north of St. Louis, MO. They have a very nice track setup under a pavilion so they can do business rain or shine. Being that this was the first pull of the year, the track was heavily packed in after sitting for a long, cold winter. That’s important to note as you’ll soon see. It was time to weigh in.
“Weigning in” is putting your vehicle on the scale (most r/c pulling clubs use digital fruit scales) and letting the designated official inspect to make sure you are below the legal weight for your class and also check hitch legality. I’m pulling in the 8 lbs Pro-stock Truck class and on my initial trip to the scale I was right at 6.8 lbs, so I had room to add additional ballast. As you can see below, after a few weights I’m now right at 7.9. Perfect. It’s very important that you are right on the cusp of legality because you need every available ounce to help add traction. And while everyone must weigh the same, the secret sauce is where you put it.
A hard packed track usually means traction at the rear will be great, so more weight needs to go up front to keep it down. Loose tracks require lighter front ends and more on the rear. It’s a guessing game. Knowing the track was packed hard, I put about 3/4 lbs above the rear and all the rest of my weight went up front. It was finally time to meet every pullers best friend or worst enemy – the sled.
Like many of the r/c pulling sleds you see around the country, the CIRCPA unit is custom built. Each class has a set amount of weight in the sled box to make them stop. While the stock trucks don’t need much to put the brakes on, the more powerful classes need a bunch. At the end of each pull a laser rangefinder is used to instantly give an accurate measurement. It then has to be manually pushed back to the start. This is a very nice piece of equipment.
CIRCPA allows each puller to make 2 passes on the 30 foot long track. Both totals are added up to get a final number. If multiple vehicles tie with two full pulls a piece then a single run pull-off is held. Drivers draw playing cards to designate what order they will pull in. The classes on hand this day were: Stock Scaler, Pro-stock 4×4, Modified 2WD and Modified 4×4. While I waited for my turn I enjoyed watching the others duke it out. Here are some shots of the stock scaler and wheel standing 2WD classes:
It was finally time for my class. I was pulling in the seventh spot out of eleven trucks. I hooked it up and let her fly. Little Red Wagon chugged on down to a distance of 29’5″, about half a foot from a full pull! For my second pull I decided to spot the sled to the right side of the track as I thought I thought maybe some fresh dirt would help me get a few more inches. When the dust settled I had pulled 28′ 5-1/2″. Not as far as the first one but a good hook nonetheless.
When all 11 trucks had rumbled down the track I wound up with a fifth place finish. I was ecstatic! Running that well against a field of tough trucks was a heck of a first outing, especially considering I was using the stock gearing that my Axial SCX10 came with from the factory. And speaking of the SCX10, this was the weapon of choice for almost every truck in both the stock and pro-stock classes. Axial may be the first name that comes to most hobbyist’s minds when it comes to trailing or crawling, but they are fast becoming the pullers choice as well. It’s the perfect platform to get started in the sport.
Big thanks goes Axial Racing, Travis @ Sutton Motorsports and my fellow pullers in Jerseyville for taking part in the build. I’m looking forward to campaigning Little Red Wagon for a long time! But hey, I’m not done yet. The SCX10 puller was just the start. What’s a person to do if they REALLY want to get involved in pulling? Build a top of the line, component chassis’d modified 4×4 truck, that’s what. Stay tuned 😉
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