Radio Control Car Action

Under the hood: Frank Polimeda’s

Under the hood: Frank Polimeda’s

Vogel, Greg


Frank Polimeda’s

2002 Snowbird Nationals-winning 6-cell Pro Mod Hyperdrive


Radio system: Futaba Super 3PJ

Steering servo: Futaba S9102

Battery: SMC Sanyo 3000HV NiMH

Receiver pack: none

ESC: Novak Cyclone

Motor: Putman PRoplusion 9-double, Epic-based Stilts edition

Tires (F.R): Jaco

Body: Protoform Intrepid


* IRS hubs

* Extra-long front axles

* Spring-steel T-plate

* Triple-shock conversion

* Additional center body post

1. HyPerdrve cleverly Incorporates a nod bar into the motor bulkhead to protect the spur gear. That’s a Kimbrough gear and an IRS hub in the Jaco wheel. 2. Frank uses a low-proft Futaba S9102 servo for steering, which he started use back when he was driving Trinity cars; the sends extra-short case slowed more room for the battery pack. Frank says he’s stock with the serve because he likes the feel-not toe slow, not too fast. 3. The Associated Dynamic Strut front end is Imos completely stock; extra-long axles and HG titanium upper-arm pins are the only upgrades.


Has the time come for a serious nitro monster-truck racing class? Why would (or wouldn’t) the class “work”?

Yes; we do need a class for the monster trucks. I have an OFNA Pirate io with the Hyper .21 engine, and it rocks! But I need somewhere to race it. If we mixed them in with T-Maxx’s and Tamiya TXT-is, we would have a cool class. People are getting tired of just putting pretty blue parts on their trucks. I’m sure many racers would like to see something different, such as io monster trucks tearing up a track, going over anything! They are a real challenge to drive at speed, but if you’re being chased by a couple of trucks, you’ve got a format that would really work.

Craig Morgan

There are way too many different sizes and configurations for a single monster-truck class to work. You would have to have 20 classes to suit them all.

Jim Defeo

No way! Those trucks aren’t meant for racing; they’re toys. “Dirt is for planting potatoes; asphalt is for racing!”

Jonathan Sawn

Put all the nitro monsters into one class and race them, and don’t worry about what competes with what. In the early days of electric truck racing, no one tried to draft rules to separate the Blackfoots from the JRX-TS; instead, competition guided the evolution of racing trucks. Likewise, we should race the T-Maxx’s, Mad Forces, Terra Crushers, and Dominators together and let the competition determine the shape of “racing monster trucks.”

Ralph Baum

Yes, I think the time has come for ROAR to recognize the class, There would have to be separate classes for small-block and big-block engines. One drawback could be that monster trucks might end up the way touring cars have: expensive, high-tech machines that are dedicated to a racetrack and can no longer tackle the backyard.

Graham Henderson


Would you like to see mini and micro cars become a fixture of the racing scene, or are they just for fun?



At speed, an oval car generates tremendous cornering forces that can cause the body to flex on the posts. upsetting the car’s aerodynamics and possibly scrubbing the tires. To prevent this, Frank runs thick body posts and adds a fifth post in the chassis’ center.


DRIVER: Frank Polimeda

AGE: 24

LAST BIG WIN: 2002 Snowbird Nationals

SPONSORS: Jaco, Protoform, Putnam Propulsion, SMC, Futaba

WHEN I’M NOT RACING, I: am in the grage, working on my Small-Block Modified Asphalt and Mini– Sprint dirt full-scale racecars. Right now, racing is my life.

RC CAR ACTION: What exactly is a “mini-sprint” car?

FRANK POLIMEDA: It’s a sprint car that’s powered by a 2-stroke motorcycle engine. They’re a little smaller than the sprinters you see on TV, but otherwise, they’re identical: push-start, no clutch, same suspension-everything, If you saw a picture of one without any size reference, you would never know it was smaller than a full-size sprint car.

RCCA: Were you Into full-scale racing before RC? Which came first?

FP: I always wanted to race go-karts and quarter– midgets when I was a kid, but my parents were afraid to get me into it (laughs). I wanted to race so bad, and RC was sort of `the next best thing.” I finally started felt-scale racing at 18. and since then, it has evolved into a lot of full-scale and a little RC, but I still love the RC stuff. It’s what I grew up doing.

RCCA: As RC guys, we’re always telling people that our cars are just as high-performance and as tunable as the real thing Now true Is that for you, as someone who races both full-scale and RC?

FP: People really don’t understand that RC cars are real race cars, I’ve done stuff with RC cars that guys don’t even do with full-scale cars! The adjustments that you make .. they all apply. Shocks. springs, geometry, weight, this, that: it’s all the same. You don’t get to sit in an RC car; that’s the only real difference. I tell everybody that RC is the biggest thing that helped me get going quickly in full-scale racing. I already had a lot of knowledge from working on RC cars.

RCCA: Yes! And I’m sure that when you can feel the differences in handling and setup of an RC car without actually being in it, it’s just that much easier to determine how well a full-scale car is working when you’re in the driver’s seat with the wheel in your hand, and you can actually feel the tires gripping.

FP: Absolutely! I tell people I used to be able to feet things through a transmitter; now that I actually have my butt in the seat, it’s almost easier! Even the way you drive an RC car, the lines you take … it’s all the same in full scale. My RC experience has been a real asset.

RCCA I was checking out your car, and I noticed the motor was labeled “stilts: What’s the story?

FP: (laughs) That’s kind of an inside joke. At the Snowbirds, If something was running really good, To [Putnam. of Putnam Propulsion, and I would say it was “on stilts.” That motor was the fastest one I ha so it was on stilts.

RCA Thanks for the talk. Frank, and good luck with your racing career. Stay up on those stilts!

Copyright Air Age Publishing Oct 2002

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