FLASHBACK FRIDAY: DNC deja vu
Friday, Feb 27, 2015 12:00am
By Aaron Waldron
Everybody knows that Friday is meant for reminiscing old times. Each week we take you back in time as we flashback to some of R/C racing's greatest moments, products, drivers, and more!
Maifield, Tebo, and Cavalieri finish on the Pro Buggy podium at The Dirt Nitro Challenge
Last weekend at Fear Farm R/C Raceway in Phoenix, AZ, Ryan Maifield made the hometown crowd go crazy with a over-the-top pass on former teammate Ryan Cavalieri with two laps to go in the 45-minute main event. Ryan held on for his third Pro Buggy title at The Dirt Nitro Challenge, making him one of the most successful racers in the history of the event.
Two years ago, the annual nitro off-road racing season kickoff in the Arizona desert was a lot like what we watched last weekend.
In 2013, the fastest nitro off-road racers in the world headed to Arizona in mid-February with one goal - to upset defending double champion Ty Tessmann. The race drew what was then a record of nearly 850 entries across all three tracks.
The race was hit by less-than-wonderful weather, blanketing the Fear Farm R/C Raceway in a light layer of snow that disappeared almost immediately - but left everything unpleasantly wet.
Jared Tebo earned TQ honors by setting the fastest time in the first two rounds, stopped only by then-TLR driver Adam Drake in round three - though Tebo was second-quick. These were the top twelve drivers after qualifying:
- Jared Tebo
- Ryan Maifield
- Adam Drake
- Elliott Boots
- Renaud Savoya
- Dylan Rodriguez
- Ryan Cavalieri
- Cody King
- Billy Fischer
- Drew Moller
- Josh Wheeler
- Ty Tessmann
The top twelve were joined by three B-Main bump-ups, as then-TLR driver Mike Truhe (himself a double-champ in 2008) won the 20-minute last chance race ahead of then-Durango driver Carson Wernimont by just 2.3 seconds, while Dakotah Phend held off Tyler Vik for the final transfer spot.
At the start of the race, TQ Tebo made an uncharacteristic mistake that knocked him way down the corner - he crossed the line after lap one in 13th place. His Kyosho teammate, Elliott Boots, made a charge to become the first European driver to win a Pro Nitro main event with a brilliant start and took the lead from Maifield on lap two. On lap nine, however, Boots clipped a rock in the track surface heading through the rhythm section in the front of the track and caused suspension damage. Later that lap, Boots’ broken buggy hit a bump and shot into the hay bails on the back straight, which finished off the rear hub insert and ended his race. (Europe would only have to wait until this year to get a Pro Nitro-class win!)
With Boots out, Maifield drove away from the rest of the field and finished 23 seconds up on the competition.
Maifield’s then-Team Associated teammate, Ryan Cavalieri, worked his way up to second amid the pandemonium of the opening stages and ran his own race until around the halfway mark. A few mistakes not only cost Cavalieri to lose contact with Maifield, but knocked him out of his groove and allowed a resurgent Tebo to get by after battling through the pack. The action didn’t resume until there were just two laps to go, when Cavalieri passed Tebo and made a push to finish off an AE 1-2. On that same lap, however, Cavalieri mis-judged the step-up and had drove along the pipe upon landing, which prevented him from jumping the following triple. Tebo regained the runner-up spot and held on until the finish. This was the final finishing order:
Driver (Qualified) - Chassis/Engine - Finishing time
- Ryan Maifield (2) – Associated/LRP – 68/45:14.639
- Jared Tebo (1) – Kyosho/Orion – 68/45:38.534
- Ryan Cavalieri (7) – Associated/Orion – 67/45:01.539
- Carson Wernimont (14) – Durango/OS Speed – 66/45:02.956
- Renaud Savoya (5) – Xray/Orion – 66/45:04.572
- Ty Tessmann (12) – HB/OS Speed – 66/45:15.390
- Mike Truhe (13) – TLR/TOP – 65/45:23.993
- Drew Moller (10) – Kyosho/Orion – 65/45:33.421
- Josh Wheeler (11) – Xray/OS Speed – 65/45:36.608
- Billy Fischer (9) – TLR/Novarossi – 64/45:27.786
- Cody King (8) – Kyosho/Reds – 62/45:31.796
- Adam Drake (3) – TLR/Novarossi – 59/41:07.819
- Dakotah Phend (15) – TLR/Orion – 35/24:57.328
- Elliot Boots (4) – Kyosho/Novarossi – 9/6:07.536
- Dylan Rodriguez (6) – Kyosho/OS – 4/3:00.744
Do the top three look familiar?