Looks like it is going to rain for the next few days, so today was full on DNC prep mode. Ryan Cavalieri was clearly impressed by my determination and changed his plans and decided to tag along to Dialed In to get Dialed in some more. It’s a funny thing with 1:8th buggies these days, they require some break in, they work much better once all driveshafts, pins, outdrives and diff gears are broken in. A gallon or so is pretty good, at least.
I rebuilt my car, and put all the nice shiny production parts on, broke in a new REDS Worlds Edition, and am now ready for DNC. If the weather is good, I’ll probably still go to the track on Monday for a few hours to run my eCar for a few packs. First I just need to build it :-D. Next few days will be full on wrench mode and DNC prep. Can’t wait for the new season to begin, it should be the best one yet!
I can’t believe I am writing this, but I’m actually really excited to be running Truggy. Yep, I really am looking forward to racing that POS class. Yesterday when team AE were at the track, I stole Saxton’s truggy when he wasn’t looking. It seems fresh and ready to go. It’s going to be interesting. The last time I ran a Truggy was about 3 years ago or so. Let’s see how long the excitement lasts.
1st Ryan Cavalieri | Prediction 1st
Verdict: Completely Right.
I told you so! At one point it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. I would argue that Ryan had less “Pudge Luck” than most of the time at first. It was beginning to look like things would have to go wrong for a number of people for Ryan to be able to win, but he managed to scrape through 4wd, and then just win all but one race in 2wd, and with one drop that meant a perfect score for 2wd. Going into the last race, both Ryans were in it, and Cavalieri had to win, to win the race, and if he didn’t win, Maifield just needed a top 3 I believe.
The last race, for as long as it lasted, was a great example of the confidence and skill that Cavalieri has. He launched into 1st from 2nd on the grid, and attacked immediately. Maifield got into 2nd past Rivkin in the 1st corner, which I doubt Cav was very happy about. But it was clear Cavalieri wanted to pull away, and wanted to force Maifield into making a mistake, trying to catch up. Cavalieri’s 2nd lap was his fastest of the race, and his 3rd lap was his 3rd fastest. The lap that Maifield broke, and the next ones after were immediately a couple 10th’s slower as he eased off ever so slightly. The confidence was apparent. Instead of waiting for the race to possibly come to him, he just went for it, 100% from the start.
Overall I would say that the AE 4wd, unless you are Joona Haatanen, needs some work. I think just setup work will get it there, it looked a bit slow in the tighter corners, and it was clear that Cavalieri’s 4wd results suffered a bit due to his car not being on the pace, and him not being able to place it how he wanted when racing against others. He obviously still managed to get good enough results, but don’t forget he had to get a perfect score in 2wd in order to win. The 2wd is obviously already set up well and he is confident and comfortable driving it. I don’t know if it’s his style or his setup that makes it look like a handful sometimes, but at the same time, it did look like quite a solid performance all around, and it didn’t look like he was going to make a mistake any time soon.
Cavalieri’s race craft is also rather good, and confidence plays a big role. He will hang back and leave room for the front runner to make a mistake if there is no immediate threat from behind, as he did with me in one race. He does that, believing that if no mistake does come, he can just turn it up at the end of the race and make his move. He will drive the speed he needs to in order to win the race, and in 4wd I would argue when he saw he couldn’t win, he salvaged what he could. It is no coincidence he has won the Reedy Race a record breaking 4 times.
2nd Ryan Maifield | Prediction 4th
Verdict: Underestimated, Wrong.
Maifield was in my opinion my most wrong prediction I made, because he didn’t even show signs of what I was expecting. He was a factor throughout the race, and it looked like he was going to actually win the damn race! I didn’t expect him to A: Get the cars as good as he needed them to be to win, and B: Be comfortable enough to compete. All I can say is, that talent and skill make up for a lot! I don’t think either of Ryan’s cars were the best, possibly even close to the best, but he drove them the best. The next best Yokomo was in 11th place, Lee Martin, and that guy is a multiple European Champion, and Worlds podium finisher.
I think the cars looked like they took more effort to drive around than ideal, requiring to be corrected, and finessed, and care had to be taken not to over do it in the sweeper for example. Also, I would say that if Ryan had just settled for 2nd in at least the one early 2wd round, he could have gone into the last race not even needing to stop Cavalieri from winning, but that just isn’t his style. Win it or bin it, unlike Cavalieri who is more calculated, and less spectacular in his approach.
The last race was of course really unlucky. An e-clip came off causing the piston to come off the shaft, and Maifield actually raced around the track for 2-3 laps before he flew off the track, and the front shock pulled apart completely. It’s really a shame, because that could have been one hell of a race! We all got robbed of some entertainment, that’s for sure.
3rd Ty Tessmann | Prediction Didn’t really say, but 7th-
Verdict: Wrong, But Partly Right.
Ty was impressive, he managed to maximise his potential I felt, with a well earned podium. In 4wd he was stronger as expected, in 2wd he surprised me, with strong drives. However, unlike Maifield, he showed signs of what I was talking about, and that’s why I say I was partly right. I just underestimated his driving ability.
There were some races which he should have won with ease, which caused him major issues. He jumped off the track, he exited stage left, and he bounced between the pipes. When he was out front, he mostly got in a groove and won, but when things got hairy, he was in trouble, and that’s in my opinion because his cars require precision and perfection from him to flow and be fast around the track. And when you are racing someone, you can’t necessarily always do that. If you want a couple of examples of his car flying off the track due to minor driver error while leading, not even being pressured, watch the last 2wd main. That’s what I was talking about, and that’s what he was able to minimise in the harder races. That last race he should have checked out and won easily, but he almost lost it. I think he wanted to prove me wrong so bad that he managed to drive through and over JP Richards to get back in the lead, and win it.
In any case, with such a good 1st race with new cars, we can only imagine he will improve his setups further, and be even more competitive once the worlds are here in November.
To Be Continued…
I wonder how many week ends Daniel Adams works every year. He seems to be at a race representing Pro Line every possible week end. This guy is a trooper, and after the Reedy Race I thought he has earned his own Daniel Adams Appreciation Day. He not only spent time at the track before the event with team drivers, testing tyres, and preparing for the event, at the event I saw Daniel do all of the following things:
I really wonder if Pro Line pay him enough. I doubt it. What a valuable guy to have working for your company.
I called it. Cavalieri won! There’s a lot to unpack here, but that has to wait until another day. My brain needs some time to process all the gathered information, and turn it into sensible sentences. Then I will go ahead and analyse the top 10. How about that? I’m sure some of you want to hear THE Truth, and what really happened and why.
Congratulations to Ryan Cavalieri for the Invitational win, Brent Thielke for the open 2wd win, and that guy that won 4wd! No doubt I will one day know who he is. Kind of like Jacob Mayonnaise, I know who that guy is now.
Thank you to OCRC Raceway and Reedy/AE, what a great event this is!
I’m so mad about Ken Roczen’s crash I can’t write anything sensible. Here are a couple of videos, the first one is the best race of the event so far, between Joona H and Ty T. The second is the greatest start of the event, by me. 6th place is a bad place to start they said, lol.
Let me tell you a story. This year, well technically last year, in November, I met this young man by the name of Jacob Mayonnaise, known to most as Jake Mayo. I had never spoken to this guy before, although I do believe he has beat me at OCRC before, because I remember thinking who the hell that asshole is that is so fast. Anyway, this time we spoke, and turns out this fool is a funny guy, and very fast.
This is his first Reedy Invitational class event, and Jake had carefully built a brand new AE B6 4wd, and meticulously prepared a special lightweight body for it, with nice paint job, it sort of looks like mayo gone bad. He spent hours cutting it out, sanding the edges, applying the stickers perfectly, everything was ready for the Reedy Race.
First practice, possibly the first timed lap, I was obviously already on a heater. I mean this is practice, I take it pretty seriously, it’s the only thing I can win at this point. And I did, TQed the 1st round of practice, so I was moving. Jake however, took a more calculated, and cautious approach, which lead to him single doubling the tricky step down jump. I obviously doubled the shit out of that thing. I waffle stomped onto his car almost as impressively as the infamous Wally “Wafflestomp” Walnutz back in the day. I smashed straight through Mayo’s body and cracked and dented it. So sorry Mayo, welcome to the invitational class. This is nothing, wait until you are mid pack in a race, leave those lightweight bodies at home dude!
In other news, I may or may not have underestimated Dustin Evan’s pace. Tessmann also looks fast, but I’m sticking to what I wrote yesterday. Being fast and racing well through the pack are two different things.
I thought I would do some predictions, and do them before we hit the track tomorrow! Because, well, why not? I will try to predict the top 5, as well as group drivers where I think they will end up. Let’s see.
1. Barry Baker
Just kidding. Let’s be serious here. This isn’t touring car, or 1999.
1. Ryan Cavalieri
I think “Pudge” is looking good for the win this year, and most of the time he has “Pudge Luck” on his side too. This is his home track, both his cars are working great, and he seems confident. He is a very consistent and good racer in mains, and this race, well it’s all mains!
2. Spencer Rivkin
Spencer is hot on Chavalieri’s heels. He could win, but I just picked cool calm and collected over the World Champ. There’s no room for mistakes, and I think Spencer will make the critical ones.
3. Dakotah Phend
Phend just won everything at some other electric race, so he is obviously fast, but I don’t put him quite on the same pace as Cavalieri and Rivkin. Last year he did win, but I think this year 3rd is where he will finish!
4. Ryan Maifield
Maifield is obviously one hell of a driver. When he switched to TLR, he immediately won the Reedy Race. He was on a mission. I feel like this time it won’t be so easy. Two reasons:
5. Jared Evans
This was a hard one, Tebo or Evans? I think it will be between them. I think Dustin Evans will get it, because he has what I believe to be better cars, and he is motivated now that he just switched. Unlike Maifield, going to AE from TLR, I don’t think that requires much getting used to! Tebo, he is fast, and he will win races, but I think his bad races will be worse.
So that would leave Tebo 6th, and then we have an interesting bunch of drivers. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these following drivers were to finish 3rd to 6th: Lee Martin, Kyle McBride, Ty Tessmann. I think Lee is too nice and too smooth to win Reedy. To do well here you need to be aggressive and a bit mad, and Lee is quite level headed on the track. Kyle is more of a nitro driver in my opinion, this is just 5 minutes, he is just getting warmed up. As for Ty, I think he has all the right ingredients, but I think the way he sets his cars up might cause some issues in this format of racing. At this race there’s a lot of rubbing and close racing, and reacting to other cars, and I think that won’t play into the strength of Ty’s setup, where the best results are obtained when he can get in a groove and flow around the track.
As for everyone else, who the hell knows? I think standouts could be last years winners Joona Haatanen and Alex K, as well as Jake Mayo, Cole Tollard, and Carson Wernimont. As for the rest, let’s just say they will be 15th-30th!
Personally my goal is to have 10 good races that count, and if I have everything go my way, I think I could possible finish 10th-15th. That’s if all stars align. If I can finish 15th or better I will be happy, as long as somewhere in there I win one race. That would be quite an achievement at this race.
As for who will be last, if the racing is good, it will be Brian Kinwald, because he will pull off and watch!
Saturday was a Supercross kind of day! Juha Aromaa and Karri Salmela are over here for the Reedy Race of Champions, and we took a day off from RC and headed down to San Diego in the morning for the 2nd round of the AMA Supercross series! For whatever reason the boys had created their “Rap Names”, Juha is now known as “Phatty J”, Karri is “Skinny K”, and I was unanimously voted to be “Dumb J”.
The supercross was awesome. The racing was great this time, unlike Anaheim 1, the 250 main was epic, with Davalos’ late implosion leading to a hectic finish. And team Europe dominated again, that was great to see! Can’t wait for A2 next week.
On the topic of names, I think it’s strange how they often ask you for your name when you order food at a number of American establishments. This time Juha became “John”, Karri became “Kenny”, and as for me, I always say my name is Jesus, just because I want them to call out loud for Jesus. They always pull the “Hesus” card on me, but I’m going to succeed! I feel like we should have gone with our rap names.
We had a pretty funny incident occur after the SX race. As we were walking through the pits, we were debating weather we should swing by the Kawi pits, or head to a bar for a few beers, so I said, in Finnish “You know what, let’s just go to a bar, Tomac has really small tits anyway.” Just as I said that, a Samoan looking guy butts in, IN FINNISH, “Hey, are you from Finland?” Hilarious, after that, every time any of us said something strange, we looked around to check for Finnish speakers.
Well if yesterday was a disaster, today was a lot better. Got my act together, slept well, worked on both cars, and improved my driving. 4wd pace is acceptable, still slightly off the top, I would say I need to find 0.3seconds per lap on average in order to be really competitive. In 2wd I’m further off, more like 0.6 seconds that I need to find. On AKA’s I am quite good in 2wd and more competitive, but I just can’t do the same on the JConcepts, they are too loose for me. I will be trying my stand up gearbox car tomorrow just to see if that is easier to drive, and faster for me.
So for 2wd I’m still searching, but for 4wd I just need to drive better. That car is already good enough. Yest it can be improved, but mainly I just need to improve my driving, I need to maintain my corner speed better, and hit my lines better, that’s what I learned driving behind Maifield. When I did everything right we were going the same speed, any small mistake and he would pull a way a bit, then back to hitting my lines and I was fine again. And by mistake I mean braking too late, messing up a corner, going too wide etc. So need to focus on driving better tomorrow.
I think it’s really funny how some of these top drivers are such delicate flowers when it comes to their confidence and egos. Pull in behind them and they pull off. Can’t risk having me go faster than them in practice I guess. Or practice with no transponder until you are fast. Too funny. At least Cavalieri, Rivkin, Evans and Hara club raced yesterday. Hopefully more will tomorrow. Maifield didn’t give a shit also when I was trying to hang with him in 4wd, he didn’t pull off.
Did a podcast with Bobby Moore today. What the hell was it called, it slipped my mind now, but it will be out tomorrow. Hopefully it won’t make people hate me more!