Joern Nuemann and Ryan Maifield won the opening Truck A-Mains at the Pro-Line Cactus Classic, Neumann taking a convincing win in Mod Truck over Ryan Cavalieri while Maifield took a close win in 2WD Short Course over Top Qualifier Cavalieri.
Starting from the No.2 position, Neumann’s prototype Durango moved to the front on lap 2 as he got passed Top Qualifier Jared Tebo up the hill, a section that will be key to passes during the 5-minute encounter. Getting passed by Cavalieri, Tebo would come off worst from an error on lap 5 by the Associated driver coming off the hill onto the straight that would send the Kyosho tumbling and ending up on its roof. This allowed Billy Fischer to third, the Team Novak driver posting the fastest lap of the race, and while Tebo would retake the Associated when Fischer had issues at the hill, Tebo would lose the place again 3-laps later the No.4 truck to finish 4th.
In the 2WD Short Course encounter the race started out rather processional with the Top 3 pulling clear of the field and maintaining order. While Cavalieri would lead for the first 3-minutes, Maifield put on a late charge closing right up on his team-mates’ Associated. Clipping the pipping in the middle section of the track this pushed Cavalieri just wide enough for Maifield to slip down the inside. Cavalieri fought back, tagging the back of the No.2 truck up the hill causing it to spin round but the defending champion waited for Maifield to resume the lead, a position he would hold till the finish. Chris Wheeler had a lonely race, the TLR driver coming home 3rd over 4-seconds behind the Top 2.
Mod Truck A1 Result
1. Joern Neumann – Durango – 13/5:01.195
2. Ryan Cavalieri – Team Associated – 13/5:04.472
3. Billy Fischer – Team Associated – 13/5:05.436
2WD Short Course A1 Result
1. Ryan Maifield – Team Associated – 13/5:14.058
2. Ryan Cavalieri – Team Associated – 13/5:14.063
3. Chris Wheeler – Team Losi Racing – 13/5:18.691
After a rather windy finish to yesterday’s action it is a beautiful clear blue sky morning in Scottsdale for the closing day of the final Pro-Line Cactus Classic to take place at SRS Raceway. Today will see the crowning of the champions of the 28th running of the prestigious offroad event with triple mains to decide the winners of the key classes. One factor that could come into play today is that track was re-sugared last night, race organisers having originally planned no extra sugaring of the track once the event started.
A new element to the 28th running of the Pro-Line Cactus Classic, Joern Neumann and Kody Numedahl have won their respective Last Chance Qualifier races to join the buggy A-Mains as the 11th car on the grid. Qualifying 12th overall in 2WD Buggy, 4WD Top Qualifier Neumann took an easy win of what would normally be known as the B-Main. Moving in front of pole sitter Carson Wernimont on lap 2 the European Champion would win by 5-seconds from Kyosho’s Cody Turner with Wernimont dropping to third. In 4WD it was also the No.2 buggy that would take the win with Kody Numedahl seeing off an impressive drive by Serpent’s Mike Truhe. Starting from last on the grid Truhe stormed through the field before a mistake on the last lap allowing the Associated designer to win by 2.8 seconds and secure a place at the back the grid for tomorrow’s A-Main.
Dakotah Phend has claimed his first overall Buggy TQ at the Pro-Line Cactus Classic, the Team Losi Racing driver recovering from two crashes to take his second TQ run of the day in the fourth & final qualifier ahead of Travis Amezcua and Ty Tessmann. A three way battle to become Top Qualifier of the 28th running of the presitigious race it ended up being a bad last round for Jared Tebo and Ryan Maifield. Having TQ’d Q1 yesterday, Tebo looked to be the benefactor of Phend’s mistakes until he crashed on the last lap dropping him back to seventh. Fastest in Q2, Maifield was running on pace with Phend until he crashed, the Arizona driver’s run going downhill from there including his B5M leaving the track at the uphill section. Despite finishing 15th, Maifield will start 2nd on the grid followed by Associated team-mate Ryan Cavalieri and defending champion Tebo.
Having not even made the A-Main 12-months ago, Phend was pleased to secure his first overall TQ agreeing he made the task a little harder than he needed to. Claiming both mistakes as pure driver errors, the US National Champion said his Pro-Line equipped TLR22 was really good. Starting out front tomorrow the 17-year-old said passing will only be possible through mistakes and his aim is to keep it clean and just run his own race.
‘Threw it all away on the last lap’ was how Tebo summed up the final qualifier. Having had a bad Q2 and only 9th in Q3, the World Champion said he went into the heat looking to ‘just put in a safe run’. Hearing he was close to the TQ time he pushed harder but ultimately pushed too hard. ‘Bummed about the crash’, he said he got lucky with his grid position as he took the three way tie break for 4th position. Struggling a little with the rear end feel of his RB6 he said it kept ‘dumping abruptly’ and he needs to sort that for tomorrow. Commenting on what he expects from the finals he said ‘everyone is going to crash so I’ve got a shot’.
Needing a good run in the final qualifier to make the A-Main, Team Novak’s Billy Fischer took a fourth for the round saying he ‘finally got it together’. Running an Associated C4.2 Centro, he said fifth on the grid is his best result for some time and finally he didn’t come of the worst of a tie break. While he doesn’t believe he can win, one of offroad racing’s colourful characters said anything can happen.