January 22, 2016

22nd RROC opens with wins for Cavalieri, Evans & Numedahl


The 22nd running of the Reedy Race of Champions opened with wins for former Champions Ryan Cavalieri and Dustin Evans, but it was Kody Numedahl’s win that provided the most entertainment.  Starting from 9th on the grid, the Associated driver would see off a late charge from a recovering Spencer Rivkin. With both drivers wheelying across the finish line Numedahl took the win from the World Champion by 0.044 of a second.  In the other 2 encounters Cavalieri and Evans took wins from 2nd on the grid, Evans winning the most stacked race of the opening round from TLR team-mate Dakotah Phend.


Commenting on his race, Numedahl, who would go to the front after contact with early leader Travis Amezcua, said after a ‘shaky first lap’ he benefited from his rivals ‘one by one wrecking at the triple’.  Moving into second after Rivkin made contact with the second placed Carson Wernimont, an error by Amezcua put the AE designer in the hunt for the win.  After the sweeper at the end of the straight Numedahl would try a pass on the inside but ended up touching the rear wing of the Durango, the two cars tangling.  Numedahl would get going first admitting himself he expected to be called up by the referees but no call came.  Giving his view on the incident, Amezcua who led for 10 of the 16 laps before finishing 3rd, said ‘They made it clear at the drivers briefing that if you hit someone from behind or spin them out there would be a penalty but he (Numedahl) just drove.  I want to talk to them (the referees) to find out why no penalty was called’.


Having got the first race start abort after he jumped the start, Rivkin said ‘It was good but it could have been better’.  The 17-year-old said ‘I had a rough 3-minutes after I touched Carson and waited. I should have been more patient in trying to get by him’.  Setting the fastest lap of the race as he chased down Numedahl he said ‘I’m still pretty happy with a 2nd so its on to the next race and hopefully I can repeat a good finish’.


Winning the opening race from Steven Hartson, Cavalieri was able to get the jump on pole sitter Jared Tebo off the line for a lead he would never relinquish.  Starting from 2nd on the grid, the 3-time Reedy Race Champion said the outside of the grid had a better groove and that helped him to drive around the outside of Tebo.  Hartson was closing on Cavalieri until a small error just before entering the main straight. After bad opening lap on which he dropped to 5th, Tebo would recover to 3rd but was made work for it by Chad Due, the Associated driver coming onto the last lap on the rear wing of the Kyosho but making a mistake after the first triple that gave Tebo enough breathing room to finish third.


The 2011 Reedy Race Champion, Evans would also win from starting 2nd on the grid.  The third of the 2WD encounters, it was Australia’s Kyle McBride who led the way for the first half of the race.  The Associated driver would come undone when he came up short on the second triple which was enough to let Evans go to the front where he would stay to the end while Phend came through from 10th to finish half a second behind. Commenting on the race Evans said ‘I tried to get the holeshot but Kyle got a good start so I didn’t push the issue.  A stacked heat I decided to jusy follow until he made a mistake’.  Making a mistake while in the lead, he said ‘I was cruising and then rolled which made the race a little more stressful than it needed to be.  The first round is always nervous so its good to start with a win’.  A loaded race, reigning champion Ryan Maifield looked like getting a good result from his 9th starting position.  Getting up to third after an inside pass on Yokomo’s Lee Martin, the TLR driver would have a rollover at the end of the straight damaging his rear wing with some rough laps to follow.  In the end he would finish 5th behind Rob Gillespie and ahead McBride.

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