January 21, 2017

Phend leads Reedy Race overnight with 3rd win

Dakotah Phend is the overnight leader at the end of the first day’s racing at the Reedy Race of Champions.  The defending champion took an impressive third win in the closing race which was to prove the most entertaining of the day’s 16 races. Starting on pole it was his former TLR team-mate Dustin Evans who lined up beside him who would get the better start.  Battling clear of the pack out front, the pair would make contact on the main straight allowing Alex Kosciuszek with Jared Tebo in toe to go to the front setting up for a thrilling showdown.  Tebo’s chances of a first win however where short lived as he made an error and it wasn’t long before Kosciuszek followed suit with Phend there to pick up the pieces for an important win ahead of Cole Tolland.  With drivers allowed one dropped score, as it stands this leaves Phend with the perfect score with two 4WD races remaining as he heads Ty Tessmann and Ryan Cavalieri who sit joint second in the points.  The fourth round would see Tessmann become the only other multiple race winner of the day as he notched up a second win ahead of Ryan Maifield and Cavalieri. Claiming the first European win, Lee Martin was the other winner of the round after getting around Malin Karlsen, the Norwegian teenager making history as the first female to compete at the Reedy Race in the Invitational class.

‘I’m pretty happy’ was how Phend summed up the first day of his title defence before adding, ‘but I already have to use my throw out’.  Targeting Top 3 runs in tomorrow’s concluding two 4WD encounters before the switch to 2WD,  Phend said the day’s final race was ‘a lot of fun’ continuing ‘me and Dustin had a blast, it was an exciting race’.  Commenting on his contact with Evans, he said, ‘I went wide coming onto the straight trying to get by Dustin but hit the wall and got sideways.  It was just a racing incident’.

Tessmann declared it ‘a good finish to the day’ adding ‘I got to keep getting low points I guess’.  Planning to ‘keep pushing forward’, the new Xray signing said his car is ‘awesome’ and referring to his opening two races, in which he got P4, he said he ‘just need(s) better luck’.  Starting the closing race on pole but losing out to Tanner Denney off the line, the former 1:8 World Champion said, ‘It was a little hairy at the start’.  Surviving a rollover once in front after Round 1 winner Denney made a mistake he was able to control the race for an easy 3.6 second win over Maifield.

The Reedy Race of Champions most successful driver, winning the unique prestigious race 3-times, Cavalieri said, ‘I’m really happy so far especially with having a new car’.  With Team Associated using the race to debut their long overdue new 4WD platform, the B64D, he continued, ‘we have been all working hard to making it a little quicker’.  Making changes for Round 4 to the diff oils and removing the front swaybar he said this gave him more corner speed and now they will try some changes in the rear to ‘try get a little more for tomorrow’.

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