One final time under the sun – 2014 Cactus Classic Preview

Mar 13, 2014 No Comments by

One of the longest-tenured races in RC, the 28th Annual Cactus Classic will again run for the final time at the original Scottsdale RC Speedway in Scottsdale, AZ, and the track looks like one of the fastest and least risky in years, with plenty of high speed corners that should ensure incredibly close racing. Last year, this event signaled the beginning of a revolution that forever changed the electric off-road world. Will history be made again this year?

Photo: Spencer Rivkin, Facebook

Photo: Spencer Rivkin, Facebook

Last year, the local Hobbytown USA franchise that owns SRS announced that the race would move to a new indoor facility, but decided to organize the race at the original outdoor track for one final time once determining that the new building would not be prepared in time – leaving some of the racers scrambling to secure accommodations across town to be closer to the track. This year’s track looks like one of the fastest and least risky in years, with plenty of high speed corners without large jumps on which to gamble jumping in the wind, which should ensure incredibly close racing. The layout was again blanketed in sugar to create a sandpaper-like texture that help the surface hold together and increase traction to a level similar to flypaper. The sugared surface is what served as the catalyst for last year’s wild results that flipped the 2WD buggy division upside down.

Modified 2WD Buggy

CactusClassic-6Sunday-1

Jared Tebo adapted to mid-motor racing faster than anyone, taking a commanding win at the Cactus and translating that into a World Championship later last summer.

No class was more affected by the radical track conditions than Modified 2WD buggy, and last year’s Cactus was the first time on American soil that the entire class switched their buggies to mid-motor configuration – everyone except the Team Associated drivers, who didn’t have a choice with the B4 chassis. Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura dominated qualifying to take the TQ but struggled in the main events, and Jared Tebo won the first two main events to take the title, while Ryan Maifield put in a spectacular effort to finish second ahead of TLR’s Dustin Evans. This weekend, however, will be the national-level debut for Team Associated’s B5M mid-motor buggy and that will surely cause a shake-up!

Modified 2WD Buggy Podium

Modified 2WD Buggy Podium

  1. Jared Tebo
  2. Ryan Maifield
  3. Dustin Evans
  4. Naoto Matsukura
  5. Lee Martin
  6. Ryan Cavalieri
  7. Steven Hartson
  8. Travis Amezcua
  9. Cody Turner
  10. Joern Neumann

Modified 4WD Buggy

2013-Cactus-4Saturday-101

Ryan Maifield was the fastest car on the track in many classes, and showed it by racing for the win in 4WD.

Despite qualifying third, Ryan Maifield grabbed another win at his hometown event with spectacular drives in the first two mains, including coming from behind twice in A2 to wrap up the victory before the final leg.

Modified 4WD Buggy Podium

Modified 4WD Buggy Podium

  1. Ryan Maifield
  2. Joern Neumann
  3. Ryan Cavalieri
  4. Naoto Matsukura
  5. Dakotah Phend
  6. Carson Wernimont
  7. Lee Martin
  8. Jared Tebo
  9. Dustin Evans
  10. Travis Amezcua
Maifield Stadium Truck

Last year, Modified Stadium Truck was the Ryan and Ryan show – until the main events, at least. Durango’s Joern Neumann made it a three-truck race for the win.

The road to the Modified Stadium Truck win wasn’t quite as easy for Maifield, who won the first main event over his teammate and TQ Ryan Cavalieri, but Team Durango’s Joern Neumann beat them both in A2 to force a winner-take-all final. Cavalieri made a mistake at the beginning of the race and Maifield made the best of it.

Modified Stadium Truck Podium

Modified Stadium Truck Podium

  1. Ryan Maifield
  2. Joern Neumann
  3. Ryan Cavalieri
  4. Jared Tebo
  5. Billy Fischer
  6. Dustin Evans
  7. Mike Truhe
  8. Steven Hartson
  9. Ricky Gaynor
  10. Nolan Anderson
Cavalieri 2WD SC

A tough weekend by the lofty standards of the multi-time National and World Champion, Ryan Cavalieri’s only class win in 2013 came in the Modified 2WD Short Course class.

In a reversal of the Stadium Truck class, Ryan Maifield TQ’d but after splitting the first two main events with Cavalieri, it was the latter who wrapped up the overall win in the crucial third main event. Team Durango’s Ryan Lutz was the best of the rest, rounding out the podium.

Modified 2WD Short Course Podium

Modified 2WD Short Course Podium

  1. Ryan Cavalieri
  2. Ryan Maifield
  3. Ryan Lutz
  4. Dustin Evans
  5. Brian Kinwald
  6. Chris Wheeler
  7. Matt Castellano
  8. Jason Corl
  9. Frank Root
  10. Cody Turner
2013-Cactus-7Sunday-02

Dakotah Phend expertly navigated his way around former TLR teammate Billy Fischer to take his second straight win in 4WD Short Course.

Arizona native Billy Fischer earned Top Qualifying honors after four rounds, but early mistakes in the first two main events let the defending champion Dakotah Phend by to take a resounding victory. Fischer held on for second, though as he no longer runs for TLR it’ll be interesting to see if he runs the 4WD Short Course class again this year. Behind Fischer, Joern Neumann won the battle between Team Durango teammates to finish third overall.

Modified 4WD Short Course Podium

Modified 4WD Short Course Podium

  1. Dakotah Phend
  2. Billy Fischer
  3. Joern Neumann
  4. Hupo Honigl
  5. Ryan Lutz
  6. Travis Amezcua
  7. Trevor Clement
  8. David Jenson
  9. Brian Kinwald
  10. Charles Hicks

With the high-speed layout on such a high-traction surface it’s anyone’s guess who will win the final Cactus Classic titles before the race finally moves indoors in 2015. To keep up with the RC Car Action coverage of the 28th annual Cactus Classic, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and keep checking here at RCCarAction.com!

2014 Cactus Classic, Electric, Event Coverage, Featured News, Off-road

About the author

Associate Editor Since receiving my first hobby-grade RC car as a holiday present from my father nearly 20 years ago, I've been fortunate enough to meet more people and experience more opportunities through the adventures I've had in the RC industry than I would've ever imagined. I've done it all - from working at a hobby shop, to being a factory sponsored racer, to working for some of the biggest brands in the industry. I've enjoyed each and every one of the dozens of kits I've built, hundreds of events I've attended, and thousands of laps that I've logged at race tracks around the world, and my passion is to share those experiences with other hobbyists so that they may find fulfillment in their own RC careers.
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