Tebo, Neumann, and Maifield stand out through opening rounds of the Cactus Classic

Mar 15, 2014 No Comments by

Morning cloud cover gave way to crystal clear blue skies for the opening round of the 28th Annual Cactus Classic, with both the racing action and temperature climbing throughout the morning. The grippy and rough track conditions proved troublesome for even the best racers in the country, with several big names struggling in the first round and those that were able to put in a clean run had the opportunity to benefit by earning a good points finish to start off the day. Of course, with a tiebreaker being the fastest overall time, every run counts!


Modified Stadium Truck

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Kyosho frontman Jared Tebo sped off to an easy win in the opening round of Stadium Truck, finishing over five seconds ahead of last year’s class runner-up Jörn Neumann. The young German ran in the second position all race long, keeping last year’s TQ Ryan Cavalieri behind him for the entire five minutes. With only 14 entries in the class the biggest battle in qualifying may not be for TQ, but for the final spots in the main event!

  1. Jared Tebo – 13/5:02.819
  2. Jörn Neumann – 13/5:08.085
  3. Ryan Cavalieri – 13/5:10.566
  4. Mitchell Gardner – 13/5:12.836
  5. Steven Hartson – 13/5:13.494
  6. Scott Spear – 13/5:16.125
  7. Joe Pillars – 13/5:17.987
  8. Nolan Anderson – 13/5:19.101
  9. Tanner Denney – 13/5:21.132
  10. Brian Kinwald – 12/5:04.046

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Arizona native Billy Fischer, driving the Centro-converted mid-motor T4 truck, gave Jared Tebo a run for his money but was no match for the Round One TQ, as Tebo backed up his Friday morning performance to complete the Friday sweep by nearly a second. Ryan Cavalieri finished third for the second round in a row.

  1. Jared Tebo – 13/5:00.435
  2. Billy Fischer – 13/5:01.223
  3. Ryan Cavalieri – 13/5:06.389
  4. Jörn Neumann – 13/5:08.174
  5. Tanner Denney – 13/5:16.508
  6. Brian Kinwald – 13/5:16.844
  7. Joe Pillars – 13/5:19.610
  8. Nolan Anderson – 13/5:21.182
  9. Scott Spear – 13/5:23.710
  10. Steven Hartson – 12/5:01.156

Overall after two rounds (with one throwout):

  1. Jared Tebo – 0 points (0, 0)
  2. Billy Fischer – 2 points (14, 2)
  3. Jörn Neumann – 2 points (2, 4)
  4. Ryan Cavalieri – 3 points (3, 3)
  5. Mitchell Gardner – 4 points (4, 12)
  6. Steven Hartson – 5 points (5, 10)
  7. Tanner Denney – 5 points (9, 5)
  8. Scott Spear – 6 points (6, 9)
  9. Brian Kinwald – 6 points (10, 6)
  10. Joe Pillars – 7 points (7, 7)

Modified 2WD Short Course

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Defending champion Ryan Cavalieri nailed down the first round TQ by nearly three seconds over teammate Ryan Maifield, who was his closest competition last year in this class. Without last year’s third-place finisher Ryan Lutz competing this year, the best of the rest in the third round was not last year’s fourth-place finisher Dustin Evans, but instead his TLR teammate and Arizona native Chris Wheeler!

  1. Ryan Cavalieri – 13/5:15.946
  2. Ryan Maifield – 13/5:18.920
  3. Chris Wheeler – 12/5:00.165
  4. Dustin Evans – 12/5:02.431
  5. Spencer Rivkin – 12/5:03.587
  6. Carson Wernimont – 12/5:05.163
  7. Travis Amezcua – 12/5:05.488
  8. Brian Kinwald – 12/5:06.236
  9. Mike Truhe – 12/5:14.866
  10. Justin Gilkison – 12/5:18.377

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Ryan Maifield reduced the bobbles and mistakes he made in the first round to improve his time by six seconds to take the second round win with a brilliant drive, while TLR’s Chris Wheeler took advantage of a rougher run by Ryan Cavalieri to move up to second in the Friday evening round just four laps from the end.

  1. Ryan Maifield – 13/5:12.371
  2. Chris Wheeler – 13/5:16.877
  3. Ryan Cavalieri – 13/5:17.393
  4. Travis Amezcua – 13/5:19.420
  5. Cody Turner – 13/5:21.896
  6. Spencer Rivkin – 13/5:23.586
  7. Brian Kinwald – 13/5:24.830
  8. Dustin Evans – 12/5:03.206
  9. Carson Wernimont – 12/5:10.137
  10. Mike Truhe – 12/5:10.296

Overall after two rounds (with one throwout):

  1. Ryan Maifield – 0 points (2, 0)
  2. Ryan Cavalieri – 0 points (0, 3)
  3. Chris Wheeler – 2 points (3, 2)
  4. Travis Amezcua – 4 points (7, 4)
  5. Dustin Evans – 4 points (4, 8)
  6. Cody Turner – 5 points (15, 5)
  7. Spencer Rivkin – 5 points (5, 6)
  8. Carson Wernimont – 6 points (6, 9)
  9. Brian Kinwald – 7 points (8, 7)
  10. Mike Truhe – 9 points (9, 10)

Modified 4WD Buggy

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Team Durango’s Joern Neumann started off the heat in the fourth spot on lap one, moved up to the lead on lap two, and held onto the lead for the remaining 4:30 seconds of the race despite never leading by more than a second! Jared Tebo continued a great start to the weekend by chasing Neumann all race long to grab second place points for the round, and it was another second back to three-time class IFMAR World Champion Ryan Cavalieri in third. Defending Cactus Classic 4WD buggy winner Ryan Maifield struggled in the opening qualifier and finished 18th overall.

  1. Jörn Neumann – 14/5:05.266
  2. Jared Tebo – 14/5:06.222
  3. Ryan Cavalieri – 14/5:07.369
  4. Dakotah Phend – 14/5:09.654
  5. Billy Fischer – 14/5:13.708
  6. Ty Tessmann – 14/5:14.661
  7. Daimon Borkowicz – 14/5:16.408
  8. Kody Numedahl – 14/5:21.083
  9. Rob Gillespie, Jr. – 14/5:21.275
  10. Dustin Evans – 14/5:21.700

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At the beginning of the ‘A’ heat for Round Two it looked like Jared Tebo was going to break through with a TQ run in all three classes, with Ryan Cavalieri in tow, but mistakes in the second half of the race dropped Tebo out of contention and eventually to sixth for the round. Jörn Neumann swept in from the third spot to take the lead halfway through the head and took off, finishing over five seconds up on current ROAR National Champion Ty Tessmann after the young Canadian worked his way up from as low as seventh in the heat! Ryan Maifield recovered well from the first round, finishing third.

  1. Jörn Neumann – 14/5:03.338
  2. Ty Tessmann  – 14/5:08.481
  3. Ryan Maifield – 14/5:09.128
  4. Ryan Cavalieri – 14/5:09.298
  5. Dakotah Phend – 14/5:09.991
  6. Jared Tebo – 14/5:13.306
  7. Carson Wernimont – 14/5:14.299
  8. Ryan Lutz – 14/5:15.473
  9. Daimon Borkowicz – 14/5:15.219
  10. Steven Hartson – 14/5:16.106

Overall after two rounds (with one throwout):

  1. Jörn Neumann – 0 points (0, 0)
  2. Jared Tebo – 2 points (2, 6)
  3. Ty Tessmann – 2 points (6, 2)
  4. Ryan Cavalieri – 3 points (3, 4)
  5. Ryan Maifield – 3 points (18, 3)
  6. Dakotah Phend – 4 points (4, 5)
  7. Billy Fischer – 5 points (5, 16)
  8. Carson Wernimont – 7 points (23, 7)
  9. Daimon Borkowicz – 7 points (7, 8)
  10. Kody Numedahl – 8 points (8, 11)

Modified 4×4 Short Course

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With only 11 entries, all running in the same heat, qualifying for the 4×4 Short Course class is simply a formality to decide the starting grid for Sunday’s triple-A mains. Defending champion Dakotah Phend led all but laps 4 and 5 on his way to the win by nearly 3.5 seconds over Jörn Neumann, as the two were the only drivers to make it by for a 14-lap run, with Neumann’s Team Durango teammate Ryan Lutz finishing third.

  1. Dakotah Phend – 14/5:19.287
  2. Jörn Neumann – 14/5:22.698
  3. Ryan Lutz – 13/5:05.844
  4. David Jenson – 13/5:08.975
  5. Travis Amezcua – 12/5:03.299
  6. Carlos Arredondo – 12/5:06.359
  7. Louis Fernandez – 12/5:14.739
  8. Kenny Gatton – 12/5:21.865
  9. Sean Popham – 10/5:19.532
  10. Dan Harmon – 8/5:00.077

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The second round began where the first had left off, with TLR’s Dakotah Phend taking the early lead and looking to drive away. He gave up a half-second on lap four, however, to both Lutz and Neumann and from that point it was a battle between the Durango teammates. Lutz had the upper hand after getting by Phend but it was all Neumann after that, eventually winning by a second and a half with Phend third – the only three drivers to make it by the line for a 14-lap run in the second round.

  1. Jörn Neumann – 14/5:19.094
  2. Ryan Lutz – 14/5:20.693
  3. Dakotah Phend – 14/5:20.977
  4. David Jenson – 13/5:12.973
  5. Travis Amezcua – 13/5:14.589
  6. Louis Fernandez – 12/5:03.432
  7. Carlos Arredondo – 12/5:04.997
  8. Kenny Gatton – 12/5:24.203
  9. Dawn Forest – 11/5:04.628
  10. Dan Harmon – 10/5:19.288

Overall after two rounds (with one throwout):

  1. Jörn Neumann – 0 points (2, 0)
  2. Dakotah Phend – 0 points (0, 3)
  3. Ryan Lutz – 2 points (3, 2)
  4. David Jenson – 4 points (4, 4)
  5. Travis Amezcua – 5 points (5, 5)
  6. Louis Fernandez – 6 points (7, 6)
  7. Carlos Arredondo – 6 points (6, 7)
  8. Kenny Gatton – 8 points (8, 8)
  9. Dawn Forest – 9 points (11, 9)
  10. Sean Popham – 9 points (9, 11)

Modified 2WD Buggy

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Defending winner Jared Tebo started the first round off with a couple of class-leading laps before current national champion Dakotah Phend moved up from eighth on lap one to take the lead two laps later – and he held onto it for the entire race until a last lap crash gift-wrapped the win to Tebo. Billy Fischer continued his strong day by finishing three-tenths ahead of former winner Ryan Maifield to finish third for the round.

  1. Jared Tebo – 14/5:19.077
  2. Dakotah Phend –  – 14/5:19.683
  3. Billy Fischer – 14/5:22.066
  4. Ryan Maifield – 14/5:22.380
  5. Dustin Evans – 13/5:01.379
  6. Carson Wernimont – 13/5:04.513
  7. Ryan Lutz – 13/5:04.569
  8. Kody Numedahl – 13/5:04.875
  9. Ty Tessmann – 13/5:05.266
  10. Travis Amezcua – 13/5:05.526

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Former winner and Team Associated driver Ryan Maifield, who calls SRS his home track, turned in the only 14-lap run of the second round to take the win over his teenage protégé, Spencer Rivkin. At the beginning of the race, however, it was TLR’s Dustin Evans who showed that is needed to complete this weekend – running as high as second with just two laps to go, but slowed down at the end of the heat. Behind him, Ryan Maifield continued a strong Day One and eventually took the TQ for the round by approximately two seconds over his young protégé Spencer Rivkin, who was the first of three drivers to finish within less than one second of each other! Meanwhile, first round TQ Jared Tebo ran into problems throughout the race and finished well outside the top ten.

  1. Ryan Maifield – 14/5:22.285
  2. Spencer Rivkin – 13/5:01.383
  3. Ryan Cavalieri – 13/5:01.840
  4. Dustin Evans – 13/5:01.926
  5. Dakotah Phend – 13/5:02.835
  6. Cody Turner – 13/5:03.296
  7. Ryan Lutz – 13/5:03.720
  8. Travis Amezcua – 13/5:04.663
  9. Ty Tessmann – 13/5:05.066
  10. Carson Wernimont – 13/5:05.135

Overall after two rounds (with one throwout):

  1. Jared Tebo – 0 points (0, 19)
  2. Ryan Maifield – 0 points (4, 0)
  3. Dakotah Phend – 2 points (2, 5)
  4. Spencer Rivkin – 2 points (11, 2)
  5. Billy Fischer – 3 points (3, 14)
  6. Ryan Cavalieri – 3 points (13, 3)
  7. Dustin Evans – 4 points (5, 4)
  8. Cody Turner – 6 points (15, 6)
  9. Carson Wernimont – 6 points (6, 10)
  10. Ryan Lutz – 7 points (7, 7)

It’s back to the track at 8 AM tomorrow to begin the third round, with a new addition to the Cactus Classic schedule set to happen on Saturday night – a “Last Chance Qualifier” for the B-Main qualifiers in each of the Modified divisions will decide the last spot in each A-Main with a winner-take-all race for the final bump up!

2014 Cactus Classic, Electric, 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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