This years ROAR National was in Pennsylvania, and having never been there, it was a nice change of pace. We didn’t run the warm-up race so we felt a little behind the curve. No excuses, but it’s always a good idea to run at the facility at least once before a big race, to get acclimated and understand the track better.
The track and facility were prepared really well. Everyone was hopeful the track would groove up, but unfortunately it started blowing out. The set-up was tricky with high speed high grip sections and also dry slippery blown out areas. The rhythm section on the back right side didn’t really have any right or wrong way to go through. The guys were just carrying as much speed as they could and rolling through it. The car, engines, fuel, tires and everything worked great all week.
I think the other teams are catching up on set-ups and have been looking at our cars and using some of our parts. We will just have to work harder to get ahead again before Argentina. We are really proud of Proline getting the win in both classes. We had a battery connection falter in the truggy class, and the truck stopped working just when Cody seemed to be picking up the pace.
Here are some words from Cody:
Practice and qualifying were kind of all over the map with set-up adjustments. I never felt completely comfortable with either of my cars, and I wish I had another day to test set-up stuff. I put both my truggy and buggy into the semis, but not near the front like I wanted.
The Truggy semi was scary because I would only make it into the final by time, along with Tyler Vik. Our semi was quite a bit faster so we both made it in. This would put me 9th on the grid for the final. At the start there was a pile up on the front strait. Lutz was upside down, and I blasted him pretty hard, but somehow made it through into 4th. I was catching the lead pack half way through the 45 minute main, and suddenly my truck started glitching. It got so bad that I couldn’t drive anymore and had to pull off. It turned out to be a loose connector causing the radio to shut off. It’s too bad because I was feeling good with the truck right when the problem started. I think the new Proline Blockade for truggy was giving us an advantage, and it really started working better as the race went on. Ty and Dakotah were doing some really fast laps at the end of the race.
Buggy was also a challenge, and especially doing both classes in a ladder format on Sunday. All the guys who made both semis had to work super hard and keep focused to do well in both classes. We chased set-up quite a bit, and it still probably wasn’t quite right. The track was loose in some sections, but the front straight and berm were high speed and high grip. It was pretty tricky to get the set-up right, because it would be good in some sections and not so good in others. We got it the best we could and I finished 5th in the semi. My semi was so much faster that I would start a respectable 7th even after the rough few days of qualifying. The buggy main was pretty boring for me just kinda running by myself the whole time and getting into 4th and finishing there. Drake was pushing really hard at the end trying to catch me, but was too far back and I cruised in with 4th place. If I could do this over again, I think I would set-up the car a little softer for the rough sections.
Running two ladders in one day was hell. For the guys who have to do it (the top 12 guys) it’s really hard. Semi and main in one class is exhausting and stressful, but two classes? I really believe some of the mechanical problems the guys had have something to do with this. You only have a limited amount of time in between semi and main, and when you are trying to do two, it’s exhausting. The truggys are hard on stuff, so you inevitably spend time on that when you should be paying attention to the buggy. It’s a real testament to both our cars to go through the semi and final with a limited time to prepare both cars in between. The buggy ran strong and tough the whole time with very limited maintenance.
All in all, leaving here with 4th place we are not totally disappointed considering the rough start, and playing catch-up the whole time. Cody has been 4th at the Nationals 3 years in a row, if you can believe that! lol.. The funny part is, the plaques haven’t changed… consistent mediocrity, but he won the Worlds after his 4th in 2010, so we can be hopeful.. We are proud of his final appearances 6 of the last 7 years. I am confident that he will win a National at some point.
Big thanks to Lost Creek Cycles for setting up the track and accommodating everyone’s needs. They did set everything up really nice and take care of everyone. I also want to thank the volunteers from ROAR who ran a good race. There were a few unfounded complaints in the tech inspection area, but other than that it was a fairly run event, and the fast guy won at the end.
Here are a bunch of pictures for your viewing pleasure..