By Tyler Hooks
The Unprofessionals is sporadic column where we lend our interns, editors or otherwise opinionated people a platform for their voice on RC matters or racing events. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LiveRC. Got an opinion? Submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might publish it!
It's time for one of the most plesant nationals of the year for me. It's almost always inside with air-conditioning and after a scalding summer in Texas i am 100% for it!. Most of the picks are going to be pretty obvious but here they are none the less.
These guys are boring, not because of how they drive, but because they are expected to be at the top which doesn’t always make for stellar racing. It is consistent though which is why they all have jobs.
2/4 biggest 1/10th scale races of the year have been at Ryan's home track and while he had 1 win in 4wd he finished off the podium in 2wd at both events. Despite that he is the current 2wd and 4wd World Champion for a reason and he has taken 1 win at each of the 2 other ROAR events he attended this year. Maifield is Maifield what else is there to say.
Ty has had a quiet year in 1/10th scale, he finished just off the podium at Reedy and was a podium contender but missed out on wins at the JC race at Hobby Action. He did win the Factory Tracks Invite at EN and has done quite a bit of testing there.
Cavalieri has a solidified 1/10th scale program with the Yokomo/Muchmore squad. He hasn't had results at the major races such as CRCRC and Reedy that I think he is looking for, but confidence is important and he had a fantastic weekend at the ROAR 1/8th Nationals so maybe that will translate.
So far this year, Jared has had one weekend (Reedy Race) with major highs, and another (The Desert Classic) with some lows finishing in the bottom half of the top 10. Jared has been putting in major time practicing and learning his new rides and electronics so only time will tell where Tebo ends up next weekend.
Dustin quietly gets results, he is a Reedy Race and ROAR National Champion. He has been putting in work at MHOR and will likely be in the top 5.
3/4 class wins at major races at Hobby Action this year, a podium at Reedy, a podium and a win at the Nitro Nationals, Rivkin is on a tear and I think he is definitely a top favorite.
Phend took a wins at CRCRC, a podium and wins at the Desert Classic, but had a very poor weekend at the Reedy Race. He is possibly the most perplexing person on the favorites list. Hopefully this is a good weekend for the Phenom, it will make for some great racing to watch.
Sorry guys, Cole totally slipped my mind but he is a force and has had quiet but solid results all year. I think that Cole is maybe a little stronger in 4wd but has had stellar results at events in 2wd so I think he is plenty capable in either class.
Broc has big expectations for this weekend. He is quick, like quite possibly fast lap of the weekend quick, but it seems like it depends on his mind set where he will finish. Either way he makes the mains, and if he's feeling it he battles for podiums.
Mason nearly took home a title at the Reedy Race. He has taken down some of the biggest names over the years. I look forward to good things from the young TLR driver.
Ron took home the Reedy 2wd title with some fantastic driving. He has been solid at every race this year. I think he could easily make both mains.
Tanner will make both mains in my opinion. It seems he has been a staple for the last couple of years.
The Wild Cards:
This is where feelings will get hurt which sucks, but it’s my opinion and it wouldn’t be valid if it was fake. Can they win? Probably. Would it come as a major surprise to me? Yes.
Joe finished 2nd at CRCRC in 4wd and almost cracked the top 10 at Reedy. He could get a top 5 or not make the main and neither would really surprise me. This race is different than other 1/10th scale races.
He hasn't had the results he was looking for at the last couple of nationals in 1/10th scale but he is Reedy Open champion for a reason.
JP won against some major names earlier this year at SmacTrac and has had fairly good results all year long. He could be top 5 or in the B main, kind of like Joe, neither would surprise me.
CJ has yet to really WOW me with the switch to Kyosho but that doesn't really mean much; he hasn't been there for very long and we all have to remember he's still so young. He has big shoes to fill after making the main at the ROAR Nationals in 1/10th and 1/8th scale last year as well as at the 8th Scale Worlds. Reedy wasn't fantastic, but he has much more time on the cars now and I expect big things in the coming months.
Maybe not as flashy speed wise as his brother, but insanely insanely consistent. Consistency plus a little speed, maybe we see a main or two for the elder Champlin?
No matter what happens he will probably be having more fun than you, or I, or anyone else for that matter. Jake showed insane speed at Reedy but 10 minute mains are brutal. I'm not sure anyone on earth would be upset to see Mayo make the mains.
Tommy got a crowd favorite Reedy 4wd Open win this year. He and Jake will do very well, but well enough to make both mains I'm not sure. There is a lot of east coast talent that will be here.
Tom made his first ROAR main last year, but with the switch from AE to TLR has seen some trouble, Tom has been putting in a lot of time practicing to get ready for this event. I think we will see progress from Tom!
They deserve their own spots, but they will probably qualify right next to each other in at least one class because it seems to happen at every race in at least one class. They are fast, they work hard, and they want to do well. Could this be a breakout weekend for Austin or Ayden?
Heckert made the main at the nitro nationals this year, and finished 2nd at the Factory Tracks Invitational at the 1/10th scale nationals host track this year. He is quick and has found another level recently. What does that mean for this year's nationals, I'm not sure.
Tyler has had some up and down results this year but had a great showing at the ROAR 1/8th nationals. I'm not sure what we will see but he will definitley throw down some heaters.
I've done this for two years now and I am still forgetting people, I apologize if I forgot someone you like or even you specifically.