FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Dakotah Phend wins first ROAR National Championship
Friday, Jul 25, 2014 07:00am
By Aaron Waldron
By Aaron Waldron
Everybody knows that Friday is meant for reminiscing old times. Each week we take you back in time as we flashback to some of R/C racing's greatest moments, products, drivers, and more!
Dakotah Phend wins first ROAR National Championship
When Dakotah Phend crossed the finish line less than four-tenths of a second ahead of Ty Tessmann at Thornhill Racing Circuit in Hutto, TX last month, he earned his first ROAR National Championship in a nitro class - but it was the eleventh of his career.
To find the first one, you have to go back in time almost nine years.
Up until 2006, the ROAR National Championships for Stock and Modified Electric Off-Road were held at separate events, at different tracks, often at much different times of the year. The ROAR Electric Stock Off-Road Nationals recognized five unique classes as well - 2WD Buggy, 4WD Buggy, and Truck, along with Juniors Buggy (for racers 15 and under) and Masters Truck (for those 40 and up). In late October 2005, the Stock Nationals were held at Scottsdale R/C Speedway, home of the Cactus Classic. And that weekend, an era of R/C car racing in the U.S. began.
At the age of eight, Dakotah Phend won the D Main in Stock Truck and qualified second in the Juniors Buggy division. The Top Qualifier, Alex Smith, crashed on the first lap of A1 and Phend took the lead, but had a few rough laps of his own that dropped him back as far as sixth before fighting back inside the top three by race end. A2 and A3 were all Dakotah, though, as he led every lap and shrugged off the pressure of clinching what was then the biggest race of his life.
Dakotah successfully defended his title the following year at the now-closed Peel-It Raceway in Marysville, WA and added a third title in Stock Truck as well. He added seven more in various classes between 2007 and 2014, including several in Super Stock (19-turn brushed before it became 13.5 brushless), and the 2013 Modified 2WD Buggy championship.
As for the rest of the classes at the 2005 Stock Nationals, Bill Koch won Masters Truck, Charlie Perez swept Buggy and Truck, and the 4WD class went to someone who has also since proven he can wheel a buggy pretty well, too:
2013 IFMAR 4WD World Champion Steven Hartson.