Team Associated's Ryan & Ryan ROAR Modified National Champions
Picking up where he left off in 2007, defending 2WD, 4WD and Truck National Champion Ryan Cavalieri took his Team Associated B4, B44, and T4 to the pole position in all three modified classes. Cavalieri utilized a prototype tire tread and compound from tire sponsor Proline on the rear of his B4 & B44. Comments from Cavalieri include, "It's just a faster tire through the corners (than the BK Bar)." And, "I feel like I don't have to push my car as hard to be fast."
Joining Cavalieri in the modified "A" finals were teammates Ryan Maifield, Jared Tebo, Steven Hartson, Frank Root and Rick Hohwart. Among all the modified "A" main competitors, half the field chose to use Associated vehicles and 60% used LRP speed controls. With three other major car manufacturers and multiple electronics companies in attendance, Associated and LRP clearly dominated the A-main lineups.
In the finals, Cavalieri checked out from his TQ position in truck to win A1 and A2 and successfully defended his National Championship. 2WD and 4WD, however, were not nearly as easy.
Cavalieri took the win in A1 in both classes by narrowly holding off Associated teammate, Ryan Maifield. In A2 Cavalieri had to retire from the 2WD main, giving another Associated teammate, and second qualifier, Jared Tebo a victory. Going in to A3 the Associated trio of Maifield, Cavalieri, and Tebo were in a three-way tie for the title. Just making the start of the race after a break in warm-up, Tebo got shuffled back in the pack, allowing Cavalieri and Maifield to battle for the win. Maifield spotted Cavalieri a two-second cushion and would make time here and there, but the steady Cavalieri never cracked and held on to again defend his National Championship.
In the 4WD modified class the racing was intense. It was impressive watching the way the top drivers manipulate and control these vehicles. As alluded to, top qualifier Cavalieri had all he could handle from the very hungry Maifield. A slight bobble at the start of A2 gave Maifield the lead and Cavalieri pressured till the final corner only to come up a few feet short. In A3, again Cavalieri and Maifield battled, swapping the lead multiple times to the delight of the crowd. The sportsmanship in this race was unbelievable - more than once Cavalieri and Maifield tangled only to wait for the other, which gave teammate Jared Tebo the lead. Not wanting to play a part in the overall chances for either driver, Tebo respectfully pulled out of the way to allow the Ryan and Ryan show to battle for the victory. At the end, Maifield was able to hold off Cavalieri to claim his first electric ROAR National title and the third modified title for Team Associated that weekend.
Adding to the three modified titles for Associated were Andrew Smolnik in 2WD Stock and Bill Koch in Masters Truck. With five titles on the weekend, Team Associated is clearly Champions By Design.