2022 Season Recap
Updated: Dec 14, 2022
Back home. That was the theme of 2022 as I returned to the chassis sponsor that gave me my R/C pro career start back in 2006. Kyosho! A brand that some more recently had nearly left for dead, I felt it was my duty to bring back to relevance and prove the platform still fully capable at all ability levels. I hope that I played a small part in being a shot in the arm for the brand and giving the Kyosho loyalists someone to root for at the biggest of R/C events.
Things happened quickly as 2022 got underway and with less than 3 weeks with the cars in my hands I was off to the Southern Indoor Championships (SIC). I was taking every opportunity to get track time and make changes to learn the cars on my first big track they had been on. Final results were a mixed bag with a 4th in Truggy and good pace in Nitro buggy but some gremlins. Overall though an alright start to push towards the big DNC coming up in a month.
I was fortunate to go out to California between SIC and DNC and get some much needed time on my cars on some west coast tracks. I spent 4 solid days at the track trying all I could think of and speaking with other drivers to really learn the platform the best I could. All told I was blessed to have the time and believed I could have a fighting chance come DNC.
DNC came and with it as usual an unpredictable weather knocking us down from two practice runs to only 1. This made my time out in Cali the weeks prior that much more important and fortunately it showed in the results. Truggy I would actually TQ the final qualifier under the lights and start 2nd in the main! Buggies were right there with a 4th and 5th in E and Nitro respectively. Come main time watering decisions threw a curve ball for Truggy and with a wrong tire choice I would take a solid 5th. Ebuggy though I got figured out from SIC and I ran pretty clean on the blown out track and got into the lead, but 1 mistake cost me and I finished up 2nd in the internationally stacked field.
After DNC we had an early ROAR Nationals. This was my first time on higher grip with some roughness. This was another learning curve event but qualifying went pretty well where I seeded 6th in both classes. Mains weren't as good for me though I did make the A's at least, and so next it was onto PNB. I kept up the 6 theme qualifying 6th in all 3 classes but again, main day would prove disappointing. It was time to get rid of some of these gremlins.
Along came Silver State and it was time to try my luck with a bit more of an old school track as it got blown out a bit like DNC but also gripped up a bit more too. Nitro I had some pace here and there but gremlins again in the mains. However Ebuggy is where my weekend shown bright and I was able to top seed practice, TQ qualifying, and win the A-main! Finishing at the top, where I had just missed out at DNC. So in the two biggest races of the year in Ebuggy I got a 2nd and 1st which was pretty exciting!
It was then time for the summer regional schedule. I attended LCRC and battled it out with Joe Bornhorst where I would win Nitro buggy but he got me in Ebuggy where I finished TQ and 2nd. Next was Southern Nationals where the track grooved a lot more than usual and I lacked some of my harder tires and made it a challenge for me with a best result of 6th in Nitro buggy.
I then finally had the opportunity to go to NY to the Rumble in Rome where I had a blast on the dark dirt there and a double TQ and Victory in my buggies where in the Nitro buggy main I had made a comment it was one of the best mains I have ever had my car feel in my career! Following that we had a nearly 300 entry event in Ohio for the X-Ray Challenge at Brown's. I would triple TQ this one but the rains on Sunday morning came and I did some wrong tire choices. I would manage a win in ebuggy and 2nd in nitro buggy though as this Ohio crew just keeps getting faster!
Next we had the special Visions event. Simple layout, tricky surface, televised, and 5K to win made this one to remember. My MP10TKI2 was so good all event. I absolutely had the chance to take home the victory with a number of seeding and qualifying wins. An untimely flameout upside down after tagging a car I was putting a lap on would doom my final result where I would finish 4th counting all 3 mains.
We then went south to Georgia for the Wicked Weekend. My cars were so good at this event and after the confidence boost of Visions I was battling with the best again at W.W. I ran 4 classes here keeping me busy. I had a couple of the better races of my life in Nitro buggy battling with Maifield and in Ebuggy battling with Maifield, Fuller, and Phend. In the end taking 2nd in Nitro buggy and 3rd in ebuggy and the victory in E-Truggy.
Next it was on to Spain for the IFMAR Worlds, the first in 4 years. The track and facility were epically amazing. I wish my results could have been the same. Out of the gate I showed my ability to learn a track faster than most having the fastest times of anyone who hadn't been to this track before. But as the weekend went on my pace just wasn't there when I needed it. Had a great time with the Kyosho team and my pit man Will but the results look like they will have to wait until '24.
To close out the fall I had my LutzRC hometown shootout where Joey Bourdon and I battled it out and I took the victories in the E classes and he got me in Nitro on this one. Then we headed to TARCAR for the first time where I was able to get the Trifecta over Drake and Bourdon in some awesome racing battles. This is absolutely a track I need to get to again. Then one more trip to LCRC for the Halloween Classic where I would double TQ and Victory in Ebuggy and Etruggy. A journey over to GSRC for the USRC finals where I would take victory in all 3 classes in the difficult nighttime conditions.
To close out the year a trip to IndyRC World for the LoneStar Classic with my Kyosho teammate Spencer Klein. I was able to clean sweep the event in all 3 classes to close the year on a positive note. Had a great time with the Kleins as we discussed growth opportunities for the 2023 season!
I have now been at this professional R/C career for 17 years. When I write down or think about those numbers it's quite surprising as I still feel young and like a kid. Perhaps playing with R/C day in and day out for 30+ years keeps you young. :-D