20922 Locust St. Hayward, CA 94541 - (510) 582-5897 - ricecars@aol.com

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Silver State Winternationals - Las Vegas, NV, 11/29-12/2/2012

 

  Just like every other year at the Silver State Winternationals in Las Vegas, NV, everyone brought out their warmest winter coats and heaters and plenty of blankets. No one needed any of them. It was actually warm this time! With a high for the week of 73, it was like a midsummers day at most points. But the climate change did not derail TEAM RICE’s usual domination of the event, as we won 9 races total (heats/mains only), coming away with FOUR A-Main victories. We had 2 more in hand and were leading by a huge margin, but as they say, it’s always the $2.00 part that will get you (B low-end carburetor screw came out, AA the screw-on spark plug tip came off in the boot.. SO irritating). But in any event…

 

  Carson Sias came to race and did a great job winning the Jr. Novice A-main. Unlike most Novice events, this was actually a competitive event where they had a C-main and transfer races. He started in the 2 hole and got shuffled to the back early, but stayed patient and ran his line, tracked down the leader and eventually walked away from him to earn TR our first Main Event of the weekend. In the Jr. Animal race, his brother Peyton had a bit of a rough call mid-race and was sent to the back, but was still able to run down the lead pack and pull of a very strong 3rd place finish. In Sr. Animal, we had a bit of bad luck as both RICE cars in the race got into an early wreck and Matthew Roberts was unable to finish, and Dario Retych was bent up a bit and was lucky to finish at all. In the Jr. Honda A-Main, Peyton Sias followed in his teammate Famous Rhodes’ footsteps from last year, and won his very first big race event, and in quite convincing fashion. Starting in the 7 spot after winning the B-main, He marched his way to the front, picking off one car at a time until the only thing left was to take the victory. He ran an EXCELLENT race, and his XR7 was an absolute bullet coming through traffic. And speaking of Famous, his transition to the Senior division was pretty smooth, as he won his fourth Winternationals Championship in Sr. Honda. Driving “The Albatross”, he started on the pole, but after 10 laps in the race he started to fall back. With 23 laps to go, there was a caution flag, and we made the executive decision to pull him in to change tires. This decision proved fruitful, as Famous drove past all of the competition and ended up winning by over half a lap. It was a very exciting race! In Famous’ other classes (Sr. Stock, Mod, and Lt. 160), we had some bad luck and technical difficulties that prevented him from finishing as high as normally expected, but we took away a lot of good learnings and will come back strong next time. As previously mentioned, in the B & AA classes we had some heartbreakers, as both cars were the cream of the crop, I mean absolutely head and shoulders faster than anybody else, and some plain old bad luck got the best of us. But Tommy McCarthy bounced back in a BIG way in his Lt. World Formula car, the class that he dominated and won at last year’s Winternationals as well. After an early flip and having to go to the back, Tommy gathered himself and his XR Evolution together and just MARCHED to the front, passing 2 (and sometimes 3) cars at once on occasion. And once he got out front, it was all over. As you can see in the below video clip, he just walks away from the pack. I mean, just LOOK at that car float through the corner. For those of you reading who are on the fence about getting a RICE CAR, this should be all the convincing you ever need. The thing was on a (bleep)ing RAIL. A mychron check after the race proved that we were over a tenth faster than the next best car.

And as a bonus event for the weekend, the Good Times club hosted a Handlers Race, in which all of the old guys got in Honda 120 cars and tried to back up what they’ve been saying to their kids all this time. It was a great time. D.J. Rice participated, as did Gregg Boe in a borrowed Rice Car. The weight limit for the class was only 290 pounds (I know, right? Way too low!), and the top 3 cars were the 3 lightest drivers, with Gregg finishing in 3rd, and D.J. finishing 4th, winning the quote-unquote “Heavy” portion of the race. But most importantly everyone had a blast with it, and next year’s Alumni race will hopefully have bigger motor platform and a higher weight limit, but it will be a lot of fun either way!!