The 6th Annual President’s Day Classic was run at Addiction R/C in Ogden, Utah. With a total of 220 entries and 28 heats large, Addiction R/C was staged to be the center of epic battles all weekend long. The largest classes over the weekend were Stock Buggy at 32 entries, 2WD Mod buggy 25 entries, and 4WD Mod buggy with also 25 entries which ran on a 5 minute triple A-main format. The rest of the classes saw single 8 minute A-main events with lower mains receiving a 5 minute treatment.
The format consisted of Friday controlled practice with 1 qualifier held in the evening, 3 qualifiers on Saturday, and mains on Sunday. The track was ultra tacky and the tire of choice were slicks. Fortunately for those who didn’t have slicks with them, the track owner “Beazer”, had a drill press converted to grind up tires that saw a queue as long as the controlled practice lines. The layout was very challenging due to the huge technical triple jump (Stock and 13.5 saw a double single), and the track’s overall extremely high speed nature. The triple was a money maker and played culprit to many broken cars over the weekend.
In Modified 2WD Buggy A1, former IFMAR World’s B-main finalist and fellow Pro-Line Teammate, Eric Willardson and 2012 Reedy 2WD Open Champion Rob Gillespie Jr. would instantly break away from the field and set an immense pace to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. By the 2nd lap, Willardson set off on a mission and gapped Gillespie until he made a mistake over shooting the triple and leaving the door open for Gillespie to sneak passed on the roller. On the same lap, Willardson would raped by the whoops while Gillespie would get through clean leaving Willardson almost a straight away behind. With 2 minutes to go, Gillespie would make an uncharacteristic error and stick himself in the pipe at the drop down giving the lead back to Willardson. The duo would then follow each other nose to tail until Willardson would go long on the triple again which found himself giving the position back to Gillespie. With just over a minute to go and with a ‘Never die attitude’, Willardson came onto the straight super punched bringing himself along the inside forcing Gillespie to give up the lead or potentially suffer a wheel to wheel flip in the sweeper. The crowd would cheer as Willardson would take over the lead with Gillespie close on his heels. Now with under 30 seconds left, Willardson would again suffer on the triple landing and spinning 180 that let Gillespie regain the lead once again and cruise home for the win!
In A2 from the start it would be a 4-car battle between TLR’s Willardson, Team Associated’s Gillespie, Team C’s Joel Eaton, and Team Associated’s Kobe Yonkers. Making another mistake on his favorite part of the track, Willardson would shuffle back from 1st to 4th on the 2nd lap. However, Willardson would capitalize on Eaton’s and Yonkers mistake on the triple as well and recapture 2nd place and start to make his charge to catch Gillespie. With 3 minutes to go, Willardson would push too hard in the whoops and get out of shape clipping the corner on exit allowing Yonkers to take over 2nd. A few laps later, Yonkers would suffer a break as he took an awkward tumble in the front double giving Willardson free reign over 2nd. With all the action happening behind the leader, Gillespie would benefit from a comfortable margin and cruise home to another victory in A2 and seal the deal with a 2 and out win for the rising star.
In A3 the battle for 2nd and 3rd was on. Willardson would lead the group around on the 1st lap but case the triple and give up his position to new leader Joel Eaton and now 2nd place Kobe Yonkers. It sounds like a broken record but the triple would also claim Yonkers and send him bonker flippin’ giving 2nd place back to Willardson. Eaton and Willardson would trade laps until half-way through the race as lap traffic would play a factor when they came in the triple section 4 cars deep. Eaton would play it a bit too cautiously and come up short, but Willardson would go for broke and execute a flawless jump and take over the lead from Eaton. For the entire 2 minutes, Eaton would drive his heart out and close the gap to Willardson and on the last lap got within inches of tasting victory in A3 as the two cars were set up to drag down the straight away for a photo finish. Joel would brush the pipe coming on the straight and roll on his lid. Willardson would take the win in A3, followed by Eaton and Yonkers making it Gillespie Jr, Willardson and Eaton on the podium.
Find more results along videos of the finals here.