Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to win one of the most prestigious race in RC history? Besides winning a WORLDS, winning a REEDY Race is probably the next best thing and in some ways… perhaps even better. The 2014 Reedy Race has finished and as always, the cream rises to the top. In one of the most competitive 2wd Open Class to date, saw the A-main competitors being only separated by a total of 3 seconds! Taking the crown this year was TLR’s JP Richards, whom I’d like to thank for doing this interview and bringing us some great insight on what it’s like to win the REEDY! ……..The REEDY!!! (Fist pumpin’)
I can’t congratulate him enough on such an awesome job at one of the biggest races of the year. I look forward to future races as I have a feeling he’s going to be quite the common household name. Have a read below with my interview with JP after his amazing accomplishment of winning the REEDY 2wd Modified Open Class!
2wdMod: Let’s do the quick stuff….How old are you? What’s your home-track, how long have you been racing, and lastly what is your favorite class to race?
JP Richards: 20 years old, The Loft R/C Raceway, I’ve been racing about 11 years, and my favorite class 2wd buggy.
PS4 or XBOX One?
JP: I don’t own either of them. I am not really a gamer, but when I do play I prefer the XBOX One.
Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
JP: Not really, I try just make sure my cars are prepped and ready. I also try to stay away from caffeine to keep the nerves down.
Okay let’s get down to the nitty gritty….. This might be difficult to do, explain to us how does it feel to win the REEDY Race of Champions 2wd Open Class?!?!? What does it mean to you?
JP: It feels pretty awesome to be honest. I never got the pleasure of meeting Mike Reedy, but from the stories I’ve heard he sounds awesome! So to win a race that means so much to so many people, is awesome! I am really excited to run in the invite class next year.
Did you do any kind of training or pre-race prepping before the REEDY?
JP: For the past almost two years I’ve been running about 2-3 days a week, so that’s the training part. As far as prepping, I am very serious about all my cars being fully ready to go to a race before I leave. The prep for this one was a little easier since I just got a new kit before the CRCRC Midwest Champs to start the year off, so there wasn’t really too much to do.
Since you’ve been home, what have you been up to? Relaxing? Getting ready for the next big race?
JP: Since this was my first big win, I decided to retire that car, so I had to build a new one before R4 of the WRL on Saturday Feb. 1st, which is a pretty decent sized points series that I have been running. Then I leave for St. Louis Feb 6th for the first round of the JC Winter Indoor Nationals. So not too much relaxing going on. LOL
Alright back to the Reedy Race……… There seemed to be a lot of criticism about the track layout being too simple for a REEDY race. What did you think of the track and track conditions?
JP: I thought the track was awesome, it was a little simple, but I thought it brought out the good drivers since you had to be so perfect and fast all at the same time. With the top ten being separated by 2.9 seconds, there’s not a whole lot of room for error. I think for the invite format I could see how some would think it was too easy, since all you had to do was hold your line and not be super fast.
What was the biggest challenge to you on the track and how did you overcome that to take the win?
JP: It was probably the OC/RC option. I decided early on in the week that I was going to go around it since I saw so many people wrecking trying to roll over it. The issue with going around it was anyone I was racing with that would hit it, could easily duct to the inside and bump me off the line, so I had to learn to do it both ways incase I was racing with anyone.
I’m guessing your car was pretty awesome in the mains …… Did you make any setup changes to the 22 2.0 to get it dialed?
JP: Yeah, my car was so easy to drive and the lap times were there. I made a few minor changes to the setup, but nothing really major. For anyone looking to see it, TLR has it listed on the website at TLRACING.COM. (Or click below for the jpeg edition)
For those running the TLR 22 2.0, what advice or recommendations would you give to those trying to dial in the car at their hometrack?
JP: Since I have been doing this for so long I have gained a decent idea of how to setup a car, so I have found that doing my own thing works well for me. For anyone looking to dial in there car, just put a pro drivers setup on that seems to meet your type of track conditions and try not to mess with it too much and really concentrate on your driving. From what I have heard everyone seems to think Dustin Evans JC Race setup is a good starting point for the MM and Frank Roots OC/RC setup is a good place to start for RM.
Do you have any advice for the ‘Young up and Comers’ to find success in this sport and maybe perhaps win the REEDY Race someday?
JP: Its all about practicing as much as you can and concentrating on putting clean runs together for qualifying and mains. Find your local sponsored guy and pick his brain, for the most part their happy to help. Always make sure to have fun too, if it stops being fun then your doing something wrong.
Lastly, who would you like to thank?
JP: I would like to thank Team Losi Racing and Horizon hobby for all of their support, they were my first real chassis sponsor last year and I’m really proud to represent them. Viper R/C, I just signed with them for 2014 and cant think of any other power source I would want in my cars. Airtronics, They were my first major sponsor 5 years ago and I am proud to still run for them. AKA Racing, they have some awesome innovating products and I’m proud to represent a company that makes their products in the US. 92Zero Deigns for all their awesome graphics. LukeDawg graphics, My brother Luke paints all my bodies, so it’s nice to have an in house painter. The Loft R/C Raceway, Pete and Wayne the owners have put together an awesome facility for central Ohio racers. Curt Schlichter of The Ohio R/C Factory. And of course my family for all their support!!