Now in its third year, the Alabama Manufacturers Shootout has grown in popularity each year and this year was no different. With the reigning 1:8 World Champion and ROAR 1:8 National Champions all in attendance, the competition was as high as it’s ever been. With a sweep of the 2011 event, Team Associated’s Ryan Maifield was the favorite going in to the event and even with the elevated competition still looked to dominate. With his LRP-powered and JConcepts-equipped Factory Team RC8.2 buggy and Factory Team RC8T truggy, Maifield picked up where he left off in 2011 and set the fastest times in qualifying to secure the top qualifying positions in both Expert Buggy and Expert Truggy for the 2012 event.
At the start of the 45-minute Expert Truggy main event, Maifield checked out from the field and built a 15+ second lead at one point, when an engine cut-out exiting the pits causing Maifield to re-fire and rejoin in third, battling with Adam Drake, 15 seconds down from the leader. With unmatched determination, Maifield put his head down and charged back to the front of the pack, running down the leader, Jared Tebo, with just a few laps remaining. The two battled back and forth and entered the last lap just tenths of a second apart. A smooth and confident final lap from Maifield sealed the win and back-to-back Expert Truggy AMS titles.
Still dialed in from his victory in Expert Truggy, Maifield came out strong in the Expert Buggy class with his Factory Team RC8.2 and pulled for an early lead. As he entered lapped traffic, tangles cost him the lead, allowing Jared Tebo to pull out at one point to a 10-second lead. Again, Maifield put his head down to find the flow he had in the Truggy main and reeled in Tebo, who also had troubles with lapped traffic. The two drivers battled it out in the middle of the race, but Maifield’s pace was just too much. As the laps expired with the time counting down, Maifield found himself coming up to lap Tebo. By the end of the event, Maifield finished with 107 laps, Tebo with 105, and third place Cody King at 103 laps. This is the third year in a row that Maifield has taken home the Expert Buggy title at the AMS and it’s obvious he was comfortable with his entire package on the challenging indoor Alabama surface.
Source: Associated [teamassociated.com]