Team Waggoner Earns Second at WE Rock Reno, NV, Event
Going into the third event of the WE ROCK Series, only one point separated Team Waggoner and Jesse Haines for the first-place series title. Cody Waggoner and Jim were determined to win this event and they showed it course after course on Saturday.
Returning to their old-school style of wheeling, they played it conservative and smart the entire first day of competition. They kept the pressure on the other competitors by finishing every course.
“These types of courses that are tight and technical always force you to take crazy lines that have you crawling inches away from a cone; it puts the pressure on all of us drivers and spotters to be on top of our game,” Waggoner comments.
The first day of competition was over and Team Waggoner was only 17 points behind Haines. With courses like these it is not over until it is over. Sunday still gave the team an opening to take the lead and win this event.
This set of “B” courses seemed to be much tighter and more of a ‘cone fest’ than the day before. Some of the competitors were reaching the maximum amount of penalty points before they finished the course, even with plenty of time remaining on the clock. Sunday was going to be all about who stayed on their wheels and finished the courses.
That is exactly what Team Waggoner did, and they were able to take the lead from Haines before the day was through.
Going into the shootout, Team Waggoner had a nice little cushion and pretty much just needed to finish the course to take their 22nd career first-place win.
The team had another shootout heart break - literally a break - as Cody and Jim started the shootout in first place and watched the previous five competitors attempt the course while only three finished in time. Every one of the competitors took at least two or three cones in the shootout.
The very first set of cones seemed to hold everyone up when they attempted to go around, even causing one to roll over. It seemed to be the cone that everyone would “have to take”… until Waggoner drove on course. He took a whole new approach and backed through the cones with no issues.
“Without rear-steer you have to be a little creative especially when you see everyone hitting the same cone you have to try something different,” Waggoner says.
The rest of the course was going to be a breeze for the most part. Unfortunately, the moon buggy just died climbing up the third section of the shootout.
Comments came from the crowd that the buggy ran out of gas, but the team always keeps it topped off, so that couldn't be it. There was no sound, not even the ringing sound of the engine trying to turn over … there was nopower at all.
Team Waggoner was so confused and only could bang rocks on the starter and clank things around the engine see if it would wiggle a wire or bolt back in place that would help bring “Roxanne” roaring to life again.
And nothing. No sound, except for the crowd moaning in disbelief. The time of the clock ran down to seconds and the crowd counted down.
A disappointed Cody was towed back to the pits only to have a friend and fellow competitor come over to help him. They banged around the starter and the buggy roared to life … just a few minutes too late to matter. This is the second heartbreak shootout of the season for Team Waggoner; at the last event their shootout score caused a tie between Waggoner and Haines and in a tie breaker rule the win went to Haines. With the series only having one event remaining it makes things that much more frustrating for the guys when they are working so hard to win the series title.
Now tied for first place, with no room for mistakes, it comes down to Team Waggoner battling it out for the First Place Series Title of the 2009 WE ROCK Series. Final 2009 WE ROCK Series Event will be July 18-19 in Oroville, CA.