One could safely say that 18-year-old Cody Rahders has a passion for the sport of off road racing. In fact, he competes in both the WORCS and Lucas Oil Regional Series. In most cases, competing in both series poses little problems. However the driver recently found himself in somewhat of a pickle as races from both series were scheduled for the same day.
During round four of the Lucas Oil Regional Series, Cody Rahders took third place in spite of loosing a wheel in the final lap.
Although not an easy choice, a decision had to be made. However, Rahders was closer to the number one spot in the Lucas Oil Points race. That in mind, he chose to compete in that series event.
Having placed second in the first three rounds, the driver was anticipating success in round four. "I felt that having a well-prepared race car and getting a good qualifying position would be the key to success," he explained. "All I had to do in the main was get on it and go, and hope the car would keep up."
Cody Rahders anticipates success in the Lucas Oil Regional series throughout the remainder of the 2013 season.
Qualifying third in the XP class, Rahders started the feature in row three. When the waving of the green flag deemed the main underway, the driver wasted no time, taking the second spot over on the second lap.
"I really had to keep my head down and race clean," he recalled. "There is usually a lot of carnage for the first couple of laps. After that, the track would clear up, and I would go to battle."
And battle he did. In fact, Cody Rahders held on to the the second place position for the next 13 laps, patiently awaiting his opportunity to take the lead. At the most opportune moment, the driver took the front position on the final lap.
Things appeared to be going in the Rahder's direction, as he gained distance from the field. But everything went south in the blink of an eye when the second place driver bumped Rahders in turn five, sending him to the wall.
Cody Rahders races in the WORCs, as well as the Lucas Oil Regional Series.
The other driver took the lead, as his rig sustained significant damage. However, it quickly became evident that the word "quit" is not in Cody Rahder's vocabulary, as he limped across the finish line on three wheels to take third place.
"It was a huge bummer," he recalled. "I ran a clean race for 13 laps and never touched him. Then to get the lead only to get cleaned out in the last turn - a huge disappointment. I really wish I could have gotten the first," he continued. "But I am happy I salvaged the race for third."
Putting disappointment behind them Cody Rhaders and team R3 Motorsports geared up and prepared for the Pro Open class. Qualifying fourth in a field of 17, he started sixth in the main.
Upon the waving of the green flag, it appeared that the driver was on his way to a successful run as he worked his way into the third position. But bad luck once again reared its ugly head when a right tire blew in lap seven. The fight was still in him, but the malfunction forced him out of the race.
Looking back, Rahders said, "In the XP class, I guess I should have put two wheels up on the bank to keep the second place driver behind me. In the Pro Lite, we normally would have had a spare tire in the hot pits. But we only had four good tires left, and I was saving them for the National. We took a chance on an old tire, but it didn't work out."
Sitting in second place and only six points down in the Palaris XP class of the Lucas Oil Regional Series, Cody Rahders and his team are anticipating the final two races of the season.
The driver is aware that earning podium spots during the remaining events is a definite possibility. "The key is to keep it clean and win," he explained.
Although his driving skills will play an intricate role in success, Rahders also has an acute understanding that victories are often determined by decisions not necessarily made on race day.
That in mind, he referred to the importance of his team. "They're a huge part of my racing," ensured Rahders. "Without them, I wouldn't even have a car to race or anyone to represent. They are the ones you don't see that keep things going. I need my team to keep racing."
The driver is also a strong advocate of keeping his rigs well maintained, and depends upon K&N products for his filtering needs. "Without maintenance, none of our race cars would be able to even finish a race," stated Rahders. "Having a clean and maintained car leads to less fatigue, more reliability and more victories."
"We use K&N air and oil filters in the Polaris XP 900, Ford V8 Pro Lite, the Polaris RZR 570 and our truck that pulls our trailer to the races. K&N products are one of the most effective and reliable parts that will never let me or my race car down."
Although round 4 of the Lucas Oil Regional Series was a far cry from what Cody Rahders and Team R3 Motorsports would consider as a perfect night, they are anticipating what lies in store during the remainder of the season.
"I'm going to be going for the series championship in the XP class at the Lucas Oil Regional Series, and a podium finish in the Pro Lite truck at the Lucas National Series," ensured the driver. "If I can get on the box, I know I can win."