How did Mike “Ironman” Battaile shake off the theft of his truggy? By dominating with a borrowed one. Victory at The Dirt Nitro Challenge probably seemed a distant prospect for Mike Battaile when his truggy and a pit bag were stolen just before his departure for Phoenix.
Undeterred, Battaile borrowed a friend’s truggy and hit the road. Wednesday’s practice session would be his opportunity to get the new truck’s setup dialed. Wednesday morning, Team FTW set up at the Fear Farm ready to get some laps on Joey “The Dirt” Christensen’s latest masterpiece. The desert skies had other ideas. A soggy round of truggy practice was fit in amidst the intermittent rains, but the snowy hailstones that blanketed the venue after lunch scuttled any hopes of completing the practice sessions.
Truggy qualifiers began Thursday on a wet but drying track sprinkled with wood chips. With each round Battaile found more speed, dialing in the borrowed truggy as he went. At the end of the day he would hold the 40+ truggy TQ and huge momentum going into Saturday’s truggy final.
Saturday dawned, and Battaile would not be denied. Starting on the pole, he never looked back, crossing the finish line 30 minutes later with a commanding lead.
While this win would be the highlight for Battaile, his weekend was far from over. After taking 3rd in 2wd short course, he finished the weekend with another podium finish on Sunday. In the opening eight minutes of the 40+ buggy final, Battaile fought a pitched battle for the lead with eventual winner Mark Pavidis. Battaile’s chance for victory was dashed when a hard impact destroyed a rear hub; despite the carnage he limped the car home to finish second behind the former world champion.
Mike Battaile used the following FTW Racing Components to win and podium at DNC2013:
FTW00029 Night Fox for Team Losi 8ight 2.0
FTW00035 Diamondback mounted on Traxxas Slash 2wd
FTW prototype truggy body for Team Losi 8ight-T 2.0