By: Jeremy Fielder
After a one year absence, BattleGrounds returned to the competition circuit this past May, better than ever. The event was hosted by Tri-StateCrawlers, and held at Oakes Quarry Park which is located within the City of Fairborn, Ohio. The biggest news about BattleGrounds this year is not only was it back for more carnage, it also was in the form of being an Official USRCCA Sanctioned event qualifier. Event organizer Jeremy Fielder also enlisted the help of members from CentralKYCrawlers as well as members from SIRCC to help marshal and judge the event over the next 2 action packed days.
With the dedication of all 3 clubs, as well as Axial being an event sponsor, the event was a massive success. 90 registered drivers from 13 states jumped aboard to try their skills at shooting for that coveted top podium platform, as well as the Nationals invite. Mother Nature had other plans it seemed, dumping a very large amount of rain the Friday before the comp, and lasting well into the night. In light of this, the rain slightly affected attendance and did keep some drivers home for the weekend.
Saturday morning started off promptly at 7:00 am with everybody driving into the park and setting up their pit areas. People began charging batteries, tightening screws and coming up to the main tent for driver sign in and tech. After all the drivers had signed up, it was 8:00am and time for TwistedCreations to call for the drivers meeting. Once the meeting was over, all 4 courses for Saturday were opened and as Brian Parker says “It’s time to DO WORK Drivers!”
The event ran the free-crawl format, and it was the drivers’ responsibility to run all 4 courses in the allotted timeframe. The judges tried to keep things moving as fast as possible, but the courses were tougher than the BG staff had expected, due to the rain the night before. As the day went on though, the courses began to dry out and drivers were continuing to battle for those top 20 spots that transferred over to Sunday’s courses. The courses had closed with all drivers finished running by 5:00pm, then, the scores were tallied up. Going into Sunday’s event, Mike “rockshow” Rosenthal had a healthy, yet not unreachable, point lead over the competitors.
The top 5 going into Sunday were:
Mike Rosenthal “rockshow” – 26 points
Andy Zuber “CRSmacgyver” – 56 points
Nick Justice “BTF” – 57 points
Joe DuRard “joesbruiser” – 60 points
Doug Johnson “djohn” – 73 points
Bright and early Sunday morning, the top 20 drivers came back with their game faces on and ready to battle the last 3 courses. Since the weather had really cooperated and dried things up, it was time to kick the difficulty up on the courses. The rocks were bigger and the holes were deeper, so tire placement really mattered, or it would cost the driver the chance of a top 5 finish. With the event running so smooth and only having 20 drivers, all competitors were finished by 12:00pm and were ready for the announcement of the top 5 finalists who would have a shot at attempting the finals course. During the course of the day, Jeff Morgan “nitrojeff” had managed to drive himself into the top 5 by squeaking by Doug Johnson “djohn”.
The finals course had been isolated with caution tape since Friday afternoon, so nobody had laid eyes on what was in mind for this course. Finally, the course was revealed. The drivers were amazed at what had been laid out, and tried their best to tame the beast, but all fell just short. Joe DuRard was the closest, as he did make it up to the threshold of gate 10 and pointed out. Mike Rosenthal put on an equally impressive show, but points only allowed him to progress just past gate 7. Meanwhile, the 3 other drivers (Andy Zuber, Nick Justice, and Jeff Morgan) had either pointed or timed out on gate one, which was placed on top of a 10 foot vertical. When it was all said and done, and the dust settled, we had our top 5 set in stone. All that were involved in this event, be it driver or judge, had an amazing weekend of crawling and camaraderie. With BattleGrounds 2010 officially in the record books, planning for 2011 has already commenced.
Overall Top 5 Scores
Mike Rosenthal – 96 points
Joe DuRard – 97 points
Nick Justice – 149 points
Andy Zuber – 169 points
Jeff Morgan – 182 points
See you next year!!