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In a 45 minute race that can only be described as ‘unscripted golddust’, TLR’s summer signing of last year came through against the expectations of some to triumphantly claim his 3rd Dirt Nitro Challenge buggy title – putting him on par with record-holder and former team mate Ryan Cavalieri.

The final would get underway at around the 10PM mark as Ty Tessmann on pole led away, had a slight bobble on corner 2 which allowed Maifield a sniff, starting 3rd Dakotah Phend got out on the offline marbles on the first corner which saw David Ronnefalk move alongside only for the both of them to take the double wrong and land compromised –bumping up the pack. Maifield momentarily assumed the lead but cased the first  front side double sending him flying back to 2nd again, yesterday’s truck winner Ronnefalk endured a nightmare as his dream Saturday turned to disaster Sunday with comings-together galore followed by missing his first pitstop as he was called in as he jumped past the pitlane and ‘mechanic communication issues’ on the 2nd stop.

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Sunday Nitro Challenge Photos

 

Outfront it was Tessmann leading the show with Maifield in pursuit, this stayed for a couple of laps until Tessmann got it wrong on the straight sliding out allowing Maifield to shoot by, a lap later however and in the same place Maifield caught a bit of air on the corner which Tessmann used to close, sniff an optimistic move and unfortunately come out the worse and allow rival Dakotah Phend to swoop past into 2nd.

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The final turned into the Phend vs Tessmann show – a reminder of last year’s ROAR Nationals as the pair duked it out, Tessmann applied all the pressure in the world on Phend’s shoulders but the TLR kid held firm in fact it was Ty who had a half-hearted landing overtake who blinked first, running into the side of Phend’s car, he waited and the pair continued.

At this stage it became clear that Tessmann’s 9min fuel advantage would play a huge roll in what was to come as the others seemed to be pitting around 7:30 or 8:00.

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At the 30min mark however disaster for Tessmann as his car ground to a crowd-silencing halt by pitlane, his deans connectors coming loose we hear – after collective stunned disbelief amongst all witnessing the usually bulletproof Tessmann run into mechanical problems it seemed that Phend had it in the bag could he keep it clean. That however proved easier said than done as Phend encountered lap after lap of costly crashes due to the sudden increase in wind gusts allowing Cavalieri to take the lead and open a gap, then Maifield sneak past him and finally to add insult to injury missing out on the podium having featured so prominently for so long in the final.

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With final fuelstops filtered through and 5 mins to go Cavalieri had the prime seat with former team mate Maifield 2nd, who lit the afterburners just at the right time and latched onto the back of Cavalieri’s Associated prototype like a clingy girlfriend with a magnet.

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Maifield caught up with 2 laps to go and there was none of the wheelbanging or dicing seen in the truck final but almost seemed as if destiny shone on Maifield – on the crest of an upwards wave after his Reedy race win last month, he emphatically swept past Cavalieri who himself had had a brilliant final and never looked back, the pair finishing within 0.6 sec of each other after 45mins. A strong result for Cavalieri despite taking the bridesmaid position here and at the Worlds – a positive start to the MX powered era. Jared Tebo would claim 3rd on the podium, reuniting the ‘original Big Three’ of Ryan, Ryan & Jared – three names that have come to dominate RC Racing for the decade we’ve been going – the (not boys still got it in ‘em to school the pretenders).

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Kudos also to Spencer Rivkin, clawing his way into the final from the B main watch out for him, Carson Wernimont overcame qualifying gremlins to make the main whilst Josh Wheeler in P5 underline’s his credentials as the driver that doesn’t cost a team much and delivers you A mains consistently.

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