Twisted metal

As parts littered the track and thick, black smoke cleared from the air, the driver of the fan-favorite
BGSU Battlebine completed a furious comeback.
After losing his initial heat of the Combine Demolition Derby Sunday at the Wood County Fair, an
orange-clad Kyle David of Tontogany won his third-consecutive championship by clawing his way back from
the consolation round.
Two of the five drivers in each heat moved on to the finals, where they were joined by another two
winners from the consolation round, when everyone who could field a moving machine was given a chance to
compete again.
David and his orange and brown combine, decked out in Falcon spirit and a sponsorship from the university
athletic department, limped into one of those two spots but came away from the consolation round with a
broken belt.
It was announced that although earning a spot in the finals, the Battlebine wouldn’t be moving on.
A quick reversal, though, was the result of a hurried attempt to replace the belt.
"They said ‘you’ve got about three minutes.’ I said, ‘Well, that job takes about 10, but we’ll try
it," David said, praising the efforts of his pit crew. "We went in, everybody came in and
helped out. It was great. It couldn’t have happened any better."
"Everyone that pitched in, I can’t thank them enough."
Even once he got to the finals, David almost couldn’t stave off elimination. After taking a hard hit to
the side, the Battlebine nearly flipped over, taking David with it.
"It scared me," he admitted afterward.
The final round had a field of eight combines, many with drivers from Northwest Ohio.
After the shot that nearly took out David for the last time, the combines started to fall.
When four had been eliminated, announcer Greg Whittacre called for a short break to clear some of the
wrecks, from which the drivers relegated to spectators were forced to watch the action.
As the speed of the combines fell and machines began to become hooked together, it finally seemed as
though David and the Battlebine, once favorites to win it all but now appearing to falter, had a real
shot to complete the comeback.
"It’s the luck of what happens to your vehicle. And he’s smart," Whittacre said of David.
"He’ll hold back a little bit, then he’ll make some real good hits, then he’ll hold back a little
bit. There is a little strategy to it."
It was the fourth competition for David, who described driving during the event as "the biggest
adrenaline rush you’ll ever have."
"It’s nuts. You’re in the zone."