Heikkenen Wins GRC Event in Dramatic Fashion
zXe GRC Ends in Exciting Fashion at NHMS
Tanner Foust looked invincible. For nine laps Finnish teammates Toomas Heikkenen and Patrik Sandell tried to chase down Foust as he seamlessly navigated the dirt, jumps and chicanes. Then, out of nowhere, Foust showed he was human after all. Catching his right tire in the gravel as he entered the final elevated hairpin turn, Foust slid hard into the barrier, and Heikkenen shot past to win the SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross Championship at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
"The rains and weather from earlier made the course difficult for everyone," said Heikkenen, who picked up his second straight GRC win. "Tanner made a little mistake there - I didn't expect that mistake from him. It was good to get the win, I will take it."
Foust crossed the line in fourth, just after his teammate Brian Deegan and two spots behind Sandell.
"It was a tough way to end the race, obviously," said Foust, who was hoping to represent his country in victory lane during the first GRC race on American soil this season. "I felt the pressure from those guys all race and I tried to protect the turn. It was certainly a wild ride, not to mention I had Brian coming straight at me at 100 miles per hour."
Defending SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe champion Travis Pastrana finished a respectable seventh (out of nine) despite having a back left tire go down on the first lap.
Not only did Heikkenen improve his lead atop in the GRC standings, but he also took an early lead in the SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Cup. The new bonus program, which provides extra incentive for drivers competing at all the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. tracks (New Hampshire, Bristol, Atlanta and Charlotte). The driver finishing with the most points after Charlotte's race will earn a $20,000 bonus. Heikkenen (21 points), Patrik Sandell (17), Brian Deegan (15), Tanner Foust (14) and Ken Block (13) make up the current top five in the bonus standings.
"I come over to America for close racing, but to be in an event like this and have a prize like the zXe Cup is very exciting, too," said Heikkenen.
Prior to the Supercar main event final, Joni Wiman picked up the win in the GRC Lites final.
The racing is just heating up at the Magic Mile, as it readies for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying on Friday at 3:40 p.m. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire 100 and NASCAR Nationwide Series CNBC Prime's "The Profit" 200 will follow on Saturday before the weekend is capped off on Sunday with the 21st running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301.