No Rally Needed: Pastrana Dominates NHMS
Travis Pastrana said he couldn't remember the last time he won - anything. His impressive run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday night in the inaugural SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross will certainly make things a lot less fuzzy. Pastrana won his heat earlier in the night and drifted into Victory Lane during the four-lap, 10-car finale.
"It's been so long I almost forget what it’s like to win," said Pastrana. "It is absolutely awesome to get out here and get on top. It has been a heck of a rough season.”
Pastrana beat Samuel Hubinette to the Granite Stripe by 1.431 seconds, finishing the course in 3 minutes, 40.274 seconds. Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust and Ken Block finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
The circuit involved a chicane, moguls, dirt, a tabletop jump, a 180-degree hairpin turn and a 70-foot gap jump. It also had a Joker Lap (turn) that required each driver to take a longer route at least once.
Pastrana had three disappointing finishes in GRC’s first three events of the season. He placed ninth in Charlotte, 15th at Texas and was taken out on the first turn of the first lap at last weekend’s X Games in Los Angeles.
Saturday night at “The Magic Mile” might be just the break he was looking for. Earlier in the day, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series F.W. Webb 200, Pastrana crashed before the race was even half over. He was obviously disappointed by the crash, saying so in a post-race interview – but his elation in Victory Lane following the SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross comforted those ill feelings.
Deegan appeared to get a good start to the four-lap finale, filing in behind Pastrana after the opening chicane. But a gamble midway through the race was the difference in turning that good start into a victory.
“The race was cool,” said Deegan. “I hit the Joker Lap in the middle of the race and took a big risk. By then, Travis was just gone.”
Getting out front was the key throughout the three heats and Last-Chance Qualifier race. The twists, turns and jumps took a bruising toll on the cars that lagged at the start as they tried to wedge themselves back into contention. Every race left carnage in its wake, as a number of drivers failed to finish.
Hubinette and Pastrana had a terrific battle in their heat race, so it was no surprise that he was Pastrana’s biggest challenger in the finale. Hubinette took the Joker Lap on the second to last lap and nearly caught Pastrana during the final lap. But Pastrana beat Hubinette back to the final turn and screamed down the front stretch and across the Granite Stripe with fireworks decorating the sky above.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway wraps up its race weekend on Sunday with the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
For more details and ticket information on events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, or to purchase tickets to the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 and SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekends, please stop by our Ticket Office, visit the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or call our Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.