By Patrick Rall
The world of Global RallyCross hits Bristol Tennessee this weekend for fifth stop of the 2013 season and while there will be two Dodge Dart rally cars in the thirteen car field – Travis Pastrana will once again not be one of the drivers. Instead, Timur Timerzyanov will drive Pastrana’s #199 car while Bryce Menzies is back to make his fifth start in the #99 Dart.
The news that Travis Pastrana will once again not be behind the wheel of the #199 Dodge Dart comes as a disappointing blow after Pastrana and his Dart were so fast in the last event. In his Last Chance Qualifier win, Travis pummeled the field and effortlessly advanced to the finals in impressive form. Unfortunately, a blown tire early in the final race ended his shot at the event win but it still showed a great deal of promise for the rest of the season. However, having him skip another race greatly diminishes the Dart rally team’s chance of winning. Timur Timerzyanov is a European RallyCross champion but in his fill-in efforts in Munich, Timur just didn’t look as comfortable as Travis has on his good days.
There has been no official word as to why Travis Pastrana will once again miss the GRC race but it should be noted that there is a NASCAR Nationwide race in Illinois at 3:00pm on July 21st. Pastrana may be skipping the GRC race to devote more time to his NASCAR ride – which was why he missed the two events in Germany earlier this season. Then again, with his success in his Ford Mustang in the Nationwide Series (17 starts – 0 wins, 0 Top 5s, 3 Top 10s, 4 DNFs) it is no wonder why he is putting so much more effort into NASCAR.
Of course, it should be noted that his gorgeous wife Lyn-Z is pregnant and has been for some time so perhaps he cannot be in Bristol due to family obligations but that’s a hard angle to take if he races in Joliet on the 21st. Perhaps it is just too much for him to race at 4:30pm on the 20th in Tennessee only to rush over to Chicagoland Speedway for the 3:00pm race on the 21st. Then again, in 1999 Tony Stewart ran the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600 in the same day so the 20 laps that Pastrana may have to run for the GRC on Saturday combined with the 300 mile race on Sunday shouldn’t be that big of a deal…but maybe it’s family obligations that made him decide to race in his Ford Nationwide car rather than the Dart. Or maybe it’s the money.
In any case, the Bristol Global RallyCross race will air on ESPN at 4:30pm Eastern Standard Time this Saturday, July 20th. Even without Pastrana, the Bristol GRC race should be action packed so even if a Dodge Dart doesn’t win – it will still offer some great racing action. The infographic below shows the starting field for this weekend’s event.