By Patrick Rall
There was Global RallyCross action this past weekend from Bristol Motor Speedway as the drivers took to the track for the 5th event of the 2013 season and for the 5th time this year – there wasn’t much to celebrate about for Dodge rallycross fans. For the 3rd time in 5 races, Timur Timerzyanov was filling in for Travis Pastrana who was busy running his Roush Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Timerzyanov was joined by series regular Bryce Menzies and while both cars showed glimmers of hope, Menzies once again failed to qualify for the final race and Timerzyanov completed just one full lap in the final race – forcing him to settle for a 8th place finish.
The first Dodge Dart to hit the track in Bristol was the #199 car piloted by Timur Timurzyanov as he went head to head with Liam Doran, Patrik Sandell and Dave Mirra. Timur got a solid start and spent much of his heat race in the 2nd spot before spinning in the joker chicane on the 5th lap of the race as he battled with Liam Doran. That allowed Doran to claim the 2nd transfer spot to the finals and Timur was sent to the Last Chance Qualifier.
Things went much better for Bryce Menzies as he used a great start in the 3rd heat race of the day to grab the early lead. Menzies would spend the first few laps in the lead with only a touch of pressure from the Ford of Steve Arpin but when Menzies took his “long cut” joke chicane that is required once per race, both Arpin and Sverre Isachsen got around him. Menzies would finish 3rd and would also be forced to deal with the Last Chance Qualifier.
In the Last Chance Qualifier, 3 of the 7 racers would advance to the final race and both Bryce Menzies and Timur Timerzyanov started on the first row. The action was hot and heavy early on and when the smoke cleared, Timerzyanov found himself running in the 2nd spot behind Brian Deegan with Tanner Foust running close behind in 3rd. Tanner was able to get around Timur on the 2nd lap of the race and that was pretty much the end of the LCQ as Deegan drove to the easy win in front of Foust and Timerzyanov. Timerzyanov qualified for the final race but with his 5th place finish – Bryce Menzies did not.
At this point, there was still a big race to be had for the GRC Bristol win but Timur Timerzyanov would not be a factor. The #199 Dart ran into mechanical issues early in the final run and Timerzyanov was only able to complete 1 full lap in the final run. Fortunately, Liam Doran broke even earlier to Timur didn’t have to finish last but his 8th place finish with little consolation for Dodge GRC fans.
The Global RallyCross drivers will hit the track on August 4th for the Los Angeles X Games and with any lucky, Travis Pastrana will find the time in his schedule to come race his Dart. In his two races this season, Travis has easily been the best Dodge GRC racer but his commitment to NASCAR money has left Dodge fans without a real chance of celebrating victory in most of this year’s races.
GRC Bristol Final Results:
1. Toomas Heikkinen
2. Ken Block
3. Brian Deegan
4. Sverre Isachsen
5. Patrik Sandell
6. Steve Arpin
7. Tanner Foust
8. Timur Timerzyanov
9. Liam Doran