By Patrick Rall
Travis Pastrana took his #199 Red Bull Racing Dodge Dart
rally car into this past weekend’s Global RallyCross race at Las Vegas Motor
Speedway (LVMS) with a narrow chance of staging a dramatic come-from-behind
charge to win the 2012 Global RallyCross title.
Unfortunately, a blown turbo during the final race at LVMS sent Travis
to the rear of the field – effectively ending his run at the 2012 GRC
Travis Pastrana took to the track for the third heat race of
the fifth event in the 2012 Global RallyCross season, having claimed his first
win of the season at the previous race in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, things got off to a rocky
start when Pastrana struggled in his heat race, finishing last in the 5 car
field behind Brian Deegan, Toomas Heikkinen, Stephan Verdier and (former
Dodge/SRT drift racer) Samuel Hubinette.
Pastrana’s team went to work on the #199 Dodge Dart and had
the car set up well for the Last Chance Qualifier and in the 8 car field,
Travis’ Dart performed much better as he spent the event battling with Andreas
Eriksson for the lead. Unfortunately, Eriksson
held off Pastrana for the LCQ win but the 2nd place win was enough
to send the lone Dodge Dart in the field into the final race of the night.
Early on in the Global RallyCross final race at Las Vegas
Motor Speedway, Travis Pastrana found himself fighting at the front of the
field with series frontrunners Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan who were both racing
their familiar Ford Fiesta rally cars.
Unfortunately, this third place position didn’t last long as Pastrana
blew a turbo midway through the race and he was forced to settle for a 10th
While Travis Pastrana and the #199 Red Bull Racing Dodge
Dart rally team had only a slim chance of claiming the 2012 Global RallyCross
title, there was a chance that he could win the last two events of the year and
bring home the first GRC championship for the Dodge Dart rally team. However, with his balmy 10th place
finish at LVMS – Pastrana can realistically only shoot for a top five finish in
the season championship run. Travis
currently sits in 9th place with 39 points so a heat win and final
round win at the 2012 GRC finale at the SEMA Show would give him a total of 60
points on the year which would be good enough to move into the 3rd
spot based on the current points. That
is, of course, dependant on those drivers standing between Pastrana and 3rd
place including Ken Block, Samuel Hubinette, Rhys Millen, and Stephan Verdier. Pastrana also trails Marcus Gronholm but
considering that he has not raced since being injured at the X Games earlier
this year, he may not run in the final race and that would insure that Pastrana
would jump over him. David Binks is also
currently ahead of the #199 Dart but Binks has struggled in his Ford rally car
over the last two events so Pastrana should be able to best the British
teammate of Brian Deegan.
The last race of the 2012 Global RallyCross season is set to
take place on October 30th at 8pm in front of the Las Vegas
Convention Center along with the opening of the 2012 SEMA Show.