By Patrick Rall
Dodge Global RallyCross fans rejoice – Travis Pastrana will be back in the #199 Red Bull Racing Dart when the X Games Los Angeles rallycross event takes place this Sunday. As has been the case all season, Bryce Menzies will be piloting the other Travis Pastrana Racing-owned Dodge Dart rally car as he attempts to make his first final round of the 2013 schedule. Unfortunately, victory wont come easy as the Los Angeles X Games has a field of 18 drivers battling for the top spot on the podium, making the LA event the biggest this season.
It has been a rough year for the Dodge Dart rally team and Travis Pastrana Racing but the biggest issue has been Travis’ absence throughout the season. Due to his obligations with Jack Roush Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Pastrana has been forced to miss 3 of the first 5 GRC events of the season. In the events where he has competed, he has been in the hunt (finishing 4th and 7th) but when he has not been there – the Dodge rally program has failed to make much of an impact.
Timur Timerzyanov has not done a bad job filling in for Pastrana in the #199 Red Bull Dart – qualifying for the final race in 2 of the 3 events in which he has competed – but his best finish of the season was an 8th at the last event in Bristol. Timur has done better than Bryce Menzies this season (and he should, considering that he is one of the top names in the European RallyCross association) but there is no question that Pastrana gives the Dodge rally team a much stronger chance of victory.
While Travis Pastrana could give Dodge fans a chance to finally celebrate a 2013 GRC victory, Bryce Menzies will continue his efforts to advance into the final race. Menzies joined Pastrana Racing this year on a full time basis and although he has competed in every event, the transition from off-road truck racing to Global RallyCross has not been a smooth one for the truck champ. Menzies’ best finish of the season came at Bristol where he finished 13th out of 16 cars. In the other 4 events, he has finished in the bottom three of every event including finishing last twice.
The Global RallyCross portion of the ongoing Los Angeles X Games is schedule to run at 5pm (EST) on Sunday August 4th and you can catch the racing action on ESPN.