TPVNHMS.jpgThis past Saturday brought us the 4th stop on the
    2012 Global RallyCross tour and for the first time since the car hit the
    motorsports scene earlier this year – the 2013 Dodge Dart was the first car to
    take the checkered flag during the event’s final race.  Travis Pastrana and his #199 Discount Tire/Red
    Bull Racing Dodge Dart was among the best cars in both his heat race and during
    the final race as he led the majority of the laps that he ran this past weekend
    during the Global RallyCross event at New Hampshire Speedway.

    Travis Pastrana and his Red Bull Racing Dodge Dart first
    took to the track for the third and final heat race of the event in New
    Hampshire against former SRT Motorsports drift racer Samuel Hubinette (now
    driving a Saab), Liam Doran (Citroen), Richard Burton and Bucky Lasek (both in
    Subarus).  The race got off to a rocky
    start when Samuel Hubinette jumped the gun so they all had to start over but on
    the second attempt – everyone got out clean and Travis Pastrana held an early
    lead as the Dodge Dart rally car flexed it muscle on the launch and through the
    first set of corners.

    Things got a little rough for Travis late on the first lap
    of his heat as, when we came out of the last turn and headed for the table top
    jump, he wandered a little wide and allowed Hubinette to get side by side over the
    short jump.  The two continued the
    intense drag race as they headed into the treacherous elevated hairpin turn
    that took the racers up and over the New Hampshire Speedway pit row wall.  As Pastrana and Hubinette headed into the
    hairpin, the Dodge Dart got inside of the Saab and made room to pass Hubinette
    on the inside as they headed into the slalom and through the giant 65 foot jump
    gap.  From there on, Pastrana was free to
    go on and win the third heat race of the night.

    In the finals, Pastrana started on the front row alongside
    Tanner Foust and Brian Deegen.  Behind
    that first row was David Binks and Samuel Hubinette in row 2, Stephan Verdier,
    Liam Doran and Dave Mirra in row 3 and Ken Block and Andy Scott in the 4th
    row.  Much like the heat race, Pastrana
    got a great launch on the start but so did series point leader Tanner Foust.  Travis’ Dart and Tanner’s Ford Fiesta battled
    around the track until Foust broke too hard through the elevated hairpin –
    allowing Pastrana to get the nose of the Dart inside of the Ford as they headed
    across the starting line and by the large 65 foot jump – Pastrana had put the
    Dart well out in first place.  It was
    mostly clear sailing after that with the only real challenge coming from Samuel
    Hubinette as Pastrana came out of the required “long cut” on the last lap but
    while Hubinette would get his ugly orange Saab near Pastrana’s Dart – Travis was
    able to flex his Mopar muscle and hold off the Swede for the win.

    This win was gigantic for Travis Pastrana and his #199 Red
    Bull Racing Dodge Dart as while the car has been fast all season – an injury to
    Travis during a race and dirty driving moves by Toomas Heikkinen and Andy Scott
    have doused the Dart’s hopes in the first three races.  However, this race showed just how fast the
    2013 Dodge Dart rally car is and with this win – we can surely expect to see
    the Dart in Global RallyCross seasons to come.

    The final event of the 2012 Global RallyCross season is on
    September 29th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Unfortunately, Travis is currently too far
    out of the lead to catch up to current leader Tanner Foust but this win shows
    that the Dart can compete with the smaller Ford Fiesta rally cars.