Travis Pastrana puts the 2013 Dodge Dart in the winner’s circle!
This 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.