Travis Pastrana erased the disappointment of the first three races of the Global RallyCross Championship season with an impressive victory in Saturday night’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Pastrana drove his Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge Dart to a 1.431-second win over Samuel Hubinette.
“It’s been so long, I almost forgot what it’s like to win,” said Pastrana, who is racing a new car this year in the series. “It is absolutely awesome to get out here and get on top. It has been a rough season.”
The challenging circuit involved more elements and obstacles than previous events at Charlotte and Texas, including moguls, a tabletop jump, a 180-degree hairpin and a 70-foot gap jump. The race also involved a Joker Lap (turn) -- each driver was required to take a longer route at least once during the Heat Race and Main Event.
Pastrana qualified third fastest and won his Heat Race, which gave him a prime starting spot in the Main Event.
“It really comes down to qualifying and we were able to qualify third which put us up front for the Heat Race,” he said. “We qualified second at X Games and should have had a smooth run like this, but we had help in the first turn." He was referring to the hit from behind that forced him out of the race (and the X Games altogether).
“It’s been so long, I almost forgot what it’s like to win.”
In New Hampshire, Pastrana was able to get out front early in the Heat Race and Main Event. He and Hubinette battled hard in their Heat Race and the rivalry continued in the Main Event, where Pastrana overtook Tanner Foust at the tricky hairpin turn on the first lap. He then maneuvered through the various obstacles in the finale.
“This Dodge Dart is an awesome car,” said Pastrana. “These guys (crew) gave me what it took to win. I just want to thank each and every one of those guys standing back there (in Victory Lane) with the big smiles. Thank you guys for believing in me and thanks to all the fans that kept backing me because I tell you what, it’s been tough.”
Brian Deegan finished third with Foust and Ken Block rounding out the top five.
Ever the multi-disciplinarian, Pastrana hits Chicago this weekend to race a short-course off-road truck in the TORC series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Stay tuned for more info on that.