Preview: Red Bull Global Rallycross Charlotte

The latest with the drivers, the storylines, and everything else you need to know to watch the GRC.
By Nate Hoppes

Fresh off an eventful fourth stop in New York, Red Bull Global Rallycross makes a quick turnaround as the racing series heads to Charlotte, North Carolina. The race will air live on NBC, Saturday, July 26, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

There's one major difference in Charlotte from all the other stops in the series: the race will be held on entirely dirt. Last year, the same track proved to be the most difficult in the series, and with the rains this week, the dirt will be wet and messy. Here are a few other key storylines to pay attention to when watching Saturday's race.

Nelson Piquet Jr. at Red Bull Global Rallycross NY
Nelson Piquet Jr. © Alison Padron/Red Bull Content Pool

It's lonely at the top… not really

Nelson Piquet Jr. took the lead in the overall points race for the championship last week in New York with a second-place finish. In a pre-race interview, Nelson made it very clear he has his eyes on the bigger picture. "We obviously want to do well to win races," he said, "but we're not going to risk everything just for a win." His strategy has produced results, though The Dirt Track at Charlotte may provide the biggest challenge yet for the road-course driver.

Tanner Foust at Red Bull Global Rallycross NY
Tanner Foust © Alison Padron/Red Bull Content Pool

Tanner Foust is alive

A win last Sunday in New York was exactly what Tanner needed, but unfortunately for him, he needs a couple more victories (and quick) to charge back in the drivers' championship, which is pretty much a two-man race right now between Piquet Jr. and Scott Speed. For the sake of the fans and overall series, let's hope Foust, a two-time Red Bull Global Rallycross champion, is at the top again.

Speed out for revenge

Scott Speed finished second last weekend -- after starting the finals from a lowly sixth position -- or at least he thought. After the race, the Andretti Rallycross driver was penalized for illegal adjustments during a red flag in the finals. The penalty, which dropped him all the way down to ninth in the race, cost Speed important points that he'll be looking to regain at the Dirt Track. Oh, not to mention Speed won on this same track last season.

Will the race be more than Turn One?

The previous four stops have been determined in turn one, with the leader out of the turn eventually going on to win the race. With the modifications to the track and the difficulty of Charlotte, turn one should be equally as important as other spots on the track such as the Joker Lap.

Anybody seen Ken Block?

The Hoonigan driver made an appearance in the top three in New York, but that wasn't until Scott Speed was penalized after the finals. As one of the best stage rally drivers in North America, Block is due for a breakout finish and should be one of the favorites on the dirt in Charlotte.

Joni Wiman Nails the Jump at Red Bull Global Rallycross NY
Joni Wiman © Alison Padron/Red Bull Content Pool

Not a story until he's a story

No more talking about Joni Wiman until he demonstrates some of the promise from Barbados. Each week, we've talked the rookie up. This week, we're taking the opposite approach.

Will the Lites class become competitive?

Mitchell DeJong dominated the junior class -- that is, until Kevin Eriksson decided to make things interesting by pulling off the upset last weekend in New York. Or it could have been the reality check DeJong needed. Charlotte will be telling for both drivers.

For the latest drama behind developing rivalries, race results, driver information, and breaking news head over to the official Red Bull Global Rallycross site.

Tune into the Red Bull Global Rallycross live broadcast on Saturday, July 26, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, on NBC.

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