Foust, Block Seek Redemption In New Hampshire
Last year’s Global Rallycross event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was a race to forget for two of the sport’s biggest stars. While Travis Pastrana celebrated his only victory of the 2012 season, Ken Block and Tanner Foust were left wondering what might have been.
“Last year, one of the big issues was that I had a difficult start—somebody shoved me into some very big tires,” noted Block, whose damage forced him to race in the last chance qualifier. “I think that some of the guys that were a bit worse on the starts, like the guy who took me out last year, are not here this year.
“So I’m hoping that we’ll have a better track, and a smaller field with better drivers, and hopefully we have a really good race.”
Block’s chances of winning were slim in the final due to the sheer amount of repairs needed in such a short time, but he still made it up to fifth. Foust, meanwhile, saw a win slip through his fingers after an ill-timed stall during the main event, and fell from the lead to fourth place.
“I had the lead, and on the wood banked corner that goes over the pit wall, I pulled the handbrake,” Foust explained. “It actually locked up all four tires and stalled the engine—not the easiest engines to refire. And Pastrana bumped me enough until I could dump the clutch while he was pushing me, to refire it.
“That was kind of a tough learning experience. I’m not going to let that happen again this year.”
Fortunately for both drivers, the first American event of the season comes at a time where each has built decent momentum. Block scored a silver medal in the first race at X Games Munich, while Foust’s bronze medal in the second event enabled him to climb to third in points. But what will it take for the two drivers to build off of their current momentum?
“It’s going to take me not making a stupid mistake like I did on Sunday (in Munich),” said Block. “I jumped the start—all I did was move a few feet forward and stop—and that was enough to put me in the penalty box. This weekend, for me, is really focusing on eliminating any mistakes and really trying to go for my first win in rallycross.”
“(New Hampshire) was a point in the season last where I put my head down and definitely got after it,” added Foust, “and now would be a good time to do the same thing again this year.”
Photo credit: Matthew Kalish