Tag Archives: Tanner Foust

GRC Supercars Season Review: Tanner Foust

It’s amazing just how on point a driver needs to be to become a Global Rallycross champion. Just ask Tanner Foust, winner of the series’ first two championships.

Foust scored 123 points this season, more than he did in his title-winning run of 2012. He earned seven heat victories on the way to three runner-up finishes, and only failed to make it to the main event once in nine tries all year. Yet Foust, as did the rest of the field, was still smoked by a torrid performance from five-time race winner Toomas Heikkinen; the fellow OlsbergsMSE driver eventually earned the championship by a 46-point margin over Foust.

That’s because the bar was set so high this season that even a single mistake could remove a driver from the title hunt. It’s still uncommon to see Foust make mistakes, but he had a handful of them in 2013.

An average start of 5.56 meant that Foust sometimes didn’t have lane choice in his heats, making it that much more difficult for him to earn a front row spot in the final (though he would still do so five times). After leading from the first corner, a certain victory in New Hampshire slipped away when he misjudged the final corner, slamming into the wall on the elevated hairpin and falling from first to fourth. Foust missed a GRC main event for the very first time when a stuck throttle ruined his last chance qualifier in Charlotte, and losing the lead on a jump start in Las Vegas completed Foust’s first winless GRC season.

In other words, the two-time champion wasn’t invulnerable to bad racing luck this season. As a result, he wasn’t quite able to earn his third crown.

With that all in mind, the fact that second place represents an off year for Foust is a testament to just how strong of a driver he still is. Heikkinen’s eight consecutive podiums notwithstanding, the four times Foust earned a podium finish ranked second in the field. Three of those occurrences came in the final four races, as he returned to championship-winning form. And don’t forget that Foust’s popularity remains in full swing, as he won the inaugural Fan Favorite Driver of the Year Award presented by Royal Purple by scoring 36% of a fan vote that attracted over 30,000 clicks.

Sure, it wasn’t the championship season Foust or his fans expected. But 2013 was proof that bad luck can hit even the series’ most preeminent driver—and if four podiums, seven heat wins, and second in the championship represent an off year, it was the kind of off year that most drivers would love to have.

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish (1, 2); Larry Chen (3)

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By the Numbers: 2013 Global Rallycross Season

With the 2013 Global Rallycross season now a memory, it’s time to look back on the nine-race season and recognize some of the statistical outperformers in the Supercar class.

IT ALL STARTS IN SEEDING: Earning a top spot in seeding doesn’t guarantee a driver a victory in the main event, but qualifying well certainly helps. No matter the stat—whether it’s average starting spot or most top seeds—Ken Block is at the top of the list:

Average Start:

Top Seeds Earned:

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HEATING UP: The Supercars class ran a total of 45 heats this season, with each driver having up to 13 opportunities to earn a bonus point. Once again, Block was the class of the field in that regard:

Heat Victories Earned:

Block’s only two heat losses came in Brazil, where he finished second to Toomas Heikkinen, and in the second Munich race, where Liam Doran beat him. Still, Block’s performance was so strong in the heats that he was the only full-time driver not to appear in a last chance qualifier in 2013.

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MOVING UP THE FIELD: An underwhelming performance in seeding didn’t mean a driver couldn’t score a good finish at the end of the race. In fact, Travis Pastrana made a habit of finishing much better than he started, and moving up the field was a crucial part of Toomas Heikkinen’s championship run as well:

Plus/Minus (cumulative finishing positions gained from seeding result):

DRIVER OR CAR?: Not every Supercars team was fortunate enough to have the same driver in the car for each race in 2013. But while a driver rotation didn’t help a team’s efforts at consistency, by no means did it keep a team from scoring strong finishes. In fact, five of the 15 top cars in Global Rallycross this season, noted below in italics, saw multiple drivers behind the wheel, with the #199 Dodge Dart of Travis Pastrana and Timur Timerzyanov best among them:

  1. #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST, 169 points
  2. #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST, 123
  3. #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST, 115
  4. #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST, 106
  5. #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta, 94
  6. #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart, 90
  7. #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST, 89
  8. #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross WRX STI, 86
  9. #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta, 79
  10. #33/40 LD Motorsports/Prodrive MINI Countryman, 64
  11. #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross WRX STI, 49
  12. #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart, 42
  13. #29 Marklund Motorsport Volkswagen Polo, 33
  14. #40 Subaru PUMA Rallycross WRX STI, 31
  15. #12 X Team Racing Mitsubishi Evo, 31

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FULL STATISTICS: Advanced statistics for each driver to compete in more than half of the Supercars races in 2013:

 

Driver Starts Wins Pts. (Per Race) Heat Wins (Pct.) LCQs (Pct.) Finals Made (Pct.) Avg. St. Avg. Fin.
Steve Arpin
#32 OMSE2
9 0 79
(8.8)
0/13 (0%) 1/4 (25%) 6/9 (66%) 7.56 8.22
Ken Block
#43 Hoonigan Racing
9 1 115 (12.8) 11/13 (85%) 0/0 (N/A) 9/9 (100%) 3.22 6.33
Brian Deegan
#38 OlsbergsMSE
9 0 106 (11.8) 4/13 (31%) 1/2 (50%) 8/9 (88%) 4.33 6.11
Liam Doran
#33 LD Motorsports
5 1 59 (11.8) 3/6 (50%) 0/1 (0%) 4/5 (80%) 3.80 7.00
Tanner Foust
#34 OlsbergsMSE
9 0 123 (13.6) 7/13 (54%) 1/2 (50%) 8/9 (88%) 5.56 4.89
Toomas Heikkinen
#57 OlsbergsMSE
9 5 169 (18.8) 9/13 (69%) 1/1 (100%) 9/9 (100%) 4.11 1.89
Sverre Isachsen
#11 Subaru PUMA
8 0 86 (10.8) 2/12 (16%) 2/3 (66%) 7/8 (87%) 6.25 6.75
Bucky Lasek
#81 Subaru PUMA
8 0 49
(6.1)
0/12 (0%) 1/7 (14%) 2/8 (25%) 11.12 10.87
Bryce Menzies
#99 Pastrana Racing
8 0 35
(4.4)
0/11 (0%) 0/7 (0%) 1/8 (12%) 12.62 12.62
Dave Mirra
#40 Subaru PUMA
#40 Prodrive
7 0 36
(5.1)
0/10 (0%) 1/7 (14%) 1/7 (14%) 11.28 11.86
Travis Pastrana
#199 Pastrana Racing
5 0 56 (11.2) 1/7 (14%) 1/1 (100%) 5/5 (100%) 11.40 6.20
Patrik Sandell
#18 OlsbergsMSE
9 0 89
(9.9)
2/13 (15%) 1/4 (25%) 6/9 (66%) 6.78 7.67
Scott Speed
#77 OMSE2
9 2 94 (10.4) 5/13 (38%) 3/5 (60%) 7/9 (77%) 7.78 8.00
Timur Timerzyanov
#199 Pastrana Racing
#29 Marklund Motorsport
5 0 34
(6.8)
0/7 (0%) 3/5 (60%) 3/5 (60%) 8.80 10.40

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Global Rallycross Awards Winners Announced

The inaugural Global Rallycross Awards, celebrating the accomplishments of the drivers and teams competing in the 2013 season, were awarded at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas on Thursday night. The ceremony included over a dozen award winners, including representation for each team.

Points-based awards included the Supercars and Lites champions, team champion, and manufacturer champion. OlsbergsMSE drivers Toomas Heikkinen and Joni Wiman won the two driver’s championships, while OMSE won the team championship; all three of these awards were locked up in the season’s penultimate round in Charlotte. Meanwhile, manufacturer champion Ford—winner of eight of nine Supercar rounds between Heikkinen, Scott Speed, and Ken Block—clinched its title all the way back at X Games Los Angeles.

Tanner Foust won the Fan Favorite Driver of the Year Award presented by Royal Purple, in a contest that drew over 30,000 votes in just two short weeks of fan participation across social media. Foust, the host of “Top Gear” and a renowned stunt driver in addition to his Global Rallycross participation, drew a leading 36% of all votes cast.

Bucky Lasek won the inaugural Global Rallycross Sportsmanship Award. The second-year driver finished 11th in points with the Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team, earning a best finish of sixth place in Charlotte.

Each team was rewarded with a Crew Member of the Year award, designed to afford recognition to the mechanics who work tirelessly behind the scenes to get Global Rallycross cars on track each race weekend. These award winners were:

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

Global Rallycross in Las Vegas: Make-a-Wish Event

GRC TV: Make-a-Wish Event

Two-time Global Rallycross champion Tanner Foust made Thursday an unforgettable day for four lucky Make-a-Wish families, appearing at a meet-and-greet and giving track rides to children. Foust has been a part of GRC’s initiatives to give back to the community on race weekends, and later drove to a second place finish in Thursday night’s race.

Global Rallycross in Las Vegas: Race Recap

GRC TV: Las Vegas Recap

The final round of the 2013 Global Rallycross season took place against the stunning backdrop of the Las Vegas Strip, with the Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur hotels overlooking a dynamic course. After months of quick lap times but frustrating results in 2013, Ken Block finally broke through to score his first GRC victory over Tanner Foust and Travis Pastrana. GRC TV’s Kate Osborne was on site with all of the major players in the end-of-season extravaganza.

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Global Rallycross Race Recap: Las Vegas Strip

IN BRIEF: It took two full seasons, but Ken Block finally cracked the code to winning a Global Rallycross event: stay clean on the start, drive fast, and get a little bit of luck. He inherited the lead from the penalized Tanner Foust to win his first GRC race on the Las Vegas Strip.

HEAT RECAPS: Wednesday’s heat races went to Tanner Foust, Toomas Heikkinen, Ken Block, and Scott Speed, respectively, while Thursday’s events saw the same four drivers earn bonus points. In the last chance qualifier, Rhys Millen coasted to the victory as Nelson Piquet Jr. spun Sverre Isachsen to take second on the final lap; Isachsen was reinstated to the final when Piquet was disqualified.

MAIN EVENT RECAP: From the get-go, GRC’s biggest names ran 1-2-3 up front, with Foust, Block, and Pastrana holding strong at the head of the pack. Speed and Millen pulled off early, while Arpin also lost power in the race’s first laps. Unfortunately for Foust, a jump start penalty dropped him to second on the third lap, yielding the top spot to Block.

As Heikkinen climbed through the field from sixth place, Block continued to extend his lead on Foust with Pastrana trailing. Eventually, Heikkinen would climb to fourth, but couldn’t quite crack the podium. Block crossed the line to a shower of pyrotechnics, while Foust earned his third runner-up placing of the year and Pastrana took his first podium of 2013.

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RESULTS: The results from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:

  1. Ken Block, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST
  2. Tanner Foust, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  3. Travis Pastrana, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
  4. Toomas Heikkinen, #57 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  5. Sverre Isachsen, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
  6. Bryce Menzies, #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart
  7. Patrik Sandell, #18 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  8. Steve Arpin, #32 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
  9. Scott Speed, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta
  10. Rhys Millen, #67 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
  11. Pat Moro, #59 PMR Motorsports Chevrolet Sonic
  12. Stephan Verdier, #4 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster
  13. Brian Deegan, #38 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST
  14. Bucky Lasek, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI
  15. Nelson Piquet Jr., #12 X Team Racing Mitsubishi Evo

QUOTES: A selection of quotes from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:

Ken Block, Driver, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST: “It feels really good. It’s been a bit of a tough year—I’ve had the speed but just haven’t had the luck in the first turn. Today I got a decent start, had some good luck in the first turn, and a battle with Tanner. Unfortunately he jumped the lights, so it gave us free reign for the win. It was fun battling with Travis earlier, fun battling with Tanner, but my team works incredibly hard, and it’s great to finally give me and my team a win.”

Tanner Foust, Driver, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST: “I like to drive in the gravel, and I think the Fiestas are really great in the gravel—they change direction really fast. But I think it’s a testament to OlsbergsMSE that this weekend the car was so good on the tight corners, and we made it the fastest car on the asphalt. It was definitely a lot of fun, it was nice racing door to door on the asphalt a little bit, and it was a lot less maintenance for the guys working on the crew, which was nice. It made for a lot of close bumper to bumper racing.”

Travis Pastrana, Driver, #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart: “It was a surprisingly good race! We were slowest in qualifying, made a lot of adjustments. We actually took the same car setup—went back on all the springs, all the race setup that we had from New Hampshire a year and a half ago. And with a passenger that we had taken on a media ride, and we were 1.3 seconds faster with them in the car than I was in my qualifying! Dirtfish has done such an awesome job, and I can’t say enough for the team.”

Sverre Isachsen, Driver, #11 Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team WRX STI: “For the weekend, to take fifth place is really good for us. It’s almost a small victory. We struggled a little bit with the setup for the car, but we are pushing hard. The LCQ was hard—I was leading and I was spun around, but after all these things the mechanic made the car ready for the final. The car had small problems on every lap in the final, but we finished fifth anyway, and I’m really, really happy.”

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FAST FACTS: A collection of facts from Thursday’s Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:

DRIVER POINTS:

  1. Toomas Heikkinen, 169
  2. Tanner Foust, 123
  3. Ken Block, 115
  4. Brian Deegan, 106
  5. Scott Speed, 94
  6. Patrik Sandell, 89
  7. Sverre Isachsen, 86
  8. Steve Arpin, 79
  9. Liam Doran, 59
  10. Travis Pastrana, 56
  11. Bucky Lasek, 49
  12. Dave Mirra, 36
  13. Bryce Menzies, 35
  14. Timur Timerzyanov, 34
  15. Anton Marklund, 26
  16. Mattias Ekstrom, 26
  17. Stephan Verdier, 23
  18. Rhys Millen, 20
  19. Nelson Piquet Jr., 17
  20. Townsend Bell, 16
  21. Guilherme Spinelli, 14
  22. Pat Moro, 12
  23. Buddy Rice, 7
  24. Henning Solberg, 7
  25. Mauricio Neves, 5
  26. Eduardo Marques, 3
  27. David Sterckx, 1

MANUFACTURER POINTS:

  1. Ford, 344
  2. Subaru, 144
  3. Dodge, 131

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

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Global Rallycross/GRC Lites Checkpoint: Las Vegas Strip

IN BRIEF: Global Rallycross Supercars and GRC Lites completed practice, seeding, and their first set of heat races for this week’s season finale on the Las Vegas Strip. The two-day event will resume on Thursday, November 7, with the finals for both classes.

SUPERCARS PRACTICE AND SEEDING: Dave Mirra and Scott Speed led the two practice sessions, respectively, but Mirra’s speed would come at a heavy cost: a terminal engine failure that ended his weekend in earnest before it had a chance to start. It was defending event winner Tanner Foust who took the top position in seeding, followed by four more Fords belonging to Speed, Ken Block, Toomas Heikkinen, and Brian Deegan.

GRC LITES PRACTICE AND SEEDING: Joni Wiman and Sebastian Eriksson came out on top of the two practice sessions, respectively, as their fight for first place resumes. Eriksson carried that momentum into seeding, where he beat Wiman for top honors.

SUPERCARS HEATS: With engine failures prevalent, Supercars heat 1A became a duel between the victorious Foust and Sverre Isachsen. Heikkinen beat Deegan and Pat Moro in heat 1B, Block defeated Bucky Lasek, Stephan Verdier, and Travis Pastrana in heat 1C, and Scott Speed beat Rhys Millen, Nelson Piquet Jr., and Bryce Menzies in heat 1D, to complete a clean sweep of Wednesday’s heats for Ford.

GRC LITES HEATS: Sebastian Eriksson carried his momentum into a dominant victory in Lites heat 1A, with Mitchell deJong barely stealing second place from series newcomer Eric Faren in the final corner, Alexander Westlund in fourth, and Brent Lee in fifth. Heat 1B, meanwhile, went to Wiman over a hard-charging Kevin Eriksson, Geoff Sykes, Tyler Benson, and Austin Dyne.

NEWS AND NOTES: More stories from day one of Global Rallycross competition on the Las Vegas Strip:

QUOTES: A selection of quotes from the first day of competition in the Global Rallycross season finale on the Las Vegas Strip:

Tanner Foust, Driver, #34 OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST:  “Maybe I’ve paid my dues to Vegas, and I’m just getting paid back here. This particular track is a bit of a road racing track, so I’ve looked to Scott Speed. I came from a road racing background, but I don’t have any experience compared to Speed, so it’s great to see his lines and talk setup with him. It’s not what the cars are made for—they don’t ‘like’ it. The tracks where there’s a lot of jumping and sliding, they love it, so it takes a little bit of convincing to get it to do what you want it to do. Then it’s about carrying momentum.”

Scott Speed, Driver, #77 OMSE2 Ford Fiesta: “(The key to) this track is tire management, which is in my racing background. But it’s not so complicated, and our cars are good, so it runs good. We should win our heat races, because we’re racing against guys who are slower than us. If we can’t win our heat race, then we’re going to have a hard time beating the other guys.”

Ken Block, Driver, #43 Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST:  “I did have a pretty good day today, but I got beat by Tanner and Speed. Those guys are just a little bit more of tarmac experts than me. I enjoy the track, but I think when there’s more dirt on the track I excel even better, because it’s my specialty. I’ve qualified first four out of nine times this year, and I’ve won the most heat races of everybody, but today I qualified third, which means if everything goes to plan I’ll still be third on the final grid. It’s a fun track, and the facility here is great—last year was nice but this is a big step up.”

Bucky Lasek, Driver, #81 Subaru PUMA Rallycross WRX STI: “Being the fastest non-Blue Oval car has definitely been the highlight of my day. I think once the racing starts, we race better than we qualify, so it’s definitely going to be a good day for Subaru. (The track) is kind of challenging because it sets you up to slide, and everyone knows that sliding is slow. There are three spots on this track that our car is struggling with, turning at a tight radius and getting grip out of it, but we make up for it on the longer turns. With the bigger wheelbase, I think we’re able to make it stick. It’s give and take right now. It looks like everyone’s race craft is on point, so it should be a good race tomorrow.”

Rhys Millen, Driver, #67 Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Veloster: “This pavement is interesting. It’s very aggressive on tire wear, but it’s also very rich in oil content, which makes it slippery, so it took us a little bit to find the balance of the car. The cars may have more traction than most in the dirt, so we were hoping for a little more dirt than we have, but it’s the challenges of motorsport—you have to adapt, and I think we’ve adapted very well to the weekend.”

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

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GRC Drivers Appear at SEMA Before Vegas Finale

The annual SEMA Show attracts hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts, brand representatives, and race drivers to the Las Vegas Strip every year. After holding the 2012 season finale in a Las Vegas Convention Center parking lot, Global Rallycross has maintained its presence at the show this year with numerous driver appearances.

In conjunction with Ford, the 2013 Global Rallycross Manufacturer’s Champion, five drivers (Ken Block, Patrik Sandell, Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, and newly crowned series champion Toomas Heikkinen) performed demonstration runs in the same parking lot where GRC raced last season. Meanwhile, Foust and Deegan attracted scores of fans at autograph sessions across the exhibition, entertaining both sponsorship partners and fans alike, while Sandell made appearances on behalf of newly signed sponsor Kobalt Tools, Block promoted the upcoming Gymkhana Six video, and Heikkinen relished his status as the top dog of the 2013 GRC season.

For the first time in 2013, Global Rallycross has maintained a display of its own at SEMA, located at booth #50647 on the Skybridge. SEMA attendees can stop by to learn more about the series and pick up schedules for GRC’s two-day race event, held just minutes away from the show at 3901 Las Vegas Boulevard South. SEMA attendees gain free admittance with their show badge.

Top 10 GRC Moments: Heikkinen Completes Record Win Streak in Atlanta

In anticipation of the 2013 Global Rallycross season finale, held on the Las Vegas Strip on November 6-7, Global-Rallycross.com looks back on the 10 most significant events in the series’ three-year history. These stories will appear on Global-Rallycross.com once a day from Monday-Friday on the weeks of October 21-25 and October 28-November 1. Click here to purchase tickets for the 2013 Global Rallycross season finale.

DATE: August 11, 2013

LOCATION: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA

IN BRIEF: Toomas Heikkinen established himself as a force to be reckoned with early in the 2013 Global Rallycross season, nearly winning the season opener at X Games Brazil and earning his first event win in the second half of the X Games Munich doubleheader. From there, the rest of the field couldn’t keep up with the young Finn, as he added wins at New Hampshire, Bristol, and X Games Los Angeles.

In Atlanta, it was more of the same. Heikkinen overcame aggressive driving from Sverre Isachsen in the heats to claim a front row spot in the final, then dodged contact on the first lap to open up a lead that would stand for the duration. Heikkinen’s fifth consecutive race victory, taken over Tanner Foust in second and Isachsen in third, stands as one of the most impressive marks in the GRC record book.

EFFECTS: For Heikkinen, the drive to the 2013 championship didn’t take him all the way to the season finale in November—he wrapped up OlsbergsMSE’s third consecutive title at Charlotte in September. He’ll race in the 2013 finale simply for pride, and to attempt to become the first driver to podium in every race of a GRC season.

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

OTHER TOP 10 GRC MOMENTS

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Top 10 GRC Moments: Brian Deegan’s Last Stand

In anticipation of the 2013 Global Rallycross season finale, held on the Las Vegas Strip on November 6-7, Global-Rallycross.com looks back on the 10 most significant events in the series’ three-year history. These stories will appear on Global-Rallycross.com once a day from Monday-Friday on the weeks of October 21-25 and October 28-November 1. Click here to purchase tickets for the 2013 Global Rallycross season finale.

DATE: October 30, 2012

LOCATION: Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

IN BRIEF: Brian Deegan entered the 2012 GRC season finale as the only driver with a chance to dethrone Tanner Foust for the championship. Both drivers won their first heat races, but an incident with Sverre Isachsen in the second heat forced Deegan to go through the last chance qualifier and start ninth in the main event.

After an underwhelming first attempt at the final, Ken Block’s mechanical troubles led to a full restart and new life for Deegan’s title hopes. He rocketed toward the front at the green light, pulling into a podium spot after the first corner and delivering one of the most passionate driving performances in rallycross in recent memory. He would eventually finish second, becoming the only driver to have all five of his finishes that counted toward the championship also be podium placements.

EFFECTS: Deegan had proven himself a worthy GRC driver by winning gold at X Games Los Angeles in 2011, but the 2012 season showed that the freestyle motocross legend could drive patiently enough to contend for championships. He currently ranks third in the 2013 Supercar standings, and will once again battle Foust for points position in Las Vegas this year.

Photo credit: Doug Kranz/Icon SMI

OTHER TOP 10 GRC MOMENTS