Pastrana hopes his fortunes have turned around, though, after managing to give the Dodge Dart its first RallyCross win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this past weekend. He qualified third overall and managed to win his heat, giving him a spot on the front row for the final race. Pastrana took advantage of his position, jumping out to a first lap lead after passing Tanner Foust in a hairpin and eventually finishing just ahead of Samuel Hubinette. Brian Deegan rounded out the podium in third place, with Foust finishing in fourth and Ken Block in fifth.
"It's been so long, I almost forgot what it's like to win," said Pastrana after the race. "It is absolutely awesome to get out here and get on top. It has been a rough season."
The next and final race of the 2012 Global RallyCross season will be at Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the weekend of September 28-29. Check out the videos below for all the leaps, jumps and bumps.
"It's been so long, I almost forgot what it's like to win," said Pastrana. "It is absolutely awesome to get out here and get on top. It has been a rough season."
The low point for the team came at the 12th X Games in Los Angeles. Hopes of a medal were crushed when Pastrana was taken out on the first turn of the first lap. "We've had such a hard run," he said. "Everyone on this Dodge Dart team has worked so hard. We've just been creamed and crushed every race. I have to thank everybody that has supported me. It's been a really rough year."
The challenging circuit involved more elements and obstacles than previous events at Charlotte and Texas. Drivers had to deal with a chicane, moguls, dirt, a tabletop jump, a 180-degree hairpin turn 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 (hit from behind and pushed into the retaining wall).
"This is a brand new car. Dodge put so much behind this. Guys from every different branch of Dodge were coming out. The motor has been strong the whole time. It's just a matter of getting everything else in place. I want to thank everyone for backing me. I know it's only our fourth race in this brand-new car which actually, if you think about it, it's amazing to be on top of the podium. But for us, we had a lot of expectations coming into this season and we wanted to win. X Games was such a letdown, this was a good way to bring it back."
Getting out front was the key. Pastrana was able to do that in the Heat Race and Main Event. He and Hubinette had a torrid battle in their Heat Race and it continued in the Main Event. After overtaking Tanner Foust at the tricky hairpin turn on the first lap, it was vintage Pastrana maneuvering the Dodge Dart 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.
How big was the victory? "It's bigger than you could ever imagine," said Pastrana. "I feel like we had the best car, we have a great crew and we finally showed where this Dodge Dart should be – Victory Lane."
Race Final Results
Global RallyCross Series - Round 4
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Saturday, July 14, 2012
1. TRAVIS PASTRANA
2. Samuel Hubinette
3. Brian Deegan
4. Tanner Foust
5. Ken Block
6. Andy Scott
7. Liam Doran
8. David Binks
9. Stephan Verdier
10. Dave Mirra
11. Bucky Lasek
12. Patrick Moro
13. Sverre Isachsen
14. Richard Burton