Before X Games Foz wrapped up on Sunday, there was one last upset to be had, this time at the Ford RallyCross Finals, courtesy of Scott Speed. The rallycross rookie beat out Travis Pastrana, defending silver medalist Ken Block and last year’s overall Global RallyCross Championship winner Tanner Foust – all of whom were podium favorites going into the event.
Speed’s name might sound familiar to Formula One and NASCAR fans. The 30-year-old California native currently races the Leavine Family Racing No. 95 car in the Sprint Cup Series but he set aside his asphalt dreams to try to conquer his dirt dreams and with a little help he was successful.
The race’s initial start was red-flagged after several first-turn crashes that left a number of drivers with disappointment and wrecked cars, including Pastrana, Block and Buddy Rice. And with those three out of the race, Speed was able to use the restart to his advantage against the remaining six drivers. Because of the red flag, the event was shortened from 10 laps to six and although Toomas Heikkinen of Finland got out to a quick lead, Speed trailed behind diligently.
Speed trailed Heikkinen until the final lap, at which point he made his move, dipping into his one required joker lap – a shorter line that gave him a car length lead heading into the final turn. Heikkinen finished in second and Patrik Sandell of Sweden rounded out the podium. Heikkinen was coming off a near tragic crash during a test run of the 50-foot ramp jump at X-Games Los Angeles this past summer.
The race marked the beginning of this season’s RallyCross Championship, with the second leg of the summer X Games – and the series schedule – set to take place in Barcelona next month. A few racers will look to bounce back in the race and walk away with the gold – or at least get some revenge.
Photo Credit: Getty