For the first time since its debut three years ago, Travis Pastrana can call himself the winner of a main event in the racing series he’s pioneered.
Pastrana posted a perfect weekend in Nitro Rallycross’ midway round of the season at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, backing up a second place finish at ERX Motor Park last month with the top qualifying time, a win in the battle brackets, a win in his heat, and a win that rarely looked in doubt in the final. The victory allowed him to jump to second in series standings, behind only Timmy Hansen, who finished two seconds behind Pastrana in the race. ERX winner Scott Speed, who entered the event tied with Hansen in the series lead, completed the podium.
The biggest source of intrigue, meanwhile, came from NASCAR legend Kyle Busch, who made his rallycross debut in the Vermont SportsCar-prepared Nitro Star Car. Busch would fall to Speed in the first round of battle brackets, but he found his footing quickly enough to advance to the final through his semifinal thanks to a penalty to Robin Larsson. Busch would outrace the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing duo of Cabot Bigham and Tanner Foust to finish fourth in his NRX experience, while Kevin Hansen and Steve Arpin completed the eight-car final with a pair of mechanical DNFs.
In NRX Next, it was Sage Karam going back-to-back for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing on each day ahead of #YellowSquad driver George Megennis; Conner Martell would complete the Saturday podium in his return to US rallycross competition, and Casper Jansson would finish third on Sunday. That championship is still anyone’s game, as Jansson and Lane Vacala are tied for first with 220 points, Enlund and Megennis are five points back each, and Karam’s three straight victories have brought him back to within 20 of the lead.
The busiest stretch of the NRX season brings the series to Glen Helen Raceway in California next weekend. As always, the action will air live on Peacock on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and will air on television on the NBC Sports Network later in the week.