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Speed, Pastrana Give Subaru 1-2 Result in Nitro Rallycross at ERX Motor Park

Subaru Motorsports USA’s long-awaited first Nitro Rallycross victory finally came on Sunday at ERX Motor Park—and what’s better, it turned out to be a 1-2 finish.

One day after earning the team a $10,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct in the final round of the battle brackets, choosing to pull off immediately instead of facing Kevin Hansen for the pole to ensure that he’d be in a different heat from teammate Travis Pastrana, it was four-time US rallycross champion Scott Speed scoring the win on the fastest track of the season. Pastrana would mount a valiant charge that fell just short of the win, while Hansen would score his second bronze medal in as many weeks behind them.

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Kevin Hansen competes at Nitro Rallycross in Elk River, Minnesota, USA on 3 October, 2021.

Oliver Eriksson and Robin Larsson would complete the final grid as Oliver Bennett fell just short of the final transfer spot in the last chance qualifier. A chaotic LCQ saw an immediate spin for Liam Doran, DNFs for both Kevin Eriksson and Cabot Bigham (the latter after a spectacular flip), and an early end to the rallycross debut of short course standout Andrew Carlson, whose family owns the track.

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Scott Speed competes at Nitro Rallycross in Elk River, Minnesota, USA on 3 October, 2021.

The Subarus would pounce on the opportunity to start the final, with Speed and Pastrana taking the top two spots and Kevin Hansen mounting their best challenge. Pastrana would bite on the Joker Lap first to give second place up to Hansen, but he’d almost have the Swede caught by the time both he and Speed took their own Jokers on the next lap. Pastrana would slide back into second and put all the pressure he could muster on his teammate, but couldn’t quite make the pass.

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Andrew Carlson and Tanner Foust compete at Nitro Rallycross in Elk River, Minnesota, USA on 3 October, 2021.

In the two NRX Next races, Martin Enlund and Sage Karam would split the victories, with Karam’s win coming after he spun on the first lap and had to come from last to first. But the series’ first-ever side-by-side races, comprised of a purely invitational entry list, put on some of the best shows of the weekend.  In the first race, Midwest champion Kyle Chaney tracked down Foust to take the victory on Saturday, but Foust struck back with a Sunday win over former rallycross teammate Brian Deegan. Deegan won a gentleman’s bet on performance of a dollar with Pastrana by default, as Pastrana crashed out of the event on Saturday, but Deegan passed along the dollar to Foust as the top performer of all.

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Timmy Hansen competes at Nitro Rallycross in Elk River, Minnesota, USA on 2 October, 2021.

After back-to-back momentum-building weekends, Nitro Rallycross is off until November 13-14, when it’ll take over Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Arizona. They’ll again go on back-to-back weekends with a visit to Glen Helen Raceway in California the week after before wrapping up the season at The FIRM on the first weekend of December.

Chris Leone

A veteran of the motorsports industry (both physical and digital), Chris Leone contributes coverage of race events of all types to Off-Road Racer. Elsewhere, he is the marketing/communications manager at iRacing, media director of Jim Beaver's Down & Dirty Show, and a frequent contributor to UTV Underground.