Scott Speed took his third consecutive victory at the inaugural Red Bull Global Rallycross race in Atlantic City Sunday, snatching the championship lead from teammate Tanner Foust. Speed’s win culminated a dominating weekend, in which the driver of the No. 41 BF Goodrich/Toms River Volkswagen Beetle GRC lead every session from qualifying through the Final on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s awesome to grab another win after a slow start to the year for us,” said Speed after the race. “This weekend wasn’t without its problems, but we really showed everyone how strong we can run, and I’m certainly enjoying the payoff.”
Speed’s victory came at a price for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team, as Tanner Foust, driver of the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle GRC, suffered a tire puncture in the Final, handing the lead to his teammate with just two laps to go. Foust had extended his record-setting streak of Heat and Semifinal race victories earlier in the day, enabling a second-place grid position for the Final before jumping ahead of his pole-sitting teammate on Lap 1. Foust and Speed ran together for much of the race, pulling away from the rest of the field before Foust slowed with his puncture on the second-to-last lap.
Foust managed to bring his car to the checkered flag on just three tires, but had to settle for fourth, earning valuable points for the championship hunt, but narrowly missing out on his sixth podium finish of the 2016 season.
“It was a tough end to a difficult weekend,” said Foust. “With red flags and contact with other cars, the team was busy keeping the Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle GRC together. I have to be happy to walk away with fourth place, just a little bit gutted to have an issue when it was such a clean lead. Driving 125 miles an hour with a flat tire and concrete walls on both sides is an interesting experience.”
Red Bull Global Rallycross drivers praised the Bader Field track, just minutes from the famous Atlantic City boardwalk, enjoying its fast corners and long straights. The course was the longest Red Bull Global Rallycross will visit this year and featured a difficult and ever-changing dirt section.
“It was just one of those tracks where you have to navigate grooves and potholes,” explained Speed. “It was an interesting challenge and it’s too bad Tanner got caught out at the end like that. Otherwise it would have been another double podium for the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team.”
With his Atlantic City win, Speed leapfrogs his teammate in the championship standings. Foust had been the points leader from the first race of the season and now sits nine markers behind his reigning champion teammate. Both drivers have built a healthy margin over their competition, and Volkswagen has increased its lead in the Manufacturer Championship standings to five points with three races remaining in the 2016 season.
Red Bull Global Rallycross will make its next stop September 16-17 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. Tape-delayed coverage will air on NBC Sunday, September 18 at 1:30PM (ET).