Today’s X Games at Circuit of the Americas in Austin may not be a points-paying round for the Red Bull Global Rallycross, but it is one of the championship’s signature events.
And for the second consecutive year, Scott Speed of Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross has earned the X Games Gold Medal.
Brian Deegan, in his first start of the season for Chip Ganassi Racing’s new rallycross team, CGR Rallycross, battled OMSE’s Sebastian Eriksson, a Red Bull GRC rookie, to kick off the race.
But Speed, in the No. 41 Shark Week Volkswagen Beetle for VARX, got into medal contention after SH Rallycross substitute driver Andreas Bakkerud spun out of contention.
Speed was past Eriksson by the halfway point and able to pull away from there. CGR’s other driver, Steve Arpin, was able to make it into second with Eriksson holding off Deegan for third and the final podium position.
It gives Speed his first win of the season after winning three points-paying races, plus X Games, in 2014.
“It was a crazy final race, definitely the most gratifying of my career from the fact that it just took so much work, not only from myself, but from the whole Volkswagen Andretti team,” Speed said.
“I’m sure the show for the X Games fans was amazing; I know I cannot wait to get back home and watch it. It was a true testament to the Beetle because it took a beating out there.
“Ideally it would have been nice to just get through Turn 1 on the inside and just check away from the field, but that didn’t happen. I’d much rather win X Games Gold that way, it was a dog fight and when you are able to close on the win after such a battle is an incredible feeling.”
And, for good measure, he won in 2013 at the X Games, too.
It also gives Andretti a win over Ganassi for the second straight week. Call it a reach, but Andretti Autosport banked its first Verizon IndyCar Series win of the year a week ago Saturday in Detroit with Carlos Munoz winning the race and the highest-placed Ganassi driver, Scott Dixon, in fifth place.
Ganassi himself, meanwhile, seemed over the moon with Arpin bringing his Ford Fiesta home in second in only his second race with the team.
As Ganassi is set for his own Triple Crown weekend, with races in Red Bull GRC, IndyCar and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, I coined a term on Twitter to describe his weekend.
As for Red Bull GRC, its next event is a return to points-paying status, at Daytona June 20-21. That will be live at 2 p.m. ET, Sunday June 21, on NBC.
Unofficial results are linked below: