Despite fires, gearbox changes and restarts, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross would not be denied following a trying weekend at Daytona International Speedway.
Tanner Foust claimed his third victory of the Red Bull Global Rallycross season (Rounds 1, 2, Phoenix) in Round 5 in Daytona on Sunday.
Foust made it through to the lead in his No. 34 Volkswagen Beetle off the start and dominated the remainder of the 10-lap race to secure the victory.
It was a nice bounce back from the final on Saturday, when Foust hit a rough portion of the track – a hole – and fell out, directly into the path of Patrik Sandell.
Foust told Red Bull GRC reporter Kristen Kenney of his Saturday travails, “Unfortunately we shoveled a big hole and there was a big thing that tore the suspension off the car. Sandell had nowhere to go. I put the anchor out and he took us both out. I sent the pic to the organizers. Unfortunate trying to get it running, gearbox, and rolled out at very last second. Then had a couple second lead. I also feel for Scott’s team with that fire. There’s a lot to fix that damage like that.”
A much happier Foust checked in with Kenney after Sunday’s win:
“After the restart, people knew if either of us got out front it would be tough to catch. Cars have been fast. Team has done an amazing job. Fires, gearbox changes, it’s been dramatic. Hats off to the guys for amazing work. It was like bulldogs piling over the back.
Perhaps the bigger story was behind him. Teammate Scott Speed, who’d had more of a nightmare weekend, rallied to finish second in a backup car.
Speed had an engine change on Friday but things went from bad to worse on Saturday when he tried to limp home with a significant fire in his car then, while leading. The fire not only cost him the car, but a likely win which was in the offing after Foust and Sandell, the Round 3 winner at Dallas, collided once Foust hit a hole on the track.
“We shoulda walked out of here with the points lead,” Speed told Kenney after Saturday. “You try to stay positive, hope it turns around, but this race here has been a complete nightmare. We can’t do anything (right).”
But on Sunday, Speed had a needed runner-up finish to complete the VARX 1-2. He started ninth after being hit by Austin Dyne in the start of the second race, and because he was involved in a wreck, he moved to the back of the field.
Sebastian Eriksson, who scored his first and thus far only Red Bull GRC Supercars final win in Daytona last year, came third in the No. 93 Red Bull Olsbergs MSE Honda Civic Coupe.
Unofficially Foust leads Saturday winner Steve Arpin by 32 points and Speed by 39 after this race. Sandell and Brian Deegan, at 63 and 71 points back, complete the top five ahead of the two OMSE Hondas.
The series heads to MCAS New River for Rounds 6 and 7 in two weeks’ time (July 2-3, both 5 p.m. ET on NBC).