Red Bull GRC: Both VW Andretti Beetles go pink for LA

Photo: Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
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The pair of Volkswagen Beetle GRCs will turn pink for this weekend’s Red Bull Global Rallycross season finale, Red Bull GRC Los Angeles Presented by Honda.

Either Scott Speed or Tanner Foust will walk away with this year’s Supercars title. A release outlining the initiative is below:

After wrapping up its first Red Bull Global Rallycross Manufacturer’s Championship in Seattle, Volkswagen will add to season-ending celebrations at the series finale in Los Angeles with special liveries for its pair of Beetle GRCs, commemorating the launch of the 2017 Volkswagen #PinkBeetle—a new, limited-edition model of the iconic two-door car. Reigning Red Bull GRC Champion, Scott Speed, will race in the No. 41 #PinkBeetle Beetle GRC, while current points leader, Tanner Foust, will compete in the No. 34 Rockstar Perfectberry™ Beetle GRC in support of The Pink Agenda—a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and money for breast cancer research and care among young professionals.

“We’ve had a lot of success with our Beetle GRC this season, so it will be fun to mark the end of the season with a fresh coat of paint,” said Scott Speed. “The #PinkBeetle already has lots of eager fans across the VW community, so I’m looking forward to adding some excitement to the launch of this special car with our 560-horsepower version.”

TannerFoust will trade in his traditional black and yellow look for black and pink in LA, competing in the No. 34 Perfectberry Rockstar Beetle GRC. The pink-themed car will support in raising breast cancer awareness for The Pink Agenda.

“It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to support a great cause like The Pink Agenda through our racing,” said Foust. “The PerfectberryRockstar Beetle GRC will be hard to miss out on the track and I’m looking forward to hopefully put it front and center—at the top of the podium.”

Volkswagen is providing #PinkBeetle fans with the chance to become the first U.S. owner of the limited-edition car, before it hits dealer showrooms in October. The company has teamed with Giuliana Rancic’s FAB-U-WISH initiative and The Pink Agenda to offer auction bidders this exclusive right and the special opportunity to fly to New York to attend The Pink Agenda’s Annual Gala on October 13, 2016 and meet Giuliana Rancic. Proceeds from the auction ending September 22, 2016 and hosted at charitybuzz.com/vwpinkbeetle will support The Pink Agenda’s mission and Giuliana Rancic’s FAB-U-WISH, an initiative that grants wishes to young women undergoing breast cancer treatment, in partnership with The Pink Agenda.

“The timing of the launch of the 2017 #PinkBeetle and our Red Bull Global Rallycross finale couldn’t be better. We’re excited to highlight this unique car by racing the striking color on track,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti. “Andretti Autosport has a strong tradition of raising awareness for cancer research and we’re happy to continue that good work with our partners at Volkswagen and Rockstar.”

Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
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On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.


Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)