LOS ANGELES – Scott Speed has come from behind to win his second consecutive Red Bull Global Rallycross championship, after finishing second in today’s final round, Red Bull GRC Los Angeles presented by Honda.
The driver of the No. 41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle GRC – dubbed the #PinkBeetle this weekend – ended behind Brian Deegan as Deegan claimed an overdue first victory this season in his No. 38 Chip Ganassi Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST.
Deegan used the Honda Joker Lap to leapfrog from fourth to first on Lap 11 of 12 in the final.
Tanner Foust, Speed’s title adversary, finished a hard-luck fourth in the final his No. 34 Beetle. Despite having a 13-point lead entering the weekend (465-452) and a six-point lead entering the day (523-517) before qualifying, the heats and the semifinals, Foust fell short of the title.
From the launch, Patrik Sandell moved into the lead in his No. 18 Bryan Herta Rallysport Ford Fiesta ST ahead of Speed and Foust, who’d been forced to go into the Last Chance Qualifier after being assessed a penalty in a semifinal for aggressive driving. Deegan was fourth with David Higgins fifth in a Subaru. Contact occurred further down the order with Steve Arpin’s Ganassi Ford smoking and Austin Dyne’s hood coming up, the latter driver then running the rest of the distance with it up.
There was plenty of action beyond the top four but the critical moment of the race came when Speed went for the lead with a run on Sandell on Lap 11 of 12, which was a risky move in some regards because he didn’t want to risk losing the title if he spun or lost positions.
But both drivers got leapfrogged by Deegan, who’d saved his run at the Joker lap, and made the call to use it when he saw Speed attempting to go after Sandell. Once Deegan emerged, he came back on line right in front of Speed, and that was enough to take the lead.
Deegan scored a popular win to snap a several-year winless drought and promptly celebrated by taking the top of his firesuit and shirt off on top of his car in front of the fans. Meanwhile, with second, Speed had enough to secure his, Michael Andretti and Volkswagen’s second straight title.
Sandell was third with Foust fourth, Joni Wiman fifth in the top Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE in Honda’s home race and Tanner Whitten an impressive sixth in the 12-car final in his second Supercars race in his debut weekend with SH Rallycross/DRR.
Deegan’s win also vaulted him to third in the points, behind the Volkswagen teammates.