Pastrana victorious back on home soil at Nitro Rallycross stop in Minnesota

Pastrana victorious back on home soil at Nitro Rallycross stop in Minnesota

International Racing

Pastrana victorious back on home soil at Nitro Rallycross stop in Minnesota

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Travis Pastrana was victorious as Nitro Rallycross returned to the United States after a two-round foray into Europe.

Racing at ERX Motor Park in Minnesota, where Pastrana began his successful 2021 title charge a year ago, the Vermont SportsCar driver got by championship leader Robin Larsson on the opening lap of the final and never looked back, crossing the line 3.793s ahead after setting a string of fastest laps.

Third went to Fraser McConnell who rebounded from a frightening practice crash on Saturday that required a full rebuild of his car. It was a similar story for his Dreyer & Reinbold JC teammate Andreas Bakkerud who also subjected his crew to an all-nighter after rolling on Saturday – he wound up fourth.

Oliver Bennett was fifth in his first final appearance of the season, running Bakkeurd close in the final stages of the race. Local wildcard Andrew Carlson, Conner Martell, and Oliver Eriksson rounded out the final order.

The weekend began with seeding heats before the head-to-head battle bracket, but before racing of any kind got underway, the field was slimmed from 10 cars to eight after Bakkerud and McConnell suffered massive rolls during timed practice.

After qualifying shook out, it was Larsson who was top qualifier for the second time this season after defeating Kevin Eriksson in the head-to-head final.

He backed that up with a heat win on Sunday, locking in the prime starting position for the final — Pastrana joining him on the front row with a win of his own.

As the main event field continued to take shape, McConnell – racing an entirely different car to Saturday after his crash – and Martell won the semifinal races, with Oliver Eriksson and Bakkerud joining them in advancing.

The only drivers who failed to make the final were Kevin Eriksson, who, after rolling out of the opening heat, opted to sit out of the remainder of the weekend despite his car being repairable; and Jenson Button, who finished the Last Chance Qualifier in third on what was his maiden competitive rallycross outing.

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