Manteca native Scott Speed earned his second consecutive Global Rallycross Championship title when he drove his Andretti Motorsports No. 41 Beetle GRC to a second-place finish in Sunday’s GRC finale in Los Angeles.
Speed’s Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammate Tanner Foust entered Sunday’s race with a narrow lead over Speed after winning Saturday’s opening leg of the weekend twin bill, however, the margin was small enough that the championship would go to whichever driver finished ahead of the other on Sunday.
Speed held the early advantage. He started the finale from the pole while Foust was forced to start from the seventh position in the 12-car field after incurring a penalty for rough driving during a heat race.
However, Speed’s early edge evaporated on the opening lap when Patrik Sandell jumped him for the lead while Foust made a bold pass around the outside to jump into third.
“All I had to do was run around for a few laps and not break in the final, because of Tanner’s starting position was not the most ideal,” Speed explained. “When we got out of the first corner, I got the heads up (on the radio) that ‘oh by the way, Tanner is on your rear.’ I was shocked and just mind blown. I now have a slower car in front of me and all of the possibilities are running through my mind — getting held up and Tanner punching right by us.”
Speed was up to the challenge. He was successfully able to hold off Foust before making a move to pass on Sandell on lap 11 at the exact same time that fourth place runner Brian Deegan opted to take advantage to take his one joker lap which gives a driver a shorter distance around a corner.
Speed was able to complete his pass on Sandell just as Deegan re-entered the track just ahead of him. As a result, Speed was still in second place, but he now had Sandell’s car as a cushion on Foust.
Despite Foust’s determined efforts, the four drivers would take the checkered flag one lap later in the same running order, giving Deegan his first win of the season and Speed the championship over Foust by a razor thin 571-567 point margin.
“Today was the most emotional day of racing in my entire career,” said Speed celebrating his championship. “When thinking about the winning the championship, back-to-back are my thoughts. I’m just going to get in the car and throw on some Drake — Back to Back — it feels so good!”
Local Racing News
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