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Saturday, June 9, 2012
Marcus Gronholm wins Global RallyCross

By Clint Foster

FORT WORTH, Texas — After two red flags, Marcus Gronholm took the checkered flag at the first ever Global RallyCross Championship Hoon Kaboom at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday.

The six-lap race had to start over twice after three laps.

The first race had to stop when Sverr Isachsen stalled in front of the 70-foot jump. Before that caution, Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust, and Gronholm led the race.

After the first restart, Gronholm took advantage and jumped out to an early lead on the joker lap. But that race was red flagged, as well.

In the second restart, Gronholm stuck to his strategy of taking the joker in his first lap and jumped out to an early lead. Gronholm’s Best Buy Mobile Ford Fiesta kept the lead throughout the race and took first place.

“It was perfect. We had two restarts, which was really hard for the cars and the tires for the race,” Gronholm said. “Finally, I got a good start in the last one. I could do my race.”

Gronholm is currently the points leader in the 2012 Championship standings and has taken first place in both GRC races so far this year.

Faust, a favorite of TMS fans, came in second after challenging for first in every restart. His Rockstar Energy Etnies Ford Fiesta ran well for most of the last race, but Gronholm’s lead was too big to overcome.

“My car was running very very hot, and I was pushing it hard,” Faust said. “I barely limped [my car] across the line. Marcus was unbeatable. In any of the three races we did for the final, he was in the lead. He deserved the win."

Faust is a stunt car driver and star of the show Top Gear on the History Channel.

Travis Pastrana missed the feature race when he was forced to forfeit his last chance qualifier. His Red Bull Rallycross/Pastrana 199 Racing Dodge Dart led through the first lap but spun into the tire barrier on the first turn after the jump. The drawback caused Pastrana to fall so far back; he had no choice but to forfeit.

“Just a bummer,” Pastrana said. “Our Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge was fast all weekend. We just had some gremlins.”

Bucky Lasek also missed out on the feature in his last chance follower because of an accident. The former skateboarder, whom some may remember from the series of Tony Hawk video games, broke the back axel on his Puma Rallycross Subaru WRX STi and drove off the side of the ramp leading to the big jump.

After Gronholm and Faust, the top five to finish in the Hoon Kaboom feature race were Brian Deegan, Rhys Millen, and David Binks.

Saturday’s Hoon Kaboom at TMS will be shown on ESPN2 at 12:00 a.m. CST.