Saturday, June 9, 2012

Global RallyCross: Travis Pastrana and Dodge Committed To Push On Regardless

Travis Pastrana and Ken Block had less than stellar performances at Texas Motor Speedway: Photo Neil McDaid /Stock
Texas Motor Speedway: Travis Pastrana (No. 199 Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge Dart) DNQ FOR MAIN EVENT CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR HEAT RACE AND HAVING TO TRANSFER TO THE LAST CHANCE QUALIFIER (LCQ)?  "A tough heat race for us.  They made some modifications to the's great to have a big jump on the track. The guys gave me a fast Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge Dart this weekend.  I kind of blew it on the start and that cost me.  There's not a lot of passing zones here.  If you didn't get a good start, it's just tough to pass."

YOU HAD THE LEAD IN THE LCQ AND IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE HEADING TO THE MAIN EVENT UNTIL YOU STALLED THE CAR IN THE HAIRPIN.  WHAT HAPPENED?  “Just a bummer.  We just missed a bit on in the heat race and when you have to run in the LCQ, you almost have to be perfect.  The key was to get the start that we needed again Ken (Block) and I got the jump on him heading into the first turn.  That put us in great position until I overdrove the hairpin and looped the car.  It’s so hard to pass here and I just wasn’t able to run the three laps I needed in the LCQ.  Our Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge was fast all weekend.  We just had some gremlins.”

Felipe Albuquerque (No. 99 Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge Dart) DNQ FOR MAIN EVENT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST CHANCE QUALIFIER RACE?  “I lost the clutch completely in the LCQ and that ended the day for me.  I think that’s why I had such a poor start.  I was so keen to get a great start and when I got off the rev limiter there was no wheel spin.  The car wasn’t going like it should.  I was stuck in second gear the entire time, but when I started to accelerate toward the big jump I wasn’t carrying enough speed and just had to pull off.  It’s a shame.  Our Dodge Dart was really fast.”

IT LOOKED LIKE THIS CIRCUIT WAS ALL ABOUT THE START:  “For sure.  You needed to get a good start because there just wasn’t a lot of passing zones.

“In my first heat race, I overshot the joker lap and lost the car completely.  I tried to go for the shortcut and hit the water and just lost the car.  I was turning right when I should have been going left.  The car was fantastic.  I hope I get an opportunity to driver the Dodge again.  It’s a very fast car.”
Blair Stopnik (Team Manager, Red Bull/Discount Tire Dodge Dart) “These Dodge Darts are fast.  We set fast lap times.  We know that they work.  But they’re also brand new and we’ve got some teething issues.  Travis (Pastrana) is a hell of a driver.  Felipe (Albuquerque) was great all weekend.  It’s a new car.  It’s a new series.  We’re just learning event by event.  The cars are certainly faster than our results have shown.  We’ll be better.”