Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust presents a check to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund on behalf of NAPA Chassis at MCAS New River.
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (July 7, 2015) -- Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust was sidelined early after a hard hit from a rival driver during the Global Rallycross Championship race at Marine Corps Air Station New River this Independence Day weekend.
So, the two-time series champion and host of Top Gear on History spent much of Sunday's competition as a guest commentator on the live NBC telecast, joining play-by-play announcer Toby Moody and analyst Townsend Bell in the broadcast booth.
"I'd rather have been out there racing, but I enjoyed being part of the broadcast team on Sunday," said Foust. "It's definitely a different perspective when you're up there watching the race and one of the things that was great to see was the enthusiasm of the fans."
Sunday's race saw an estimated 10,000 spectators, who overflowed grandstands to take in the action on the temporary track, built into the runway at MCAS New River. Specialized aircraft, including a V-22 Osprey and a CH-53 Super Stallion, were on display alongside the rallycross cars in the paddock. It was the first time that a championship points-paying motorsport competition took place on an active military installation and the event was the highlight of a big Fourth of July celebration for many military families in the area.
"I'm disappointed that we couldn't bring home a win at MCAS New River, but it was an incredible race day anyway," said Foust. "It was an amazing feeling, being able to put on an exciting show for these men and women serving our country. These fans have been the absolute best and I hope we can come back here again soon."
Unable to start the first round of heat racing due to a mechanical issue, Foust lined up as one of the favorites for second-round heat competition. But a collision with Ken Block after the first corner caused the left-rear suspension to break away from the car and forced Foust to a stop.
He planned to return to competition for the Last Chance Qualifier and fight his way back into the final. Once the car was back in the paddock, however, the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team discovered that the impact had been so hard that it not only tore part of the suspension off the car but also damaged the engine. Foust's race day was over.
Before the competition began, Foust joined the local military community for July Fourth celebrations at Camp Lejeune that included a live concert and driver autograph signing. He also presented a donation from sponsor NAPA Chassis to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a leading national charity that supports the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families. The organization has provided over $150 million in support of the families of military personnel lost in service, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans.
Next, Foust will race the Global Rallycross Detroit doubleheader, July 25-26. With 100 points on offer in the two races, the driver will be looking to return to the top of the points standings. A win during the Daytona doubleheader last month vaulted him to third in the championship.
Rallycross is a blend of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition. It promises intense crowd-pleasing action in a fan-friendly track environment. As many as 10 drivers line up to start at once, piloting high-horsepower compact cars through race traffic over a challenging short course that features jumps, unbanked turns, hills and transitions between pavement and gravel. It is sometimes described as an action motorsport and is emerging as the top youth-market motorsport in the world.