Tanner Foust put the Rockstar Energy Drink Volkswagen Beetle on the top of the podium on Saturday, scoring a perfect first day of this weekend's Global Rallycross New England doubleheader.
Foust qualified on top of the leaderboard and won every heat on his way to the overall victory in Round 3.
"I'm thrilled to get a win here. This track was tough: it felt like every lap was four or five different races all rolled into one," said Foust. "It might have looked smooth on the surface, but a doubleheader on such a difficult track is more than double the work for the team and our Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross crew killed it this weekend."
It was a podium return for the driver this season. He finished second at the Memphis season opener in late April.
Foust's diverse competition background proved beneficial at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The modified Global Rallycross configuration offered an unusual mix of features, incorporating a counter-clockwise run on part of a high-banked oval, a long dirt transition with an unusual kicker, the series' traditional 70-foot jump, and a few turns of the facility's permanent road course.
Conditions changed constantly as the series' 600-horsepower, all-wheel drive machines tore into it with every lap.
"There was a lot of dirt and it got rougher and rougher the more we raced it," said Foust. "For drivers, the challenge was about trying to go as fast as we could while still avoiding huge holes and ruts. It made me think about racing Class 11 in Baja."
On Sunday, the second day of racing started much like the first for Foust. He was the fastest in qualifying and took wins in every heat and semifinal race to line up on pole position for the main event.
When the lights went green for the final, he darted off the line and quickly built a lead. By Lap 7, he was more than four seconds ahead of the rest of the field and it looked promising that the two-time series champion would make it a weekend sweep.
But, while negotiating the roughest dirt section on the track, he struck a hole and broke a wheel, causing him to spin into a tire barrier and ending his day.
"I thought I had every pothole located but I missed one. Like a landmine, I hit it and it broke one of the wheels and damaged the car to the point where it caught on fire briefly," said Foust. "The guys built a car that can handle a track like this heat after heat and I feel really bad for not giving them the win on Day 2."
Foust remains second in the points, behind teammate Scott Speed.