Nitrocross Utah Travis Pastrana Wins On Friday
The first day of Nitrocross Utah has come to an end, marking the end of the second round of the championship, Travis Pastrana took home the win.
Conner Martell, Robin Larsson and Benito Guerra faced off in the first qualifying group. Martell came out on top, finishing 7.69 seconds faster than Robin Larsson to advance to the next round for a chance to be the top qualifier. Benito Guerra finished third, 1.276 seconds slower than Larsson.
Andreas Bakkerud, Kevin Eriksson, Tanner Foust and Conor Daly faced off in the second qualifying group. 2022-23 runner-up Andreas Bakkerud took home the win, advancing to the next round. Bakkerud finished with a time 2.444 seconds faster than Kevin Eriksson to take home the win. Tanner Foust finished third, 6.04 seconds slower than Eriksson.
Oliver Eriksson, Travis Pastrana, Oliver Bennett and Fraser McConnell battled in the third and final qualifying group. Oliver Eriksson came out on top, finishing 0.667 seconds faster than Travis Pastrana to advance to the next round. Oliver Bennett finished third, 5.483 seconds slower than Pastrana.
Conner Martell, Andreas Bakkerud and Oliver Eriksson battled it out in the qualifier finals for a chance to win the top qualifier belt. Conner Martell took home the win and the belt, beating Andreas Bakkerud by the time of a lap. Bakkerud and Eriksson both didn’t finish the race, automatically giving Martell the belt. Also meaning they didn’t post a time as a result. All three drivers advanced directly to the Semi-finals, skipping the heats.
Kevin Eriksson, Benito Guerra, Conor Daly, and Oliver Bennett battled in the first heat group. Kevin Eriksson took home the win, setting a time 4.527 seconds faster than Benito Guerra. Conor Daly finished third, 2.737 seconds slower than Guerra.
Robin Larsson, Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust, and Fraser McConnell faced off in the second heat group. Robin Larsson took home the win, finishing 0.894 seconds faster than Travis Pastrana. The returning Tanner Foust set the third fastest time on the heat, 1.256 seconds slower than Pastrana. Fraser McConnell had originally won the heat but was excluded due to a steward’s decision.
Travis Pastrana, Benito Guerra and Oliver Eriksson faced off in the first semi-final group. Travis Pastrana took home the win to advance to the final. Pastrana finished with a time 4.507 seconds faster than Benito Guerra to take the win. Oliver Eriksson finished third, 5.643 seconds slower than Guerra.
Robin Larsson, Kevin Eriksson, Andreas Bakkerud, and Oliver Bennett battled in the second heat group. 2022-23 Champion Robin Larsson won the heat, posting a time 3.123 seconds faster than Kevin Eriksson. Andreas Bakkerud finished third fastest on the heat, 2.437 seconds slower than Eriksson.
Conner Martell, Fraser McConnell, Tanner Foust, and Conor Daly faced off in the third and final heat group. Nitrocross Utah Top Qualifier Conner Martell finished 2.390 seconds faster than Fraser McConnell to take the win and advance to the final. Tanner Foust finished third, 1.387 seconds slower than McConnell.
Last Chance Qualifier
Oliver Eriksson, Kevin Eriksson, Tanner Foust and Oliver Bennet faced off in the first LCQ group. Oliver Eriksson took home the win to advance to the finals. Finishing with a time 0.603 seconds faster than Kevin Eriksson. Kevin Eriksson also advanced to the finals. Tanner Foust finished third in the LCQ, 0.717 seconds slower than Kevin Eriksson.
Andreas Bakkerud, Conor Daly, Benito Guerra and Fraser McConnell battled in the second LCQ group. Andreas Bakkerud won the LCQ, posting a time 6.593 seconds faster than Conor Daly to advance to the finals. Benito Guerra finished third in the LCQ, 8.957 seconds slower than Daly. Daly and Guerra also advanced to the finals with Bakkerud.
Travis Pastrana, Kevin Eriksson, Andreas Bakkerud, Benito Guerra, Conor Daly, Robin Larsson, Conner Martell, and Oliver Eriksson faced off for the Nitrocross Utah win. Travis Pastrana came out on top, setting a time 0.295 seconds faster than Kevin Eriksson to take the event win. Andreas Bakkerud finished third, 0.886 seconds slower than Eriksson.
Travis Pastrana wins round two of Nitrocross. Every win is special, but this one is extra special. As Utah is the home of Nitrocross and Nitro Circus, two things Pastrana helped create. This was a bit unexpected for everyone, as Pastrana has repeatedly said he isn’t great on tarmac. The surface about half of the Utah Motorsport Campus track is made out of.
Guaranteed New Winner Tomorrow
Unfortunately, Travis Pastrana won’t win both rounds this weekend. As he won’t be driving in the Group E class tomorrow. Pastrana and Cleetus McFarland will swap cars. McFarland will step up to Group E, while Pastrana steps down to SxS. Technically Pastrana can still take both round wins at Nitrocross Utah this weekend. They will just be in different classes with different cars, however.
Unfortunate Ending For Martell
Conner Martell started the Nitrocross Utah finals in pole position. He was also the top qualifier for the event. Unfortunately for him, his run in the finals would be short-lived. As within the first quarter of the starting lap, Martell experienced a technical issue. Forcing him to pull over temporarily. Unfortunately, he pulled over just long enough to be over a minute behind Pastrana by the second lap.
Conner Martell wasn’t the only driver to experience issues in the finals. As Oliver Eriksson also experienced an issue, also on the first lap. Eriksson had gained damage from somewhere, partially blocking his vision. As a result, Eriksson didn’t jump the 130 ft gap jump and ultimately pulled over before the jump. Ending his race instantly. 2022-23 champion Robin Larsson was also believed to have suffered an issue during the finals. With Larsson finishing nearly a minute behind Pastrana.
Unfortunate Ending For McConnell
Fraser McConnell came into Nitrocross Utah as the championship leader. Unfortunately for McConnell, he will no longer lead the championship after round two. As McConnell failed to qualify for the finals. He will get a chance in round three tomorrow to regain the championship lead. McConnell was doing well, winning a heat temporarily. Until a stewards decision took away said win due to McConnell failing technical inspection.
With McConnell failing to qualify for the finals it pretty much guaranteed a new championship leading after Round 2. Kevin Eriksson took the lead after the round, now leading Travis Pastrana by 5 points. Andreas Bakkerud moves up to third, now sitting 7 points behind Pastrana. Reigning champion Robin Larsson sits fourth in the championship, 7 points behind Bakkerud. Fraser McConnell dropped to fifth overall, now 8 points behind Larsson and 27 points behind Eriksson.