Nitrocross Utah Kevin Eriksson Takes Championship Lead

August 23, 2023Joe Moore

Nitrocross Utah has come to an end, marking the end of the second and third rounds of the 2023-24 season. 

Championship Standings 

Fraser McConnell came into Utah with the championship lead. McConnell looked like a force to be reckoned with in Oklahoma, his luck would run out in Utah. With the Jamaican sensation failing to qualify for the finals on the first day. Losing the championship lead as a result. Kevin Eriksson ultimately took over the championship lead. A lead that he maintained after round 3 of the season. Kevin Eriksson now leads the championship by 31 points over reigning champion Robin Larsson. 2022-23 runner-up Andreas Bakkerud sits third, 3 points behind Larsson. Fraser McConnell and round 2 winner Travis Pastrana sit tied for fourth, 24 points behind Bakkerud. 

Nitrocross Round Two Recap

Round Two of the 2023-24 Nitrocross season was one of the most successful Rallycross events for VSC ever. With both Conner Martell and Travis Pastrana starting the finals on row one. Martell sat in pole position. Martell was also the top qualifier for the round. Unfortunately, Martell’s luck ran out rather quickly as he suffered a technical issue. Which caused him to stop early into the race. He ultimately restarted but was too far behind the rest of the pack to make an impact. Travis Pastrana took his first win of the season as a result. 
Nitrocross Round Two Full Recap

Nitrocross Round Three 

Round Three saw VSC fall back to earth so to speak. With only Conner Martell qualifying for the finals. After a retirement in the LCQ left him without a spot in the finals. Kevin Eriksson won the top qualifier belt for round three. The finals were a bit more chaotic than Round Two’s however. Kevin Eriksson and Andreas Bakkerud started on row one, with Eriksson in pole position. Bakkerud took an early lead and controlled the race. All on the way to crossing the line first. There was one tiny issue, however, Bakkerud forgot to take the joker. This resulted in Bakkerud receiving a 30-second penalty, dropping him to fifth as a result. Handing Robin Larsson his first win of the season.

Nitrocross Day Three Full Recap

A Costly Error

Andreas Bakkerud’s missed joker cost him more than just the event win. It also cost him precious championship points. The lost championship points would’ve been enough to put him above Robin Larsson and second in the championship standings heading into round 3. Hopefully, this one small mistake from a driver who usually doesn’t make mistakes doesn’t prove more costly later in the season. 

No Luck

Oliver Eriksson qualified for both the round two and three finals. Eriksson would however retire from both finals. With the exact causes unknown it was a shame to see Eriksson retire when he showed he could compete with all the others. As a result of his retirements in the finals, Eriksson now sits 7th in the championship, 33 points behind Conner Martell.

No Kris Meeke

One of the biggest storylines heading into round two of the 2023-24 Nitrocross season was the feud between Andreas Bakkerud and Kris Meeke. The feud is a result of contact that took place in the round one final back in Oklahoma. The feud saw Meeke go to social media and called Bakkerud a plethora of names. Bakkerud tried to bury the hatchet, but when that didn’t work the former WRX star fired back. Meeke was advertised to be at the event this weekend to continue his feud with Bakkerud. Unfortunately or fortunately if you’re Andreas Bakkerud, Kris Meeke wasn’t able to make the event. The cause for Meeke’s absence is unknown. 

A Star Returns 

With Kris Meeke absent from the event XITE Energy had to find a replacement for the ex-WRC star. The driver chosen to replace Meeke was no stranger to Nitrocross tracks, nor the Utah track used this past weekend. The driver in question is Motorsport legend and 2-time Formula Drift champion Tanner Foust. You may have heard of him, if you haven’t, Tanner Foust is a guy who’s done it all. From Formula Drift to X Games to Rallycross and everything in between. Foust had previously won both a Global Rallycross Championship and a Americas Rallycross Championship. Foust missed the entire 2022-23 Nitrocross season. 

A Bit Of Confusion

Travis Pastrana was only meant to drive Round 2 of the championship. With YouTuber Cleetus McFarland taking over Pastrana’s FC1-X for round three on Saturday. That changed over the weekend, however. As Nitrocross changed their mind on allowing McFarland to drive on Saturday. Citing his lack of experience as the reason. 

Looking Ahead To Round 4&5 

Rounds 4 and 5 of the 2023-24 Nitrocross season take place in Phoenix Arizona at the Wild Horses Pass track. The event doesn’t take place until the 10-11 of November. You can follow along with rounds 4 and 5 right here on Speed Trap Magazine and watch it all live and free on Rumble.