The first full season of Nitro Rallycross came to an end on Sunday, December 5, with Travis Pastrana winning the championship trophy. The series creator capped off a late-season run while Chase Elliott finished out his debut weekend in eighth place.
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion lined up on the last row for the final event, next to Foust. Elliott stuck on his fellow driver’s tail during the early portions of the race and opted to take his alternate Joker lap at the first possible opportunity.
Elliott proceeded to run a clean final race while the Hansen brothers battled with Pastrana at the front of the pack. Elliott did not fight the Rallycross veterans for a podium spot, but he maintained a solid pace and finished only 1.852 seconds behind Steve Arpin.
Timmy Hansen scored the win, holding off his brother in Kevin Hansen. Pastrana finished third while Scott Speed captured fourth. Robin Larsson rounded out the top-five while Tanner Foust, Arpin, and Elliott finished sixth through eighth. Timmy may have won the final race, but he ended the year third in the championship standings. Pastrana captured the trophy while Speed finished second.
The Final Day Featured Some Deja Vu
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season lost his battle bracket race to Tanner Foust on Saturday, December 4, after a penalty took away his victory, but he returned to The Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park for more events. Elliott competed in the semifinals event and then made it to the finale. Interestingly enough, he secured his spot in the main event in the same manner as fellow Cup Series driver Kyle Busch.
The second semifinal race featured a multitude of head-turning events. The first attempt ended under red-flag conditions after Arpin ended up stuck on the edge of a jump. The second attempt at the semifinal race also came to an end early due to Oliver Eriksson stalling at the start-finish line. Liam Doran hit the rear of his fellow driver’s supercar, ripping the right rear wheel off of his vehicle.
The drivers were able to complete the third attempt with Arpin winning and Fraser McConnell and Elliott in second and third, respectively. However, the stewards penalized McConnell for his collision with Oliver Bennett, moving Elliott up into third place.
Pastrana Won His Championship by a Miniscule Margin
The final weekend of the Nitro Rallycross had no shortage of big moments. There were massive jumps, multiple penalties, jaw-dropping action on the track featuring both asphalt and pavement, and a considerable amount of math. The result is that Pastrana won his championship by the smallest margin.
The driver of the No. 199 ended the year with 219 points, tied with Speed. Timmy Hansen ended the year third with 218 points, a number that he reached by winning Round 5 of the NRX season.
Pastrana headed to The FIRM on a hot streak. He won Round 3’s trip to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Arizona and then repeated in Round 4 at Glen Helen Raceway. However, he only had a seven-point lead in the championship standings over Speed, the winner of Round 2, and a 17-point lead over Timmy, the winner of Round 1.