NASCAR & Auto Racing

Block dominates in Dirt Track at Charlotte Global RallyCross feature

If driver Ken Block had his way, all tracks on the Global RallyCross tour would be like the Dirt Track at Charlotte.

That would not go over well with the rest of the SuperCars division drivers, especially considering how strong Block was this weekend.

Block closed out a dominating two-day stretch at the Dirt Track at Charlotte on Saturday by running away with the Global RallyCross’ 10-lap SuperCars division feature.

“I wish more of the GRC tracks were like this,” Block said of the .48-mile Charlotte course, more than 2/3 of which was dirt. “It really favors me and what I do with the car. Most of my career has been on dirt. I enjoy the tarmac stuff, but it’s not what I’m used to. I really like being on the dirt.

“We were very quick to get the car set up right, and the team was able to get me up to the front. For me, I just had to get the good starts and find the right lines.”

Block, of Park City, Utah, had the dominant car all weekend, not only leading qualifying to take the provisional pole, but winning two heat races on Friday and a third on Saturday.

Even then, in the SuperCars feature, Block had to overcame a red flag on the initial start to get his 600-hp Hoonigan Racing Ford Fiesta ST to the front on the restart.

After that, it was just a matter of Block navigating the shifting dirt racing surface, and hoping his luck wouldn’t run out – which it nearly did.

“My left rear (tire) went out just as I crossed the finish line,” said Block, who finished 6.249 seconds ahead of Norway’s Sverre Isachsen in a Subaru WRX STi.

“Every time my spotter said something, I’d get worried, or I’d hear a little noise and I’d get worried.

“Then I started to feel the left rear going out. But it’s one of those things. It’s a good feeling that we finished on top.”

Brazil’s Nelson Piquet Jr. finished third after bringing out the red flag on the start when his Ford Fiesta ST rammed into the safety barrier on the initial start.

The finish kept Piquet, who lives in Huntersville, atop the SuperCars division standings. He leads former NASCAR driver Scott Speed, who lives in Mount Holly, by 46 points (227-181).

In the Lites division final, which features cars with 300 hp or less, Mitchell DeJong, 15, won for the third time in four starts to strengthen his lead in the series point standings.

DeJong, of Temecula, Calif., led from start to finish in the 10-lap race, fending off a last-lap challenge from Swedish driver Kevin Eriksson, who finished 1.2 seconds back. Oliver Eriksson, also from Sweden, finished third.

“This is awesome,” DeJong said. “This is one of my favorite tracks and to come back and go out with a win is unbelievable. We kinda guessed on the setup – we made one change after the first practice and never touched it again.”