FeaturesThe Week That Was

The Week That Was: Impressive Performances in Austin, Arizona, and More

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Scuderia Ferrari (1); Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (2); Jason Swoboda (3)

Two wheels or four? Pavement or dirt? Open or closed cockpit? It doesn’t matter what you’re into—if you couldn’t find an epic action motorsports event to watch this weekend, you just weren’t looking hard enough. From Formula 1’s annual visit to Texas to snowy Rally America action in Michigan, it was an intense weekend of racing action no matter where you looked in the United States. Here are five drivers (and one co-driver) who put in outstanding efforts to take home wins this weekend:

Formula 1: Kimi Raikkonen

Surprisingly, we didn’t see an F1 champion crowned this weekend, as Lewis Hamilton failed to take the victory from the pole at Circuit of the Americas. But Hamilton’s loss was Raikkonen’s (and the rest of the F1 world’s) gain, as the Finn took what may be his final F1 victory with an impressive performance in Austin. He took the lead in the very first corner and spent most of the race there, setting the record for the longest gap between F1 race victories in the process (113 races, dating back to 2013).

Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: Brian Deegan

RJ Anderson and Rob MacCachren won the respective LOORRS Pro 4 and Pro 2 championships, but it was Deegan who left Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park with the big check on Sunday afternoon after he won the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup race that pitted both classes against one another. This weekend’s win joins three Pro 2 and three Pro Lite titles, as well as an Off-Road World Championship win in Pro Lite at Crandon, to one of the most impressive and diverse resumes in action motorsports.

Red Bull Straight Rhythm: Shane McElrath

It takes a lot to stand up to four-time Monster Energy Supercross champion Ryan Dungey in a heads-up battle and come out on top, especially on in a bike class where you only had 30 minutes of experience coming into an event. But that’s exactly what McElrath did at Pomona Fairplex, staring down Red Bull KTM teammate Jordon Smith in the semifinals before beating Dungey in the best-of-three 250 two-stroke final. It was McElrath’s second straight Straight Rhythm win, after taking the Lites class last year.

Rally America: Joseph Burke/Karen Jankowski

The third start of 2018 was the charm for Burke, who returned to Rally America action at Lake Superior Performance Rally. After winning 16 stages in his first two starts of the year but taking DNFs at both events, Burke reunited with Jankowski in the cockpit to take six stage wins at LSPR on the way to their first victory at one of the most important rallies in North America. They persevered through both a handful of mechanical gremlins and Saturday snow to take the victory by 19.9 seconds.

ARCA: Sheldon Creed

It didn’t matter that Creed had already locked up the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship coming into this weekend’s action from Kansas Speedway; he wasn’t going to lay up on the field by any stretch of the imagination. The two-time former Stadium Super Trucks champion scored his fourth win and 18th top 10 of the 20-race season to close out 2018, as he prepares to finish the year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for GMS Racing.

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