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July 11. 2013 8:42PM

NHMS Notes: Heikkinen rallies to RallyCross win


Drivers Tanner Foust, left, and Travis Pastrana, race in heat 3 during the RallyCross Supercars race Thursday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

LOUDON -- Toomas Heikkinen of Finland passed Tanner Foust on the last lap to win the Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global Rallycross race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Thursday night.

The race capped off a day that was interrupted by a couple of downpours and kicked off NASCAR's Sprint Cup weekend at the track.

Foust slid into the wall on the elevated hairpin turn that goes over the pit wall on the NHMS front stretch, opening the door for Heikkinen.Patrik Sandell was second, Brian Deegan was third and Foust finished fourth.Travis Pastrana, who won last year's inaugural GRC event here, finished seventh.

Pastrana struggled in his heat race and advanced to the finals by winning the last-chance qualifying race.

He will be back on the track today for Nationwide Series practice. Pastrana is racing in Saturday's Nationwide race.

NHMS general manager Jerry Gappens isn't sure what to expect for attendance for Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 300 Sprint Cup race, but said it will be pushing capacity, which is about 105,000. "We're going to be pretty good," he said. "I can't sit here and say it's going to be a sellout, but I'm encouraged by the crowd that we're going to have here. It's going to be comparable to last July." ...

The crowd was about 3,000 less than a sellout last July, Gappens said ...

The next event for the Global RallyCross is at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee on July 20. Events after that are at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Aug. 11 and Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sept. 22 ...

There's been discussion about a GRC exhibition in Las Vegas in November. There have been rumblings that Greg Biffle might give RallyCross a shot there ...

Last year's GRC race at New Hampshire introduced some NASCAR drivers to the series, Gappens said. "I think the NASCAR drivers got a chance to see it last year here," he said. "A lot of them were up on their haulers and they were really interested observers. I think it created more than curiosity. I think it was, 'OK, I wouldn't mind trying that.'" ...

Spectator gates open at 9 a.m. Friday. Whelen Modified Tour practice kicks off the day from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. The first Nationwide Series practice is from 11 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. ...

The first Sprint Cup practice of the weekend is from noon to 1:30 p.m. Cup qualifying is at 3:45 p.m. and Whelen qualifying is at 4.

alessels@unionleader.com on Twitter: @allenlessels


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