Two featured drivers say the Red Bull Global Rallycross event at Bader Field in Atlantic City on Saturday and Sunday will appeal to old-school NASCAR fans who love watching drivers trade paint and live by the motto of “rubbin’ is racin.’”
“Contact is very much a part of the sport,” driver Scott Speed said in a recent interview. “Anytime you have smaller, sturdy cars with four-wheel-drive like these, there’s going to be a lot of close-quarter incidents.”
Fellow driver Tanner Foust was even more succinct in describing the manic nature of the sport.
“Rallycross is a motorsport for people with ADHD,” Faust said by phone. “Everything happens quickly. There’s a drag-racing start. The cars jump. They’re incredibly fast on the dirt and the pavement. And the race only lasts about 31/2 minutes. In rally racing, there’s lots of wheel movement and lots of action.”
Rallycross, which is popular in Europe, is run on a combined pavement/dirt track. The surface for the Atlantic City event will be .902 miles long and will be made 73.7 percent pavement and 26.3 percent dirt.
Foust, 44, carries a profile that goes beyond the racetrack. He’s been a stunt-car driver in movies such as “Iron Man 2” and “The Dukes of Hazzard” and competed in the popular X Games.
Foust has also served as the host for the American version of “Top Gear,” the global British television phenomenon.
“Being a host on ‘Top Gear’ is just about the best job you can have,” Foust said. “You get to drive just about everything. Its like a fantasy world for cars.”
His stunt driving also provides a rush.
“It’s an incredible blast to get to crash cars on purpose,” Foust said. “The ‘General Lee’ was such a staple of my childhood. Like a lot of young people, I really thought cars were cool. I had a Lamborghini poster on my wall.
Speed, 34, has done it all in the sport. He’s driven on the NASCAR, Formula One and Rallycross circuits.
“No matter the discipline, the cars all want to be driven a certain way in order to go the fastest possible,” he said. “It’s all about trusting the science behind the physics of driving. Whether it’s an illusion or not, I’m always in control. I don’t take risks.”
Speed is looking forward to this weekend’s event in Atlantic City.
“It’s such a cool location,” he said. “My wife, kids and I will stay downtown on the Boardwalk and get to see some of the sights.”
All tickets for the event include open-paddock and driver-autograph access.
“The sport is built for spectators, and not just on the the track,” Foust said. “The cars go through war, and there’s a show put on in in the pits as well. If this weekend’s spectators aren’t ‘gearheads,’ hopefully they will be when they leave the track.”