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COLORADO - Brian Deegan has reached the pinnacle of his sport as an action sports Moto X and X Games champion, but like all great champions the drive to compete and succeed reigns supreme. Deegan, looking for the next championship to conquer, took a big chance two years ago climbing into a Fiesta at X Games with only a handful of four-wheel events (truck) on his resume. He finished fourth in the 2009 X Games as a failed turbo cost him an epic semi-final showdown with his arch- rival Travis Pastrana. A year later Deegan returned to X Games, vanquished Pastrana and took second in SuperRally and RallyCross. Back for a third run at X Games rally gold, the 12 time X Games medalist will make his Global RallyCross Championship debut this weekend in Colorado as a tune up for next month’s X Games 17 in LA. This Week in Ford Racing caught up with ‘The General’ and founder of the Metal Mulisha to talk about his rally program.
Q: You have had the Global RallyCross Championship event on your schedule since early this year as a tune up for X Games. It falls in the middle of the Lucas Oil Off Road Series season in which you are racing a F-150 Raptor.
A: I’ve definitely had a very busy schedule this year with all the truck racing, riding dirt bikes, stock cars. It’s getting close to X Games and I have to get prepared for RallyCross. Last year, I only had one day of practice for a couple hours and I went in and had a really good race. This year I want to be more prepared, so I’m going to go out to the Global RallyCross at Pikes Peak and try to get more familiar with the car. The Fiesta is definitely a lot different than anything I drive so it’s something I really want to go up there, get a lot of seat time in and use it as a big practice. I will go up there and get the car dialed in for X Games and that’s the plan. I know there are a lot of other guys up there that have had more time in the car, so I’m just going to have to go up there, be smart and try to beat them.
Q: You had a test in the Fiesta this weekend, how did that go?
A: I tested and went out with the team and we laid out some track at the test spot. It was all on tarmac. It was good. My Rockstar Fiesta is brand new. It just got built so we were breaking it in and getting everything adjusted on it. I think we got it pretty close to where we want it for this weekend. The car is just fun. This is definitely the best rally car I have driven. I just have to get it dialed in to meet my needs. So it was a good test. I ended up blowing about four or five sets of tires off the car. It just has so much power I just blew one of the tires off the wheel. It was pretty cool.
Q: Have you had a chance to watch one of the Global Rally Cross events this year? Have you talked with Tanner Foust, do you have any insight into what to expect this weekend?
A: I talked to Tanner a little bit and he’s always a good teammate, someone that’s always behind to help me out. That’s what I like about him. I’m just going to have to pick his brain at the event. He always helps me to a point, gives me the basics and leaves it at that. It’s up to me to take no prisoners. Teammate or not I need to win, so that’s the plan.
Q: With the mix of more tarmac and you traditionally doing more of off-road, is this a big adjustment for you?
A: Yeah, I feel at home on the dirt. I was watching one of the rally races up in Seattle and I’m like ‘That would’ve been a perfect race for me, real soft, choppy and bumpy and picking lines.’ Going out on the tarmac is kind of like a different world to me, but I feel like if I drive my race and I have a strategy for it and I think it’ll work. So I think I’ll be fine. I’ve been racing stock cars quite a bit and that’s all on pavement. I’ve got a good feel for what a tire should do on the maximum grip, finding traction and pushing it to the limit before it breaks lose. I think I’m more prepared for the tarmac this year than I would be last year, for sure.
Q: You are debuting a new livery on the Metal Mulisha Rockstar Fiesta this weekend, tell me about the new design.
A: I like to bring in my own style to a sport like when I built the first custom dirt bikes with Jesse James for X Games years ago. I've always liked that old fighter plane look so the guys at Metal Mulisha designed it and I think it looks cool.