Brian Deegan won a scintillating RallyCross final Sunday afternoon to capture his first X Games gold medal on four wheels and lead a Ford Fiesta podium sweep, while Travis Pastrana's up-and-down Pastranathon ended with him T-boning a wall on the last lap and losing what seemed to be a sure-thing bronze medal.
Defending champ Tanner Foust took silver and pre-race favorite Marcus Grönholm claimed bronze, shooting by Pastrana -- who was driving with hand controls he likened to a video game joystick -- as the X Games superstar winced in pain from the impact's effect on his broken shin. He then hobbled out of his car and hopped on one leg over to a stack of tires before sitting down on the gravel track and waiting for medical staff to collect him.
"That was the highlight of my life," said Deegan, who settled for two silver medals last year and promised to win gold at X Games 17. "I've done a lot of things on a dirtbike and I've done a lot of things in a car, but nothing tops that moment."
Deegan took charge early in the eight-man race and led throughout, as car after car either crashed or dropped far behind him. Saturday's gold medalist in Rally Car Racing, Liam Doran, was out of contention 20 seconds after the start, turned sideways into a wall by Foust.
"Liam and Tanner were trying to be the first guy through the first turn," Deegan said, "and they both braked too late and they slid, and I used it to my advantage, cut under them and just said to myself, 'It's all up to you to win this race.' And I just drove smooth and started pulling away, and it was game over."
Deegan's gold was his first since winning the Moto X Best Trick competition eight years ago. He wasn't optimistic after the Rally race the prior afternoon, in which his car broke down moments into his first heat. But his team fixed the problem and he appeared to be in the fastest machine all day. He was particularly happy to have defeated Foust. "I've been thinking about beating Tanner all year," he said.
Foust held on for silver despite suffering a flat tire with three laps to go in the eight-lap final. "Deegan just walked away with it," Foust said. "He was smart on the first corner and that's all it took."
Check out full results.