2017 Year in Review: Tanner Foust
FINISH: 2nd in Supercar points
2017 RESULTS: 12 starts, 5 wins, 8 podiums, 28 heat wins, 807 points
2016 RESULTS: 11 starts, 4 wins, 7 podiums, 27 heat wins, 565 points
THE GOOD: Foust’s four wins, seven podiums, and 27 heat victories from 2016 were all impressive numbers—but somehow, he found enough speed to add one to each of those totals in 2017. The wins came at four of the eight separate venues on the schedule: New England, Ottawa, Seattle (where he swept the doubleheader), and the Port of Los Angeles, where he finally took his first main event victory in his seventh try.
Foust’s final three rounds of the year were a masterclass in rallycross driving, as he won nine of a possible 11 heats and semifinals and took all three main events. All told, there were 236 points on the line in Seattle and Los Angeles, and the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver claimed all but four of them in what serve as Red Bull GRC’s two most prominent events of the season.
THE BAD: Just like last year, it was only one bad race that separated Foust from his third Supercar championship, as he fell by 19 points to teammate Scott Speed. A different outcome in the second New England final would have made the difference, as Foust’s broken wheel late in that race dropped him from first place to ninth in the running order—a difference of 26 points.
Atlantic City was also as rough of a weekend as Foust had faced in years of Supercar competition. A semifinal win on Saturday only led to first-lap carnage and a last-place DNF, while penalties in the Sunday main event dropped him to ninth to close out the weekend. That weekend cost him the points lead, and despite his clutch performances to finish the season, left him unable to reclaim the top spot.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Coming into the (Los Angeles) final we had a chance to win if Scott was worse than eighth. It’s a big gap, but I was feeling it, and the whole team was hungry for that. But I’m so happy for our team—we had a tough Atlantic City, but since then we’ve won everything we’ve driven up to the line to do, and that’s not easy in this group. Hopefully we’re going to carry some of that for next year!”
2018 PROGNOSIS: For the past two years, Foust has been one bad race away from the Supercar title. With his last championship coming in 2012, he’s due for another.
Photo credit: Louis Yio