Travis Pastrana failed in his bid to take a second straight gold in the ESPN X Games 15 rally competition last weekend at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.

Pastrana, driving a BFGoodrich Tyres-shod 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car was the clear favourite after winning gold at last year's edition of the event. However, his bid to do it again was halted midway through the final when he clipped a cement barrier with his right front wheel.

The incident nearly ripped the wheel from the car, thus handing former Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack the honours.

Pastrana thus had to settle for silver and he graciously acknowledged that his error was a result of pushing hard to win against a very determined Brack.

"If Kenny wasn't so fast it would have never happened. I was really impressed by him," said the Subaru Rally Team USA man, who's X Games medals count now includes nine gold, four silvers and two bronze.

"On my first lap it seemed like we were dead-even, but I knew I could drive smoother and faster, so I tried to take a clean tight line through the very narrow turn that enters back into the stadium for the second lap. I just apexed too early and clipped the inside cement barrier with my front right wheel.

"I would have kept going but I had no steering and knew I wouldn't make it over the large jump. It was a wild event as always and Subaru again provided me a perfect car that worked so well everywhere."

Pastrana, who is currently well on his way to earning his fourth consecutive Rally America National Championship after winning four of the six rounds run thus far in 2009, entered the X Games Rally Car final bruised and battered after attempting a seemingly impossible back-flip with a 360 degree rotation in the Freestyle MotoX competition on the Friday night. He landed hard on his right arm and hip leading to painful swelling.

"As long as I can physically drive, everything is OK. The pain just goes away when I get in my Subaru, it didn't slow me down," Pastrana added.

Pastrana's Subaru team-mate Ken Block meanwhile was well on his way to winning his quarter-final match against Freestyle MotoX legend and Off-Road Truck racer Brian Deegan before a small mistake cost him the win.

With a sizable lead on Deegan after the first lap, Block slid wide and hit his right rear wheel on a cement barrier. As Block powered through the turn and headed for the daunting 70ft-gap jump at the centre of the stadium, he noticed the car was not getting power down to the ground.

With just a split second to decide if he could gain enough speed to clear the gap-jump, a potentially dangerous situation for himself and the ESPN commentator riding along inside the car, Block decided against going over it.

Instead he swerved around the jump and went on to continue his lap with an ailing rear wheel, eventually finishing ahead Deegan. ESPN however disqualified Block for going off-course around the jump.

"I had less than a second to make a decision, I didn't know what was wrong with the car but I knew I hit that wall and I suddenly had trouble accelerating toward the jump," explained Block. "I had an ESPN commentator riding in car and I just didn't want to potentially hurt her; I would probably have gone for it otherwise..."


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