Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park
November 10th & 11th 2023
Let’s check in with Green APU Rally USA Racing driver Patrick Gruszka about his experience in the Nitrocross Phoenix race in Arizona.
Tell Us About the Race
“It was really amazing. This race was only my second Nitrocross event. This track seemed a lot more technical than the one I ran in Utah.”
How Did It Go for the Green APU Rally USA Team?
“On day 1, I rolled my car for the first time ever, so that was exciting! I knew it would happen eventually. We couldn’t quite get the pace we needed in day 2, and wound up just shy of the podium in 4th place.”
What Was Different About This Race Compared to Others?
“Nitrocross is Rallycross on steroids!” The track had massive jumps, and huge banked turns. It was designed by Travis Pastrana himself. The whole experience had a festival like atmosphere to it, with live bands and other cool stuff. This was unlike any other experience I’ve had in motorsports!”
What Challenges Came Up?
“Prep time for the race went fine, but we had a really full rig on this trip. We went to SEMA with 2 Nitrocross NEXT cars, stuff for our booth, a huge motion racing simulator, and everything we needed for Nitrocross Phoenix. It’s challenging getting used to this car and the tracks we run them on. The crew had to get the car prepped for day 2 after the roll. I did injure my wrist, so I had quite a bit of pain when I got back in the car. I managed to push through, and finish the race.”
Anything You Want to Improve on or Change?
“One of the real challenges with this generation of NEXT cars is maintaining a consistent speed. Even the smallest slowdown will put you back a few spots. The only way to make it up is to wait for another driver to make a mistake. Consistently maintaining speed, and improving my lines and braking points are things I want to work on in the future.”
What Lessons Did You Take Away from This Race?
“I learned both what to do, and what not to do when your car is flipping over! The more seat time I get in this car, and on these types of tracks, the better I’ll be. I also learn a ton from talking to veteran drivers like Travis Pastrana, Andreas Bakkerud, and Conner Martell. Their advice is invaluable!”