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X Games Austin: Mitchell deJong easily wins gold in RallyCross Lites

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Dave Doolittle

Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 7, 2014

Mitchell deJong easily won Saturday’s RallyCross Lites final Saturday, taking the first motorsports medal at the inaugural X Games Austin at Circuit of the Americas.

Six 310-horsepower rally-tuned cars lined up for the race, which took place under hot, sunny skies on a specially designed eight-turn track made of asphalt and dirt that has been built on the stadium section of the 3.4-mile circuit.

DeJong, 16, of California, started on pole for the 10-lap race and had the lead going into the first turn, but a crash at the crowded hairpin turn brought out the red flag.

Nelson Piquet Jr., the former Formula One driver who spent the past three seasons racing NASCAR trucks and the Nationwide Series, misjudged a handbrake turn, causing him to spin sideways going into the turn. Austin Cindric and Atila Abreu crashed trying to avoid Piquet, bringing out the red flag.

Piquet, who is also competing this afternoon in the RallyCross, and Abreu did line up the restart, leaving four cars to fight for the gold medal.

DeJong again got the best jump off the line and spent the rest of the race pulling away from teammate Kevin Eriksson for the victory. Cindric finished third to round out the podium.