BRIAN DEEGAN ENDS SEASON ON TOP OF PODIUM
Brian Deegan, one of the most well known extreme sport figures of today, ended this past weekend in Los Angeles on a high note when he earned his first ever win in Red Bull GRC. After a stellar move during the main of the final race of the season, Deegan claimed a well deserved victory.
As proudly displayed on BrianDeegan.com, Deegan is a motocross legend, off-road racer, team owner, businessman, and a pioneer in action sports. Dubbed as an "American Badass", Deegan has had a full career of racing. Beginning his race career in motocross, his skill gained him a spot on an AMA Supercross team. In 1997, while competing at the Los Angeles Coliseum, Deegan made people take notice when he not only earned the win, he also ushered in a new form of competition when he did a "ghost ride" across the finish line, ushering in what is known today as Freestyle Motocross. He also was the first to ever to do a 360 in a Freestyle Motocross competition, sealing his place and popularity within the world of dirt bike competition. Deegan went on to create the Metal Mulisha where he is referred to as "The General".
Though he still rides, Deegan has expanded his race career from two-wheeled to four-wheeled vehicles. In true Deegan style, he stayed on the dirt and began competing in off-road truck racing where he once again went on to dominate within the sport. Deegan has achieved winning both the Lucas Oil Pro 2 Unlimited and Pro Lite Unlimited Championships; and taking home the 2010 and 2011 Lucas Oil Driver of the Year.
While still racing in the Lucas Oil series, Deegan has also been competing in the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship. Fans first got a glimpse of him behind the wheel of a rallycross car back in 2011 when the series wasn't yet known as Global Rallycross Championship or, GRC. Since that time, Deegan has worked his way into becoming a driver in Red Bull Global Rallycross for the prestigious Chip Gannasi Racing team. He is one of the more popular drivers, attracting fans to the rallycross track who have followed him throughout his career in both motocross and in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.
Brian Deegan with Hallie Deegan and crew
Deegan has gone on to earn multiple podiums in Red Bull GRC, but never a win, until now. RX360 talked with him after the Los Angeles double-header where he discussed his momentous win, his career, his family, and what he will be doing during the off season.
You mentioned on the podium that your spotter was holding you off from taking the joker. Was it your decision to take the joker when you did?
"I was going to take the joker a lap earlier but my spotter kept telling me to wait. Anything could have happened. The leaders could have crashed and then it would have really been easy. But they didn't. When Scott Speed cleared Sandell I knew I had to go. Right when Scott cleared [Sandell] that was the perfect time for me to take the Joker. It worked out and I got all three at once."
Do you prefer a lot of chatter in your ear when your out there racing?
"Yeah, I like the spotters talking. I'm the type of driver who likes to hear them. We laugh, we joke and say funny things. As long as I stay light-hearted I usually do better. If I get too 'aggro' it never ends up good."
You mentioned on the podium you have been very frustrated that you had never won a race in Red Bull GRC. Can you touch on how you deal with the ups and downs of racing?
"Yeah, this season I had a few close races that I feel like I should have won and they slipped away right at the end. I just wanted to win so bad this year but I knew the pressure was hard this weekend for all the teams. Everyone wanted to win, so it was real aggressive racing. Everything has to play in your hand to win. Our cars are really could on the track but we just struggle a little bit on the starts. So for us it makes it that much more tough. I'm at the track every weekend, so I can't let things eat at me for too long. I get upset if I don't do well and it lasts for about a week or so and then I'm onto the next race. But I knew I really, really wanted to win bad this weekend. So this was perfect for me."
What percentage of races do you tend to remember?
"I remember a lot of the good races and some of the bad. But the main thing for me is to try to remember the good moments. I've had a lot of key moments in my career. Anymore, I'm just trying to go out and win when I'm at the track. Other than that, I'm trying to help my kids win and that's really my thing."
How do you find the time to juggle off-road racing, rallycross, family, and the race schedules?
"It's hard. I've seen a lot of guys in my situation so focused on still doing whatever it takes to win. I feel like I've accomplished a lot in my career. I'm satisfied. At this point I'm just racing because I enjoy it and it's a job for me because I've gotta pay bills. In the end it's cool for me to see my kids win. My son is really good at motocross and he's won many national championships. More than I ever won as a motocrosser. My daughter's car racing is escalating really fast."
That's right, you were recently out out at a NASCAR track with her....
"Yeah, she has won a lot of off-road races. That's kind of my world in the dirt and she's starting to become one of the top dirt racers. For me, the future of my kids is that I want them to have more than what I had. So, I took her to the NASCAR track. At every test people have been blown away by how fast she is. I think she really does have the talent to go and be really good at NASCAR. So I think maybe she is the one, the one girl who will go through and win races. But we will never know until we try."
If GRC would allow the drivers to take one person in the car during an actual race who would it be?
"I would take my daughter because she would have the most fun. I was able to give her a ride at Seattle. It was pretty cool."
Even though rallycross season here in the U.S.A. is over, Deegan won't be slowing down. He will continue heading to the race track with his kids on weekends and preparing for next years race season. We look forward to watching him race next year.