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GRC Mid-Season Review: Marcus Gronholm

Image via Ford Racing Facebook

No. 3 Best Buy Mobile Ford Fiesta, Olsbergs MSE

STANDINGS: 4th, 43 points; two final wins, three heat wins

POSITIVES: Gronholm was absolutely unstoppable in the first two rounds of the season, leading from flag to flag whenever his Olsbergs MSE Ford encountered race conditions. In fact, through Charlotte and Texas, it seemed like there was no way that any competitor could catch Gronholm if he could keep up his torrid pace.

NEGATIVES: That quick pace came to an abrupt halt in Saturday practice for X Games, when Gronholm miffed a planter while trying to apex and seriously injured himself. He was cut from the car, unconscious, and according to ESPN’s broadcast reportedly suffered cranial bleeding. He missed the New Hampshire round as well.

OUTLOOK: Assumedly, Gronholm will return for the final two rounds of the season, though the characterization of his injuries suggests that fans shouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t. The disappointment for the two-time World Rally champion is that, for the second year in a row, he’ll lose out on the championship despite having been the best driver in the series. That being said, it’s better to have a fully recovered Gronholm try again next year than a Gronholm at 70% make a mad dash to gain 19 points and potentially re-injure himself.

– Chris Leone

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