by Steve Breazeale
If you didn’t catch the 2012 version of the Summer X Games over the weekend, you missed out on some historic performances from two local athletes, Capo Beach’s Tanner Foust and San Clemente’s Ryan Sheckler.
Foust, a three-time X Games gold medalist, set a world record doing something kids have been dreaming about for decades. Foust drove a car designed to look like a Hot Wheels toy down a ramp and through a 67-foot loop, after which he came out on the other side and finished with a jump. The feat was dubbed the “Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare.”
Afterward, analysts for ESPN said that Foust experienced upwards of seven Gs of force while executing the loop. Not only did Foust go through the loop unscathed, but he did it at the same time as stunt driver Greg Tracy, putting two cars in the same loop, one after another. After completing the loop, Foust had a little bit of trouble with his jump, as his back bumper barely caught the edge of the ramp while landing.
According to the X Games analysts, Foust and Tracy had to maintain a steady speed, somewhere between 48 to 52 mph, in order to stay in rhythm and attached to the track beneath them.
After completing the double loop challenge June 30, Foust competed in the rally cross race that he had won three times in the past. The rally cross consists of riders maneuvering their cars around the streets outside Staples Center and Nokia Live with pinpoint precision and speed.
Foust jumped out to a solid start in the qualifying stages and placed second in round one of the event. The finals were a different story for Foust. After a few mistakes, he was too far behind eventual winner Sebastien Loeb, and Foust had to settle for a sixth-place finish.
Sheckler, a six-time X Games medalist, came within one point of another gold medal in the men’s skateboard street event, but couldn’t impress the judges enough in his final heat and placed second.
Trailing eventual champion Paul Rodriguez, who posted a score of 86 in his final heat, Sheckler had to have a big final run to improve on his score of 66.66.
Sheckler responded by flowing through the school-inspired course, showing some variety in his last run with flip tricks and impressive grinds, including a bluntside, grind-rail transfer. He ended his run with a big backside 360, but it wasn’t good enough, and Sheckler posted an 85.33, missing out on gold by .67 of a point. The victory would have been Sheckler’s fourth X Games gold medal.