Travis Pastrana has unfinished business in NASCAR
Travis Pastrana, the affable star of Nitro Circus and former XGames, Supercross, Motocross and Rally American Champion was not satisfied with his initial stint in NASCAR.
So the 33-year-old racer has decided to come back for more.
Pastrana announced on Monday that he is testing with Niece Motorsports at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday afternoon in preparation to compete in the Camping World Truck Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 30.
“I knew to get to where I wanted to go, racing at the K&N Series at the time with the (Kyle) Larson’s, the (Chase) Elliott’s, those guys were putting in more time than I was able to to be able to progress as quickly as those guys were,” Pastrana said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday morning. “I’m not saying I would have, but even to have a shot at it.”
Now that Pastrana’s girls (ages 4 and 2) are older and the travel with the Nitro Circus isn’t as severe, he feels there’s adequate time to devote to racing.
So when his former Xfinity Series car chief Cody Efaw gauged the driver’s interest in returning to NASCAR, Pastrana was all in.
“He asked if I wanted to come back for a race or two,” Pastrana said. “He said, ‘Hey, look, let’s do a race, let’s do a test. Let’s get back out there with TJ Bell, Matt Crafton, Scott Speed and really get as much pavement experience as possible. And let’s really try to have some fun.
“I want to race. That’s where my heart and passion is. Hopefully, we can have some fun in this NAS-Truck race.”
Pastrana will partner drive the No. 45 Chevy later this season. Efaw will oversee the effort. When he first came to stock cars, he jumped into the deep end — making just one K&N Pro Series start in 2011 prior to running nine races in the Xfinity Series in 2012.
Later that season, Pastrana made his truck debut with ThorSport at Las Vegas. He finished 15th. In 42 Xfinity Series starts, Pastrana won a pole at Talladega Superspeedway and scored four top-10 finishes on a variety of tracks driving the No. 60 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing.
Pastrana, who is competing in his first full season in Rally since 2010, has always found NASCAR to be a challenge. But he believes the addition track time on pavement will help him in other series.
“This year, honestly, I really want to get as much seat time in vehicles as possible to help my Rally championship,” Pastrana added. “To do that, it’s hard to get into a car all of the time.
“And NASCAR is fun. I got so much flack from in the Motocross industry. They were like, ‘Aw, that seems boring.’ I was like, ‘You have no idea.’ It was some of the best group of people I’ve ever been around. Every driver, every team, really went out of their way to help me. It was a lot of fun.”
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