November 11th, 2010
Travis Pastrana (left) talks with Jimmie Johnson prior to the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, earlier this year. (Frank Smith Photo)
CORNELIUS, N.C. — Extreme sports athlete Travis Pastrana is going stock-car racing.
Pastrana, a multiple X Games gold medal winner, will try his hand at NASCAR racing beginning next season.He will team with Michael Waltrip Racing and Gary and Blake Bechtel to form Pastrana-Waltrip Racing. The 27-year-old native of Maryland will drive cars prepared by Michael Waltrip Racing in up to seven events next season. He hopes to compete in 20 events during the 2012 season.
“I’ve been following NASCAR closely for years as a fan of the sport with competing in the sport a life-long dream,” said Pastrana, a four-time Rally America champion. “I decided it was time to try and turn that dream into reality and with the help of the Bechtel family, Michael Waltrip Racing and Wasserman Media Group I’m now one step closer.”
The team did not announce a sponsor, but said in a press release the team “will focus on creating programs that expose the action sports world’s fans and participants to NASCAR and develop youth marketing initiatives designed to create greater awareness of both sports.”
“Travis has built an enormous and unique following all over the world,” said Michael Waltrip. “As a race team owner, we are always looking for ways to deliver to our partners and engage our fans better. This is an opportunity to showcase our company and our sport to a new generation of young fans. We’re also looking for that next big star. Travis already is one and action sports is full of talented athletes. Having Travis as a part of our program adds another great dimension to our team and NASCAR.”
Pastrana raced against a number of NASCAR’s top stars during the annual Prelude to the Dream at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, earlier this season, finishing 23rd.
He may be best known for his success in motocross and supercross competition, but Pastrana has earned back-to-back titles in the U.S.-based Rally America series while driving for Subaru.