Travis Pastrana has been pretty damn good at nearly everything he tries. He’s best known for being a pioneer of freestyle motocross and winning motorsports events on two wheels, but he’s also quite skilled on four wheels. He has four Rally America championships to his name, the record time for a run up Mount Washington, a Global Rallycross win, and a few top-ten finishes in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. It’s that last bit that might surprise some people.
Pastrana made his NASCAR debut in 2011 during an all-star event. He drove well enough for players within the sport to take notice, and he earned more seat time the following year. In this clip from “In Depth with Graham Bensinger,” we learn that Pastrana gained respect for a sport that he had previously made fun of. Pastrana used to wear a parody shirt with the word “BORING” written in the NASCAR font.
Once behind the wheel of a NASCAR racer, Pastrana soon found out how much more difficult the racing is than it might appear. The cars move around a lot, there’s a lot of finesse involved, and Travis’ own skill level was rooted in dirt-based racing. He wants to be really good at what he does, and he usually finds he can find some way to get an advantage through aggressiveness. That wasn’t the case with NASCAR.
In his other forms of racing, his enthusiasm to win carries him through. With NASCAR, it takes a lot more focus and it wasn’t as fun for him. That’s not how he competes and it clearly affected his performance. Pastrana raced with the Waltrip Racing and Roush Fenway Racing teams for the 2012 and 2013 seasons in the Nationwide Series, and finished 14th overall in 2013. He still competed in Nitro Circus, Global Rallycross, and X Games during that time, but just didn’t have all that much success in NASCAR and lost his seat after the 2013 season.
Pastrana does say he wants to come back, as long as he can be good at it. Seeing as he’s good at nearly everything else he tries, we wouldn’t be surprised if Pastrana comes back and posts some strong results in the future. Watch the video to hear Pastrana describe his NASCAR experience in his own words.