Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Man Behind "Pastranathon"


Travis  Pastrana and Michael Waltrip partnered together to make
his move into stock cars. How will he do? Find out during the "Pastranathon."
Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
Travis Pastrana, or TP as his friends call him, has a big week ahead of him. On Thursday, he will attempt to turn his motorcycle into a rotating satellite and safely bring it back down in the best trick competition at X-Games 17. Friday, TP will compete in the motorcycle freestyle event before boarding a plane from Los Angeles to Indianapolis, where he will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut on Saturday night in the Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway. After completing the 200 lap race, he will then re-board the airplane and head back to Los Angeles to finish the X-Games in the Rally Cross event. ESPN has dubbed with “The Pastranathon” as TP will be all over the TV for those three days.

A majority of NASCAR fans do not know about the man behind "Pastranathon."

Travis Pastrana is a multi time X Games champion, former member of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Motorcross and Supercross champion, North American Rally Care champion and current competitor as well. Pastrana is also the star of Nitro Circus, a television series that features Pastrana and his friends traveling around the world riding dirtbikes, base jumping, and performing stunts. Pastrana has a longstanding contract with Red Bull and is one of the most popular motorcycle celebrities in the United States.

Pastrana does have some NASCAR ties. On December 16, 2006, Pastrana competed at the 2006 Race of Champions at the Stade de France in Paris. He represented the United States by himself, after injury forced his teammates Jimmie Johnson and Scott Speed to withdraw. Since that race, Pastrana and J.J. have become great friends and Johnson has even helped get Pastrana comfortable behind the wheel of a stock car. Pastrana met 2011 Daytona 500 winner, Trevor Bayne prior to his New Year’s Eve 2010 rally car jump at Long Beach. After meeting Bayne, Pastrana wanted him to get behind the wheel of his Pastrana-Waltrip Racing No. 99, but this deal would later be diminished as Bayne went to Roush-Fenway Racing.

Pastrana made his NASCAR debut in the K&N Series back in January in the Toyota All-Star Showdown at the Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, where he finished 6th.

On Saturday, TP will pilot the No. 99 Boost Mobile Toyota for Pastrana Waltrip Racing. Pastrana is ready to learn and to try to be as competitive as he can. After Lucas Oil Raceway, Pastrana will take a hiatus and race again in the No. 99 at Richmond International Raceway in September. The rest of his schedule includes Dover, Kansas, Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead-Miami. He has also created his own team with the help of Michael Waltrip and Gary and Blake Bechtel called Pastrana-Waltrip Racing, where he will try to compete in 20 races in 2012.

Time will tell the mark TP leaves on NASCAR. My advice is to head over to Target and stock up on Mountain Dew and some M&Ms because it is going to be one fun weekend. Bring on Pastranathon!

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