Despite having announced he won’t be competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series any longer, Travis Pastrana cannot completely tear himself away from competition.
After failing to secure the required sponsorship for a full NASCAR season in 2014, Pastrana announced he would step back to off-road trucks and rallying, but he still wants to make appearances in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from time to time as well as the odd K&N Pro Series event.
However there is one NASCAR race that he desperately wants to check off his list.
“I’d love to race the Daytona 500 one day,” Pastrana said before his final full-time Nationwide Series start. “That’s a huge bucket list thing. I’ve met enough people and gotten decent enough results that hopefully we could get a sponsor and go in.”
Pastrana’s 2013 season didn’t quite go to plan, despite showing speed at times, the site of the colourful number 60 Ford in the wall was not uncommon – although the blame could not always be placed solely on him. Only four top tens and a finishing place of 14th in the standings meant that the funding required for a second full season never developed.
“It sucks,” he continued. “It was a decision made over a long term. And still, over the last couple of weeks, I was still asking around, and just seeing what can we piece together. It came down to, OK, you’ve basically got to go back two levels and we’ll try to piece together something. And instead of being paid to do your day job, if you will, it was — hey, we’re going to put a lot of money into this and basically take up all of our kid’s college fund. Or, we can try to keep piecing together small stuff, go back to that, and just have fun with NASCAR. And for me, 30 isn’t super old, but I’m not 20. We’ve got to kind of look a little further.”
Pastrana has been able to find speed in everything he has raced in, be it on two wheels or four, but was warned by six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson that he was taking a big risk entering a full-time Nationwide drive with only 10 national-level starts under his belt.
“I’ve always jumped in the deep end. I knew that they were all probably right,” Pastrana said. “If he had to do it all over again, maybe he’d have competed more in ARCA or the K&N Pro Series rather than leap straight into Nationwide, though that approach would have presented hurdles of a different kind.”
Pastrana is currently touring the UK with Nitro Circus Live, visiting Manchester, Birmingham, London and Glasgow between November 26 and December 1, before embarking on a European tour in the lead up to Christmas.