NASCAR Gander Trucks

Travis Pastrana running first NASCAR race since 2017 at Kansas

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Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Travis Pastrana made a name for himself in the X Games and action sports world, but never truly caught on to NASCAR during his stint in stock cars. Three years after his last NASCAR race, he is back. On Thursday, Pastrana announced he will drive the #40 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday’s Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. It will be his first NASCAR start since 2017.

The Trucks will run a doubleheader at Kansas, with Ross Chastain driving the #40 in Friday’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 before Pastrana takes over for Saturday’s e.p.t. 200. The effort was spawned by Niece Motorsports technical director Cody Efaw, who served as Pastrana’s car chief at Roush Fenway Racing during his lone full season in the now-Xfinity Series in 2013.

“Boogity boogity boogity boys, let’s go racing,” Pastrana began in an Instagram video. “Got a chance to drive Ross Chastain’s truck this Saturday as long as you don’t crash that, Ross, on Friday. Cody Efaw, my car chief, called up and said, ‘Well, why don’t you come drive?’

I don’t know why, I wasn’t very good at turning left[.]”

Pastrana, who runs the Nitro Circus franchise and competes in rallying and rallycross, began racing in NASCAR in 2011. However, the extreme sports star struggled to adapt to the discipline, and his 2013 Xfinity campaign saw him finish fourteenth in points before stepping away. He returned to the sport in 2015 and 2017 when he ran the Truck Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, finishing sixteenth and twenty-second for NTS Motorsports and Niece, respectively. All three of his career Truck starts have been at Vegas, with the first being a fifteenth-place run in 2012 with ThorSport Racing.

The #40 has been shared by a variety of drivers in 2020, with Chastain, Garrett Smithley, Ryan Truex, and T.J. Bell all making starts. Chastain, who finished runner-up in the 2019 Truck championship, holds the number’s best finish of the season with a third at Homestead-Miami Speedway in June. The #40 is currently eighteenth in the owners’ standings.

Pastrana’s lone NASCAR race at Kansas, the 2013 Xfinity event, saw him drive the #60 Roush vehicle to a fourteenth-place finish.

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