After discovering that Travis Pastrana had left Subaru and the world of rallying, the ex-rally driver has confirmed his intentions to dive into NASCAR, with a Toyota-backed entry into the NASCAR Nationwide Series in collaboration with Michael Waltrip.
The plan is to enter 7 races in 2011, with an additional 20 in 2012. Pastrana will surely introduce NASCAR to a new demographic that more than likely avoided the sport previously. We’re curious to see how Pastrana, someone adept at turning both left and right, will fare in the unidirectional NASCAR.
Hit the jump for the official press release
TRAVIS PASTRANA COMING TO NASCAR Creates Pastrana-Waltrip Racing To Own & Drive Nationwide Toyotas
CORNELIUS, N.C. – Travis Pastrana is coming to NASCAR in 2011 After mining gold medals in the X Games, shattering jump records on both motorcycles and automobiles and starring as a cultural icon for the action sports world, the star of MTV’s “Nitro Circus” is ready to turn his attention to America’s most popular form of motorsports – NASCAR.
Michael Waltrip Racing, Gary and Blake Bechtel and Pastrana announced today the creation of Pastrana-Waltrip Racing that will field cars in the NASCAR Nationwide Series beginning in 2011.
Pastrana-Waltrip Racing 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.
Initial plans are for Pastrana to compete in seven NASCAR Nationwide races in 2011 and twenty races in 2012. “I’ve been following NASCAR closely for years as a fan of the sport with competing in the sport a life-long dream,” Pastrana said. “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!” Pastrana-Waltrip Racing will field Toyotas out of the Michael Waltrip Racing shop in Cornelius, N.C. Waltrip noted the importance of the youth demographic Pastrana brings to NASCAR.
“Travis has built an enormous and unique following all over the world,” said Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion. “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.”
Travis Pastrana is one of the most recognized and celebrated athletes in the world. An action sports icon, Pastrana owns 16 X Games gold medals along with multiple supercross, motocross and rally championships in his career. Pastrana also created the Nitro Circus empire, which includes a television show, live tours and a soon-to-be-released feature film.