Yesterday we learned Travis Pastrana had officially left Subaru and has teamed up with Michael Waltrip to run a Toyota in the 2011 NASCAR season. What we just found out, however, is that Pastrana is not simply a driver for the Waltrip team – the two have joined forces to create Pastrana-Waltrip Racing. Running in the NASCAR Nationwide series, Pastrana plans to compete in seven races during the 2011 season, followed by 20 more races in 2012.
Pastrana's appeal could give NASCAR a shot in the arm by attracting a raft of new fans to the sport. His racing background is varied, but he has done quite well behind the wheel of a wide assortment of cars, including multiple stints at the annual Race of Champions. Typically, those events involve left and right turns, and thus, Pastrana has pasted reminders on his car not to turn right (seriously).
Click / Video: autoblog.com/2010/11/11/travis-pastrana
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.