By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor
November 10, 2010: Having conquered numerous worlds in action sports, Travis Pastrana has set his sites on a new category. The X Games legend said that he is moving to Nascar as a team co-owner and driver as part of the newly formed Pastrana-Waltrip Racing.
The group, under the auspices of Michael Waltrip, Gary and Blake Bechtel and Pastrana will field cars in the Nationwide Series beginning next season. Pastrana said his initial plan is to compete in seven Nationwide Series races in 2011 and 20 in 2012. Pastrana-Waltrip Racing will field Toyotas out of the Michael Waltrip Racing shop in Cornelius, N.C.
Pastrana has endorsement deals that include Red Bull, Activision and a line of clothing and accessories and DC Shoes. He is represented by the Wasserman Media Group, Los Angeles.
Pastrana is the second high-profile action sports athlete to switch to Nascar in as many years. Ricky Carmichael, who was an icon in motocross, transitioned to Nascar in 2009.
Pastrana-Waltrip Racing said it would "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."
According to Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion, “Travis has built an enormous and unique following all over the world. 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."
Pastrana has won 16 X Game gold medals as well as multiple supercross, motocross and rally championships in his career. Pastrana also created the Nitro Circus empire, which includes a television show, live tours and an upcoming feature film.
“I’ve been following Nascar closely for years as a fan of the sport with competing in the sport a lifelong dream,” Pastrana said in a statement. “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!”
Earlier this week, Subaru of America "bid farewell to Travis Pastrana as the company's lead driver." Pastrana began his relationship Subaru in 2004 from the world of supercross and freestyle motorcross and officially joined Subaru Rally Team USA in 2006. During his career as an SRT USA driver, Travis piloted his Subaru Impreza WRX STI to more than 150+ stage wins, 40 podiums, and 22 event victories en route to earning four consecutive Rally America National Championship titles (2006-2009). Within the ESPN X Games Rally Car Racing format, Travis went on to win two gold, one silver and one bronze medal with Subaru Rally Team USA.
His feats have not been limited to land. Last year during an ESPN New Year's Eve event in Los Angeles, Pastrana jumped his rally car a 269 feet over water, landing on a barge in Long Beach's Rainbow Harbor.
“Travis has built an enormous and unique following worldwide. This is an opportunity to showcase our company and our sport to a new generation of young fans."
"Travis brought Rally to a whole new audience through the rally championship and of course through his spectacular appearances at X Games," Tim Mahoney, CMO of Subaru of America said in a statement. "We wholeheartedly thank him for his outstanding performances with Subaru Rally Team USA and wish him well in his future endeavors."
Pastrana now seeks to bring his skills, mindset and worldwide following to Nascar. "We’re also looking for that next big star," said Waltrip. "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.”