Travis Pastrana Renews NASCAR Commitment During RecoveryBy Mary Jo Buchanan
Travis Pastrana, who was so seriously injured during an attempted freestyle X-game trick on his motorcycle, renewed his commitment to NASCAR racing during an appearance in the media center at Dover International Speedway.
“I was real excited to come out here to Dover because this is like my hometown track,” Pastrana said. “This is the first time I’ve been able to see it really up close. I definitely am disappointed to not be out there driving for sure.”
In spite of his disappointment to not be out on the track, Pastrana has every intention of getting back behind the wheel of his No. 99 Boost Mobile Toyota for Pastrana Waltrip Racing in the Nationwide Series as soon as possible.
“Right now recovery has been slow but going well I guess,” Pastrana said. “I get the pins out on Monday, which is always nice.”
“Hopefully, I get all the pins out and start getting in the pool and be able to get down to the shop a little more,” Pastrana continued. “I want to drive the I-racing simulator a little bit more. I’ll do whatever I can to get back driving cars as soon as possible.”
Pastrana will not be able to race at Daytona, however, his plan is to make his Nationwide debut at Phoenix. Although Boost will continue as his sponsor next year, providing twenty races at present, Pastrana hopes to race as many different types of cars and as many different series as possible.
“Not being able to start out at Daytona and not being able to run the entire Nationwide Series is definitely a disappointment,” Pastrana said. “But we’re basically looking to do as many as we can do.”
“I’m trying to do as many Nationwide and K&N and any kind of car races I can to get as much experience as I can,” Pastrana continued. “I haven’t really finalized all the deals for next year but I’m really hoping to get more than less I guess.”
“The goal is definitely the same, to race as much as possible,” Pastrana said. “We just have to work out the sponsorship. My goal is to get in as many cars as possible.”
Pastrana has experienced many lessons learned by being injured an unable to race. Although disappointed, he has also gained invaluable experience that he would not have had otherwise.
“Definitely sitting on the sidelines and not racing, every time I watch a race, the disappointment is there,” Pastrana said. “It’s a small positive, but I’ve been able to watch all the races.”
“I’ve been able to watch all the drivers,” Pastrana continued. “I actually know a lot more about who runs up front and who runs aggressive and who doesn’t, which drivers tend to stay up there at the end, and which drivers tend to qualify well.”
“It’s been a great learning experience but I would much rather have been learning on the track of course.”
Although he will not be officially racing until into the 2012 season, Pastrana does plan on doing some testing in his race car as soon as possible.
“Doctors say that I’ll be walking in a month,” Pastrana said. “And I figure as soon as I can walk, I can drive. Put me in coach.”
With all this talk of NASCAR racing, is the XGames superstar done with that chapter of his life?
“To be perfectly honest, I was supposed to do my exit from the X-games,” Pastrana said. “That was not exactly the exit that I was looking for.”
“I will not be on a bike this next year and do not plan to be on it for X games ever,” Pastrana continued. “But at the same time, motorcycling is something I’ll always do for training.”
“Whether I’ll be riding at a competitive level, I sincerely doubt it,” Pastrana said. “But with Red Bull and a lot of the stuff they have in years to come, I’ll never say I will never do motorcycle stuff again.”
“It’s who I am,” Pastrana continued. “But at the same time, this is my number one priority for the next two years. And then we can assess what life is going to bring.”
Pastrana has also been busy with another project, filming the Nitro Circus 3-D movie. This too, however, has seemed to solidify for the action sports phenomenon that those days are over, with only racing ahead as his new goal.
“We just finished filming Nitro Circus 3D movie, which Waltrip Racing had helped us with many products along the way,” Pastrana said. “For me, as soon as that movie is done filming and I have to do a little press for that, my action sports career is done.”
“But as far as anything taking risks, I’m definitely going to be in this car and do the best I can to put my best foot forward,” Pastrana continued. “It was the most disappointing thing in my life to not only have myself but an entire team waiting for me and banking on me being in the car.”
“I see the guys around the track and they’re all on different teams,” Pastrana said. “It’s tough because not only did we lose some of the top guys but a lot of friends had to find other work. Definitely something that I took to heart and I don’t want to happen ever again.”
As soon as Pastrana has his pins removed, his intense rehabilitation will being. This will include time in the pool, as well as bicycling, based on whatever his ankle will tolerate.
“I’m sure it will start out for an hour or two a day and work up from there,” Pastrana said. “My only job right now is to get that ankle healthy and to learn a little bit about the car.”
“We’ll be doing physical therapy as much as that ankle will tolerate it without making it swell.”
But even with his injury, one that he characterized as “the biggest failures” that he has ever experienced, Pastrana acknowledged that it has just made him even more focused on his upcoming racing career.
“It’s been really frustrating but fortunately or unfortunately, I’ve been in a lot of pain the first month,” Pastrana said. “ It hurt to have the foot down.”
“So, I’ve been watching a lot of NASCAR,” Pastrana said. “For better or for worse, it was a good learning experience.”