Driver of the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, Travis Pastrana, led the way to green Saturday at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Pastrana came to Talladega 13th in the points standings. Pastrana led the first four laps of the race before later being involved in a hard crash with No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers Ford driver, Reed Sorenson, on the backstretch of lap 73.
When asked what happened, Pastrana said, “We were hooked up. We were great. I practiced with the 43 car and we had a strategy and that was to stay in the back after we can try to lead a lap. I don’t know what happened, but we were up there in the front and got tangled up in somebody else’s mess. We’ve got the two fastest cars on the track and for me to be out already is just stupid on my part. I just want to thank Jack Roush and all the team for giving me a great weapon out there and I think we definitely could have put it on top if we just kind of had a little more patience. I’ve just got to swallow my ego next time and stop being up front. We could run a half-lap down and I think we still could have charged to the end, but now that’s over.”
Commenting on how he can handle the high of leading his first green flag lap, and then being taken out by the accident, Pastrana said, “Honestly, it’s just stupid. I just feel like a complete idiot because the race is still going on. I’ve got to watch the rest of the thing and Trevor has a great car, but it would have been awesome to put our cars together. I hope he wins for Roush and for my Monday morning conversation that we’re gonna have to have with Jack and explain to him why I crashed the car when all we had to be doing was sitting back.”
Winning his first career pole and the first pole for the Roush Fenway Racing Ford team wasn’t enough to keep Pastrana from being hard on himself after he got caught in the crash. When asked if he was being too hard on himself, he responded, “Nowhere to go when the crash happened, but we shouldn’t have been there. There’s no reason for us to have been there and that’s entirely my fault. I knew Trevor was gonna be running up front, but we can be sitting a half-lap back and we still would have had a chance to go for the win. We had a great car and could have met up with him later, but I didn’t stick to the strategy and that’s why I’m being hard on myself. Much thanks to the crew. Everybody worked really hard. I learned a lot about drafting. I learned a lot about racing these restrictor plate races. I’m just bummed out. I’ll always have the fact that I led the crew to the green, but you don’t get great cars every race. You’re lucky to get the two best cars on the track on your team at any event for the year and to have that at this event and to be watching the race is just devastating.”
Pastrana finished the Aaron’s 312 in 36th position, and will have his next chance at Victory Lane next Friday, May 10th, in the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.