Travis Pastrana is finally prepared to make his official Nationwide Series debut in Friday night’s 250-lap race at Richmond International Raceway, and Nascar couldn’t be happier. Desperate to reach a younger and more active audience, Nascar and ESPN, the official television partner for the series, has began the onslaught of promotion surrounding Pastrana’s involvement on the oval track.
This week ESPN is running a national spot entitled “No Ordinary Rookie,” claiming that Pastrana’s debut in the Nationwide series is his toughest challenge yet.
All of this begs the question: does Pastrana have to win races for his quest into the world of left turns to be deemed a success? It depends on who you ask. Pastrana may be playing it cool about the competition. But make no mistake, he measures his success on race day and race day only, while his sponsors and Nascar will assess other factors– like the Nielsen ratings.
Pastrana recently explained why he’s excited to race Nascar, stating, “I have an opportunity to be in the most competitive sport in the world. No matter what you tell me or tell other people, if you had an opportunity to drive in the most competitive sport in the world at 200-mph plus, like it or hate it, it’s worth a shot. I want to test myself, and that’s why we’re switching.”
Pastrana’s scheduled for seven Nationwide races this year. He’ll prep for the Richmond event by racing twice on Thursday. But for now, sit back and enjoy Pastrana’s latest appearance in the new SportsCenter commercial: