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DATE News (chronologically)
07/22/11
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X Games star Travis Pastrana wants shot at IndyCar's $5 million prize UPDATE "Look, given the opportunity to drive an IndyCar, I'd be an idiot to turn it down," Pastrana told reporters in Indianapolis on Thursday. "Of course I've got to get in that car, I've got to test it and I've driven pretty much every other form of racing. I feel like I can be safe. Whether or not we are competitive for the $5 million is a whole other question, but definitely working that out and seeing what is possible, what licensing I need to get and I'd be an idiot not to go for it."

"If I want to do the Indy race in Las Vegas for $5 million, I've got to dedicate a lot of time on how to figure out to drive an IndyCar," Pastrana said.

Apparently, he's prepared to make the commitment.

On Thursday, Pastrana said he is dropping events such as the Nitro Circus. He does plan to finish a 3-D movie, and after that, Pastrana will let his friends focus on stunts such as driving monster trucks, as he did last weekend, while he dedicates himself to racing.

"I'm not going to be doing the movies, I'm not going to be taking the risks, I'm not going to be doing the Freestyle stuff," he said. "If there is a building calling my name before a NASCAR race I may have to do a base jump or two, but, for the most part, we will be pretty safe and try to get into this car."

07/20/11 X Games hero and noted stuntman Travis Pastrana said Wednesday he has agreed to pursue IndyCar's $5 million bonus as part of the season-ending race Oct. 16 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

For now, the agreement just includes a test at a yet-to-be-determined time and location, but Pastrana, who also is trying NASCAR, wants to compete in the inaugural Izod World Championship.

Travis Pastrana jumped over the water in Long Beach, CA two years ago on New Year's Eve

"For me to not do that, I would regret it for the rest of my life," he said. "It's absolutely amazing, and I'm definitely looking forward to it."

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard announced the challenge in February as a way to showcase the skills of the sport's regulars. About two dozen drivers from outside IndyCar have expressed interest in being among the five chosen. So far, at least four, including Pastrana, have officially applied to participate.

Joey Hand, a member of Ganassi Racing's 24 Hours of Daytona-winning team, also applied.

Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon wants to be considered because he doesn't have a full-time IndyCar ride, but that seems unlikely given his vast experience.

Bernard is also looking at NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne. Kahne won't decide until the 12 contenders for the Chase for the Cup are set in September. Kahne currently is 14th.

Pastrana, 27, has won four Rally America championships and has performed well in the star-studded Race of Champions event in Europe, which has included Formula One legend Michael Schumacher. Pastrana doesn't think any outsider can win the Las Vegas IndyCar race, but he wants to try.

A team hasn't been selected, but Pastrana said he has talked to a couple. IndyCar has reserved the Las Vegas oval for testing on Oct. 12, and Bernard said the five chosen drivers will be given plenty of track time.

Pastrana said he talked to Marco Andretti about the opportunity. The response: "You'd be an idiot not to try it."

"I'm looking forward to getting a test and seeing what (IndyCar) is all about," said Pastrana, who will test a late model machine today at Lucas Oil Raceway in preparation for next week's NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the Kroger 200. "We're definitely not expecting to set the world on fire, but if I can be safe and fairly competitive, then I think it's a worthwhile experience."

"If I can't keep up the pace, I'll pull out. This is a serious deal."

Pastrana said sponsors support him. Red Bull is his primary backer. Indy Star

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