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DATE News (chronologically)
01/11/12
NASCAR
Pastrana heading for obscurity in NASCAR  
Travis Pastrana can pretty much kiss his career goodbye - lost in obscurity in the lowly K&N Pro Series East
Travis Pastrana has gotten back into a race car to test, and while he gets back into shape after suffering a broken ankle last year, his 2012 NASCAR schedule is still taking shape.

The action sports star originally was going to run seven Nationwide Series races in 2011 and then 20 in 2012. But after shattering his right ankle at the X-Games two days before he was scheduled to make his Nationwide debut last July, his 2012 plans have been in flux.

The tentative plan is for Pastrana to race in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, run the entire K&N Pro Series East season and at least seven Nationwide races, Pastrana Waltrip Racing co-owner Michael Waltrip said Wednesday.

“It all changed in L.A. when he fell off that motorcycle,” Waltrip said Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. “We had hoped to run seven last year and 20 this year. The seven from last year have been moved into this year. If he can make progress and be competitive, maybe it turns into more than seven this year.”

Pastrana had hoped to make his Nationwide debut at Phoenix in March but it likely will be pushed back to at least April. Richmond International Raceway would be a likely track for it since he has competed in a K&N race there and is from Maryland.

Pastrana, who has four K&N series starts to his credit, likely will compete in the K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix during the NASCAR weekend there in March.

“He hopes to be a full-time Nationwide competitor in ’13, and use ’12 to gain all the knowledge and experience necessary to do just that,” Waltrip said. “[His plans are] all preliminary and a little tentative. … We’ll look at somewhere around Richmond or so to make his Nationwide debut. We want to give him the best shot to run well, and I think that means some [more] oval track experience prior to [it].”

Waltrip said Pastrana looked good once he got in the car for the test for the 24-hour race this past weekend. Pastrana and Waltrip are driving a Ferrari with Waltrip co-owner Rob Kauffman and road-course racer Rui Aguas.

“You watch [Pastrana] walk around and he looks hurt,” Waltrip said. “He’s still having trouble in straightening his foot out properly. But in the car, it doesn’t affect him. He was able to run lap times just like me. We were out on the same pace, so I’m confident that he’s ready to race a car.

“I also love his passion and his commitment in doing whatever it is going to take to do be ready to race those Nationwide races.”

The experience in the 24 hours should help Pastrana, Waltrip said.

“At Daytona, it’s a car on pavement,” Waltrip said. “Even though it’s quite a lot different than a Cup car, it still relates. Driving these cars and understanding braking points and getting the throttle down, all those things are valuable for Travis.

“He’s all in. He loves it.” Scenedaily.com

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