One of NASCAR’s more colorful characters is hanging it up. Travis Pastrana, a former Motocross and Supercross champion, and a 10-time X Games gold medalist, says he’s moving on after a 41 race career in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
”I hate to quit and I hate to fail, but sometimes things work out as they should,” Pastrana said in an announcement on his Facebook page. “Unfortunately my results were not good enough to get the sponsors I needed to appropriately fund next season.” Taking stock of his situation, Pastrana is looking to devote more time to his wife Lyn-z (a notable skateboarder), and their daughter Addy, born last September. The stuntman who set a ramp-to-ramp car jump record on New Year’s Day 2010 of 269 feet says his wife has always believe in him and his dreams,and bow its time for him to support her. Lyn-z will rejoin the Nitro Circus Live tour.
Pastrana says he “never could figure out the finesse required in pavement racing” but hints he could return to off road and rally racing. No doubt, his flirtation with NASCAR that did include four top tens and a pole award indicates that perhaps the rugged terrains of off roading better suit his style.
”It’s tough to step back now and prove the critics were right, but unfortunately my results were not good enough to get the sponsors I needed to appropriately fund next season.” Even accomplished racers are having to scramble for dollars, let alone a driver trying to make his way in a new racing discipline.
Pastrana’s frustrations are understood, and you can’t argue that he may not have been the best fit for racing on ovals; but let us be clear: Pastrana was no failure. If nothing else, Pastrana’s NNS career is proof not just anyone can hop into a race car and make it happen. In fact, the list of motorsports stars who came up short in NASCAR is pretty impressive: Pastrana, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Ricky Carmichael and Robby Gordon just scratch the surface.
Someone once said that you only fail when you fail to try. The 30-year old from Annapolis, Maryland gave it a spirited effort. Now it’s on to the next challenge.
I wish him well. I just wish his NASCAR could have turned out closer to the way he envisioned it. The good news is we haven’t likely seen the last of him.