NNS: Sports Star Travis Pastrana To NASCAR

International action sports star Travis Pastrana has signed with Michael Waltrip Racing and created a new Nationwide Series team that will feature Pastrana behind the wheel beginning in 2011.

Pastrana, who has won gold medals in the X Games and shattered jump records on both motorcycles and automobiles, will run seven Nationwide races in 2011 for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing, a new team owned by Pastrana, MWR and Gary and Blake Bechtel. He plans to run 20 Nationwide races in 2012.

Pastrana, who stars in MTV’s “Nitro Circus,” is ready to turn his attention to NASCAR. His team will focus on creating programs that expose the action sports world’s fans to NASCAR and develop youth marketing initiatives designed to create greater awareness of both sports.

“I’ve been following NASCAR closely for years as a fan of the sport with competing in the sport a life-long dream,” Pastrana said in a news release from the team. “I decided it was time to try and turn that dream into reality and with the help of the Bechtel family, Michael Waltrip Racing and Wasserman Media Group I’m now one step closer.”

Pastrana-Waltrip Racing will field Toyotas out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C.

Waltrip said the youth demographic Pastrana brings to NASCAR could provide a boost for the sport.

“Travis has built an enormous and unique following all over the world,” Waltrip said. “As a race team owner, we are always looking for ways to deliver to our partners and engage our fans better. This is an opportunity to showcase our company and our sport to a new

generation of young fans.

“We’re also looking for that next big star. Travis already is one and action sports is full of talented athletes. Having Travis as a part of our program adds another great dimension to our team and NASCAR.”

Pastrana is one of the most recognized and celebrated athletes in the world. He has won 16 X Games gold medals along with multiple supercross, motocross and rally championships in his career.

He also created the Nitro Circus empire, which includes a television show, live tours and a soon-to-be-released feature film. • Trevor Bayne has a few ‘pinch-me’ moments in impressive Sprint Cup debut with Wood Brothers Racing*