Travis Pastrana has been racing part-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year, driving the No. 99 Toyota for RAB Racing. In his eighth-career race this past weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Pastrana led laps for the first time in his Nationwide career. Granted, those laps were led mostly under caution when he he stayed out on the race track as the previous leaders headed down pit road, but still, they were laps led, a milestone in Pastrana’s young NASCAR national level career.
This weekend, Pastrana will take part, once again, in Nationwide Series competition, but he won’t be behind the wheel of the No. 99 car he’s becoming familiar with in his first year in the series. Instead, he’ll be behind the wheel of the No. 60 Ford that Carl Edwards drove to victory lane not too long ago on the road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
Pastrana has, numerous times, commented that he’s taken on a steep learning curve, a learning curve that was delayed by an X Games injury in 2011. It looks like Pastrana, himself, and his fans, alike, will get to see Friday night how he’s coming along as he climbs into one of the best entries in the series.
“There is a tough learning curve in NASCAR, for sure,” Pastrana said. “But I have been happy with the gradual improvement. We had our best finish at Indy and led our first laps this weekend in Atlanta, so I’m excited to get back to Richmond and build on that success and see what I can do behind the wheel of a Roush Fenway Ford.”
That’s not to say that RAB Racing isn’t a quality team, especially now with the technical support it’s getting from Michael Waltrip Racing. Still, it’s not Roush Fenway. After all, RFR’s full-time team and driver, Ricky Stenhouse in the No. 6, are reigning series champions and are once again in the series title hunt. Not to mention, the No. 60 team is the winningest entry in Nationwide Series history with some 90 trips to victory lane with the likes of Edwards, Greg Biffle in Mark Martin behind the wheel.
“It’s a truly awesome opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Roush Fenway No. 60 Ford Mustang,” Pastrana said. “Roush Fenway Racing has a strong background as the most successful team in the history of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and I’m pleased to be driving for a legend like Jack Roush this weekend at Richmond.”
By the way, Pastrana’s best Nationwide race result to date is a 13th he scored back in August at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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