By now you’ve heard that Travis Pastrana has given up on rallying for a career driving stock cars. He’s partnered with Michael Waltrip racing to campaign a Toyota in NASCAR’s Nationwide series, the same series that IndyCar’s Danica Patrick failed to make progress in last year. Pastrana bought his way into the team, so he gets my respect for putting his money down upfront, instead of just hiring on as a big name driver. The video has its amusing moments, like when Pastrana says, “visually, it’s not that quick, but you see the car dancing everywhere.” Trust me, every dancing racecar I’ve ever been in felt plenty quick behind the wheel, regardless of what it looked like to spectators.
Pastrana has his work cut out for him in 2011. As a racer used to being the top dog in motocross, supercross and rally competition, it’s hard to imagine him being happy as a back marker in the NASCAR Nationwide series. The Nationwide Series has a very steep learning curve, and I sincerely hope he puts more effort into it (and gets better results) than stars from other racing series, like Danica Patrick or former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. I can’t think of another feeder series in racing that’s dominated by the very drivers of the league’s premier series, so if you can make it in the Nationwide series, you probably can make it anywhere.