Travis Pastrana at the Nationwide Series race in Daytona Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Travis Pastrana is set to make his full-season NASCAR Nationwide series debut on Saturday, February 23 at Daytona International Speedway. The action-sports superstar with 11 X Games gold medals in Moto X Freestyle and Rally Car Racing and four Rally America national championships had intended to make a large-scale push into NASCAR in 2011, but a crash at the X Games took him out of the driver’s seat and into the hospital instead.

Needless to say, Pastrana’s determination to prove himself in NASCAR is coming under a lot of scrutiny, both from the legions of stock-car-racing die-hards and the passionate throngs of his own fan base. Travis recently penned some answers to the questions he’s been receiving and posted them to his web site; read on for the finer points below…

WHY NASCAR?

“The answer is simple. My passion is competition. With NASCAR, I have an opportunity to race at the highest level in American motorsport. Fact of the matter is that I’m putting a good deal of my own money into my racing program this year. Why? Because I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t take this opportunity to see if I have what it takes to be a champion again.

“I’ve been in this situation before. When I switched my focus from motocross racing to freestyle, I caught a lot of criticism. But I followed my passion and went on to win 11 gold medals at the X Games. When I took a few years off to race rally cars, everyone said I was an idiot. After two years of crashing and blowing through a lot of my own money, I followed my passion to four consecutive Rally America national championships.”

nullChris Tedesco/Red Bull Media House North America, Inc.

WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH GRC?

“I am still very passionate about racing rallycross. Not much on earth is more fun than sliding and jumping your way through an event. That’s why I’ll be racing as many GRC events as I can this year. Last year was rough. We had a new car and a new team. I entered five races and only finished one. But the race I finished, I won. This year I am scheduled to race six of the rounds and our team is expecting to be in the hunt to win at every event we enter.”

WHAT ABOUT NITRO CIRCUS?

NITRO CIRCUS has been and will continue to be a big part of my life. I may be the headlining name but my friends all stepped up big and stole the show in the Nitro Circus movie. The live shows continue to blow my mind and it’s growing globally beyond my wildest expectations. We are in the process of building a NITRO CIRCUS training ground with some cutting edge ramps and safety features to help keep our Nitro family safe as they continue to progress action sports.”

A NEW START

Travis took to the Daytona track today for qualifying and finished fourth, so he’s in a great position to start the season and it’s obvious he’s excited about it:

“I’m the underdog again,” he wrote. “The rookie. I feel like I did when I was 16 and about to turn pro in moto. Hoping I can be a champion but only having a slight grasp of what it’s going to take to get there. I just took fourth in qualifying here at Daytona. Game on for the year!"

Follow Travis and Red Bull on Twitter for more news and info.

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