Travis Pastrana will soon face what he calls (in a story in Complex) the biggest challenge he's ever taken on. He is set to make his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Friday night in Richmond, Virginia.
Travis was originally scheduled to race in the Nationwide Series last summer, but a severe ankle injury at the X Games in Los Angeles derailed those plans. The delay, he says, helped simmer down some of the heavy hype.
"It's good that the interest has gone away a little bit for me," he said recently at a NASCAR media teleconference. "It allows me to come in and focus on racing."
Travis is racing the No. 99 Boost Mobile Toyota for RAB Racing, through an alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing (which was just announced a few days ago.). He is racing seven events in the Nationwide Series, which is NASCAR's second-highest level, just under the Sprint Cup, and 11 events in the K&N East series.
It's not exactly a light schedule for someone who says his ankle is still not 100 percent.
"My walking is horrible," he said. "But 100 percent in the car, for sure. I probably would have done a little different on physical therapy had I been coming back for motocross."
His goals for the first Nationwide race?
"I think for me it's going to be wanting to get aggressive and go as I've always done, but at the same time think, 'don't crash, don't make a fool of yourself and don't cause any trouble,'" he said.
My walking is horrible. I probably would have done a little different on physical therapy had I been coming back for motocross.
"I'm looking forward to getting the first race -- I shouldn't say over with -- I'm looking forward to getting in that car in the first race," he said. "But after the first race, we'll know a lot more where we sit. We'll know where to improve on, and hopefully we'll make it up all the laps."
Travis added, "My goal is to stay and be on that lead lap in the end. If we can do that and not crash, it would really set a lot of confidence for me going into the next round."
Catch Travis in the Nascar Nationwide Series at Richmond this Friday, April 27, at 7:30 pm on ESPN2.
Follow Pastrana Racing on Twitter for updates from the track.