Action sports legend Travis Pastrana will return to his roots, but leave NASCAR, at year’s end.
The 30-year-old currently ranks 14th in his first full season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with four top-10 finishes and a pole position at Talladega in April. His best result was ninth the week prior to that in Richmond.
Pastrana has driven a colorful, but largely unsponsored, No. 60 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing this season. Pastrana announced the decision on his Facebook page.
“I would like to thank them and all of the other people who stuck behind me during the last two years as I tried to learn how to make a successful career in NASCAR,” he said of Jack Roush’s support. “It’s tough to step back now and prove the critics were right, but unfortunately my results were not good enough to get the sponsors I needed to appropriately fund next season.
“I hate to quit and I hate to fail, but sometimes things work out as they should.”
Pastrana wrote he plans to resume in the Nitro Circus Live Tour next year. He’s also done rallying previously, either in American Rallycross or the fledgling Global Rallycross Championship. He said in Las Vegas this past week that he’ll make “some appearances” in GRC in 2014.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.