Pastrana to Try INDYCAR Challenge
Travis Pastrana will try anything.
The American with 16 X Games gold medals and multiple supercross, motocross and rally championships, is getting ready to make his NASCAR Nationwide debut next week in Indianapolis. And he has an even bigger trick planned after that — taking IndyCar's $5 million challenge in October.
"Look, given the opportunity to drive an IndyCar, I'd be an idiot to turn it down," Pastrana told reporters in Indianapolis on Thursday. "Of course I've got to get in that car, I've got to test it and I've driven pretty much every other form of racing. I feel like I can be safe. Whether or not we are competitive for the $5 million is a whole other question, but definitely working that out and seeing what is possible, what licensing I need to get and I'd be an idiot not to go for it."
Back in February, IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard offered a $5 million prize to any driver from another series who wins the league's season-finale Oct. 16 in Las Vegas.
Bernard recently said about 20 drivers have inquired about starting the race, but fewer than half a dozen have filed applications.
Before competing at Las Vegas, drivers must submit a resume and letters of recommendation to IndyCar, then complete a physical and pass a rookie test.
Pastrana might be the most likely to actually race.
On July 15, he finished 22nd in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and next week he will participate in the Nationwide race at Lucas Oil Raceway, a few miles from Indy's famous 2.5-mile oval.
He has said he wants to race at the Cup level, too.
And with a background that includes record-breaking motorcycle and automobile jumps, nothing seems to be off limits — even racing in Vegas.
"If I want to do the Indy race in Las Vegas for $5 million, I've got to dedicate a lot of time on how to figure out to drive an IndyCar," Pastrana said.
Apparently, he's prepared to make the commitment.
On Thursday, Pastrana said he is dropping events such as the Nitro Circus. He does plan to finish a 3-D movie, and after that, Pastrana will let his friends focus on stunts such as driving monster trucks, as he did last weekend, while he dedicates himself to racing.
"I'm not going to be doing the movies, I'm not going to be taking the risks, I'm not going to be doing the Freestyle stuff," he said. "If there is a building calling my name before a NASCAR race I may have to do a base jump or two, but, for the most part, we will be pretty safe and try to get into this car."