Motorsports Icon Travis Pastrana Seeks Daytona 500 Qualification

Pastrana takes on his toughest test


February 15

Travis Pastrana nearly has done everything behind a wheel, but there is one feat that has alluded the 39-year-old.

The motorsports legend and stunt performer will attempt to qualify for this Sunday’s Daytona 500. He will compete for one of the four open spots along with seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson at Daytona Beach, Fla. Pastrana will race in the No. 67 Toyota Camry for 23XI Racing.

“I feel like most people, when they get to the top of a sport, they try to stay there,” Pastrana told the Washington Post’s Rick Maese in a recent interview. “Every time I’ve been able to make it to the top of something, I want a new challenge. I want to jump into the deep end and see what happens.”

Pastrana competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for two seasons as he raced full-time with Roush Fenway Racing in 2013. The lead of “Nitro Circus” has won championships and X Games gold medals in several disciplines, including supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross and rally racing.

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The Daytona 500 features a 40-driver field. Six drivers will compete for two spots in Sunday’s race during time trials Wednesday night. Each driver gets one timed lap around the 2 1/2-mile track.

The others will try to earn one of the remaining spots at Thursday’s Duels, which are a pair of 60-lap races that help determine the starting positions in Sunday’s race. The top finisher among the remaining four hopefuls in each duel race will earn the final spots in the Daytona 500.

“There’s just no practice for the 500,” Pastrana said. “So it’s terrifying without a doubt to know that there’s only four spots and you got guys like Jimmie Johnson, you’ve got the guy that’s had the fastest lap ever at Indy in Conor Daly, some great rookies coming up with some really good equipment.”

The 23XI Racing driver has gotten some work in to prepare, but like he said, there is no practice for the real thing.

If Pastrana does qualify, he would join a field that includes Kyle Busch, who will compete despite his prison conviction in Mexico.

Thumbnail photo via Mike Dinovo/USA TODAY Sports Images
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