This Friday night in Richmond, VA Travis Pastrana will (finally) make his long-awaited Nationwide Series debut. Pastrana was scheduled to make his debut at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis last August but was forced to cancel when he shattered his ankle by crashing his dirt bike when performing in the X Games Best Trick competition.
Pastrana will pilot the number 99 Boost Mobile Toyota Camry. Pastrana will be locked into the race after Pastrana-Waltrip Racing made a deal with RAB Racing.
Pastrana has been racing in the NASCAR K&N West Series for much of last season and will continue in that series for most of this year as well.
Pastrana has amassed a huge fanbase stemming from his incredible success in the X Games. He hopes to bring his fans with him to NASCAR, but to do so he will after show results quickly.
Pastrana has won at everything he’s ever done, whether it’s racing dirt bikes or rally cars. In order to win in NASCAR Pastrana will have to show patience. So far it seems that Pastrana has the patience to stick around the NASCAR world for quite some time.
Steven Wallace Returns
After 5 Hour Energy left his team to move up to the Sprint Cup Series with Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip Racing, Steven Wallace was left sponsorless. As a result his Rusty Wallace Inc. team went on “hiatus” until they could get enough sponsorship to race.
At the same time, Trevor Bayne and his Roush-Fenway Racing team have had trouble finding sponsorship and as a result he was forced to miss the race two weeks ago in Texas, and will be out of his ride indefinitely.
Now, Wallace is back. And he’s back with Bayne’s car. Well, one of his older RFR cars.
Wallace will race Friday night’s NNS race in Richmond in the number 4 car with RFR. It’s a joint effort between RFR and JTG-Daugherty Racing. The car will be provided by RFR, but pitted by JTG-Daugherty’s pit crew for Bobby Labonte in the Sprint Cup Series. Wallace’s crew chief for the race will be Todd Berrier who is also Labonte’s Cup crew chief. The car is being sponsored by Loanmax Title Loans.
Wallace has a reputation for crashing a lot. In a time where fans have been complaining about a lack of cautions, Wallace’s return to the track may just be exactly what they need.
Racing at Richmond
The Nationwide Series is going short-track racing for the second time this season Friday in Richmond. It’s a three-quarter mile racetrack known for side-by-side racing, sparks flying, and tempers flaring.
One of the favorites to win the race has to be Sprint Cup regular Denny Hamlin who will once again pilot the Joe Gibbs Racing 18 car.
Hamlin considers Richmond to be his hometown track, and has won here a total of four times, twice in Cup and twice in NNS competition.
Another contender to win is defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Stenhouse finished third here last September and swept both races at Iowa Speedway, Richmond’s sister track.
Stenhouse already has two wins in six races this season, and is currently second in points behind leader Elliott Sadler.
Friday night’s race will have a total of six Cup Series regulars consisting of Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski. So far this season the Sprint Cup Series drivers haven’t been able to dominate races the way they have been for the last few years. Only one of the six races this season has been won by a Sprint Cup regular, and that was Logano at Auto Club Speedway in California.
The Bubba Burger 250 from Richmond will go green Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2.