Friday, November 12, 2010

Can Pastrana Save NASCAR?

Travis Pastrana is the biggest Action Sports star of all time. He's the all time gold medal winner at the X-Games with 16, and counting. With his MTV shows, and daredevil stunts, he has millions of young fans. Will that coveted demographic follow him to NASCAR?

I believe they will tune in to check their boy out. But, I wouldn't be surprised if NASCAR blows this great opportunity to gain new fans. Pastrana's fans will not hang around just to watch a bunch of cars turning left for three hours.

Pastrana has a mixture of charisma and talent unseen in NASCAR in the twenty-five years since Tim Richmond was racing. NASCAR has to capitalize on that, but do they have a clue? If their past history is any indication, I would say, no, they don't.

NASCAR must demand that their TV partners change the way they cover racing in order to cash in on Pastrana. And, no, I don't mean announcing where he is back in the pack, like they do with Dale Jr and Danica, every few minutes. They must find a way to have his face and voice on during the race. Perhaps a small, picture-in-picture, pre-taped, blurb from him that goes along with the action on the track at the time.

Sure, the established drivers may not like trying to build the Nationwide Series around Pastrana, but so what. If they haven't noticed, TV ratings are down, live gates are dwindling, and tracks are closing. That's on their watch.

Unlike the open-wheel, side show acts, Pastrana can attract new fans to NASCAR. Will NASCAR open their eyes and let him is the question.


  1. Interesting...I have never heard of this kid. Data point - I am officially old.

  2. I saw a picture of his new car (ahem). It had written on it... Don't Turn Right! Don't Turn Right!

    Could be a great move if he lives up to the hype. Given his background as a bonafide dare devil he might make a lot of enemies out there... Can you see Kyle and Travis mixing it up? Great theater! The world against Kyle!

  3. do we know which races he'll be in? If he's starting at Daytona, prepare for a rant by myself given Ambrose wasn't allowed until Martinsville since he'd never raced on an oval....and I doubt a rally guy (who's done squat internationally I see which is the acid test for any rally driver) has either.

  4. Kris... you mean that you were not among the 275,000 in attendance for the X-Games in San Francisco during the summer of '99? lol

    Pastrana won the first of his four consecutive gold medals in the debut of Freestyle Motocross. He then jumped his bike off Pier 32 into the Bay. The treehuggers were not amused.

  5. Dwindy... That was a central point of a video he released Thursday to announce the move to NASCAR. The vid included his 'crewchief' wearing overalls and mimicking a southern drawl. Not funny to me, but Pastrana's fans probably thought it was great.

    It may be a couple of years before he gets close to Kyle on the track, but he will before Danica will.

  6. Tez... Have not seen any schedule for him. I did hear that he's racing at Irwindale this winter in the All-Star race to gain NASCAR approval for ovals.
    I don't see them letting him race at Daytona in February. Although, I'm sure ARCA would allow him to. Then possibly parlay that into NW acceptance at DIS. Ala Danica.

  7. I like my Pastrana on rye, with a nice deli pickle...

  8. Danica is an Indycar driver though so she's been racing ovals for a few years....not sure even ARCA would give someone an ok on a superspeedway after just one race would they?

  9. CR... Ugh! No soup for you!

    Tez... ARCA allowed a woman driver to race at Daytona last year. She had a little experience on dirt tracks in Kansas. It was her first time ever on asphalt. She wrecked the #48 car, that her rich husband rented from James Hylton, rather quickly.

  10. I suck at Gilda Radner impersonations! ...never mind...