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Injuries Bumps Pastrana From Nationwide Debut

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, July 29 2011

Travis Pastrana out of NNS race. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)

Indianapolis – The much awaited Nationwide Series debut of Travis Patrana has been canceled because of an injury he suffered on Thursday night at the X-Games in Los Angeles.

Pastrana suffered a severe injury when a motorcycle trick he was attempting went awry. Pastrana went down and had to be carried off the track.

Michael Waltrip, co-owner of Pastrana Waltrip Racing, is scheduled to address the media some time on Friday about the incident and the action sports star’s future.

Pastrana was scheduled to make his first NNS start Saturday night at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Ind.

Pastrana broke his right foot and ankle after back-to-back crashes during the Moto X Best Trick competition at the X Games in Los Angeles Thursday.

“Like fans everywhere we were so excited about Travis’ debut Saturday night,” said team owner Michael Waltrip. “We have a long term vision with Travis which includes lots of NASCAR. We can’t wait to get him healed and in our race cars. We talked to our sponsor Boost Mobile and agreed to withdraw from Indy and delay our debut. We’ve waited a long time for someone like Travis Pastrana. I guess we’ll just have to wait a little bit longer.”

Pastrana had planned to compete in Best Trick and Freestyle on Thursday and Friday, fly to Indianapolis to make his NASCAR Nationwide debut Saturday, then return to Los Angeles to compete in RallyCross on Sunday.

Pastrana, who has won multiple titles in supercross, motocross and rally cars, has taken a NASCAR training course of sorts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.

He has run five NASCAR K&N Pro Series races this year, with a best finish of sixth in his NASCAR debut in January at the Toyota All-Star Showdown.

But Saturday was scheduled to be his NASCAR breakout in racing. Both his team and ESPN, which will cover the race Saturday, had spent large amounts of time promoting the event. It had even been given the name “Pastranathon”.

Rich Feinberg, vice president of ESPN Motorsports production, watched Pastrana’s ill-fated jump on television. When it became obvious there was a serious injury, Feinberg said, “My heart skipped a beat”.

He said the weekend – starting with the X-Games on his network and continuing through Saturday night’s race – “had the potential to be wonderful.”

Feinberg said everybody knew the potential was there for a mishap, but that the X-Game and Pastrana’s appeal are tied to risk.

“We had a plan and the plan collapsed,” Feinberg said.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, July 29 2011
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