Updated: Sept. 26
Motorsports star and pop icon Travis Pastrana participated in a press conference today in preparation for Saturday’s Smith’s 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Pastrana will compete in both events and Saturday will mark his first race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Pastrana was joined by fellow GRC driver Ken Block and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stars Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas and two-time champion Todd Bodine.
“I’m really excited,” Pastrana said. “The GRC program has been awesome. I’m really looking forward to great racing. I’m trying to get my future more into NASCAR and I always wanted to race here (in Las Vegas). I watched last year’s Smith’s 350 race here from the grandstands.
Pastrana will drive the No. 98 AM/PM Toyota in the Smith’s 350 and a Dodge Dart sponsored by Red Bull and Discount Tire in the GRC event.
“Camping World Truck Series driver Matt Craffton has been a huge help to me. He said the (No.) 98 Truck – which is a team truck on their team – had become available and I said, ‘Put me in, coach!’
“It was a bit tough when I tried running the GRC and Nationwide Series races (in May) at Charlotte so we’ll try to do a little better and not crash out in either one of these.
“The cars are completely different. A Global RallyCross car will go from zero to 60 miles per hour in two seconds. It takes off like a rocket ship, with a top speed of about 100 miles per hour and then you’re flying through the air. All-wheel-drive is a lot of fun because, really, you just keep it pinned and point and that will go wherever you’re pointed, so be careful. With the Trucks, it’s my first time ever driving in the Truck Series and I’ve never actually had any time in the truck before this but they say it’s fairly similar to the car series races – I’ll ask these guys (Bodine and Gaughan) later. I’m just trying to get as much experience as possible in the NASCAR series races. I feel like we can be hopefully fairly competitive.”
Pastrana, headlined in the recently-released Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D, is a star of the ESPN X Games and a champion motocross rider.
Although a newcomer to the Camping World Truck Series, Pastrana has competed on a limited schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He made his stock car racing debut last year in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale, Calif.
Thirty-two entries have been received for Saturday’s Smith’s 350, including 2011 victor Ron Hornaday Jr., 2005 winner Todd Bodine and Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan.
The Smith’s 350 is slated to start at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, with Sylvania SilverStar zXe Global RallyCross Championship action on the schedule at approximately 8:30 p.m. Spectator gates will open at 3 p.m.
Tickets for the Smith’s 350 and GRC event may be purchased at the LVMS ticket office, online at www.LVMS.com or by calling (702) 644-4444.
For more information, please call LVMS at (702) 644-4444. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.