For the first time since 2015, X-Games and action sports star Travis Pastrana will be returning to the cockpit of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series vehicle.
On Monday, Niece Motorsports announced that Pastrana will join the team for a select number of events in 2017, beginning with the September 30th race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Pastrana will also test the team’s No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 2, the team noted in their release.
“I love NASCAR, and Las Vegas is always a good time, so I’m really looking forward to racing there later this season,” said Pastrana. “The seat time at Charlotte will be a huge help for me to get up to speed and for the team to get a solid base setup for when we show up to race later in the year. I’ve actually worked with several of the people on this team in the past. It’s a fun group and we have a good rapport. NASCAR is something that challenges me. I’ve done a lot of work over the past couple of years to try and improve my pavement skills. I’m racing my first full year of Rally since 2010, and I’m fresh off my first win in over a year, so it’s really exciting to be able to get behind the wheel again and see what we can do in the Truck Series.”
Pastrana will have primary sponsorship from Weinerschnitzel for the race, along with associate sponsorship from Black Riffle Coffee Company, SilencerCo, Nitro Circus, Alpinestars and Palms Casino Resort.
Serving as crew chief for Pastrana will be Cody Efaw, who served as Pastrana’s car chief when he raced in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Roush-Fenway Racing back in 2013.
“Any time you can team up with someone you’ve worked well with in the past, there’s obviously a level of comfort there,” said Pastrana. “I know the group of guys that Niece Motorsports has assembled is going to give me a great shot at running well.”
In 42 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Pastrana finished in the top-10 on four occasions (Daytona, Las Vegas, Richmond, and Indianapolis), as well as winning the pole for the May 2013 race at Talladega. Pastrana’s two starts in the Truck Series, both at Las Vegas, resulted in finishes of 15th and 16th in 2012 and 2015, respectively.
Pastrana noted that though it has been a couple of years since he’s been in NASCAR, he would like to be able to get more races on pavement to hone his skills even further.
“Racing is where my heart is,” Pastrana said. “Even though I could never figure out the pavement, it’s something that I want to put the time and effort into.”
“It basically comes down to funding. For this year, I’d love to do Chicago as well. I felt that two years ago at the end of the race, we were running pretty good, we were competitive, we were not getting dropped by the top trucks. The more races you do, the more competitive you get, and the better the team gets. The Niece team is a new team but it has a lot of experience.”