While Travis Pastrana might have already had a range of racing experiences, racing the Daytona 500 was the first one for the action sports star.
Having started from the 40th on the grid, it felt like Pastrana might even make it to the top five at the end of the race. He even managed to lead a lap during the first stage — lap 39 during a round of green-flag pit stops.
However, a massive crash pushed Pastrana back but he came out of it to finish 11th, the second-best finish for a rookie behind Riley Herbst in tenth.
“This was one of the greatest if not the greatest weeks or couple of weeks of my life, said Pastrana after the race. “Just coming here and even to go down to Volusia and camping with (Matt) Crafton and all the fans that came down there. Then realizing there were three guys that did the Clash and flew the red eye. These guys just love to drive. The Blocks came here just to watch me qualify and I’ve got all my friends and family here.”
While saying that he is mentally and physically exhausted after the race, Pastrana spoke about how exciting the NASCAR race is.
“As excited as I am right now, I might sleep for the next week,” he admitted. “I am mentally and physically completely drained. Even the Truck race, my heart rate was 170 in a three-wide pack. 182 was my high. That’s just on adrenaline. So, anyone that says NASCAR is boring, they’re full of crap. They’ve definitely never been in a car because this was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done.”
Despite all the excitement, it looks like Pastrana won’t be doing Daytona 500 anymore. However, he did keep open his chances of running the Truck Series with Niece Motorsports.
“One and done,” he said about possible return to NASCAR. “Now if Cody (Efaw) from Niece Motorsports calls me up and says, ‘Hey, what are you doing this weekend?’ I’ll jump in, but I’m not good enough to be the best at this sport with my skill set. The amount of time that this would take right now and I’m trying to slow down. The reason I’m here right now is because I feel like this is the best I’ve ever been as a driver. We’ve been winning championships on the dirt, and I just wanted to experience the whole Daytona Speedweeks.”