Extreme racer Travis Pastrana’s transition to NASCAR will take a step up in 2013. Frontstretch.com has learned the driver is finalizing a deal to run full-time for Roush Fenway Racing next season in the Nationwide Series, attempting a run at the championship. Driving a car that will likely be changed to No. 99, Pastrana has sponsorship sold for approximately half the 32-to-33 race schedule but sources say RFR is committed to run the driver regardless.
Pastrana, who ran a No. 60 RFR Ford at Richmond this September showed chemistry with the program right off the bat. In that event, he qualified a career-best fifth and hung on for a 17th-place, lead-lap finish despite being involved in a midrace accident. It was the culmination of a part-time effort for the X Games Medalist, who had teamed up with Robby Benton and RAB Racing for an eight-race schedule earlier in the year. So far, his career best in Nationwide is a 13th, with RAB as the 29-year-old continues a transition from the aggressive rally racing world into the ovals of the Nationwide Series. His performances have been impressive, most notably an Atlanta event where he led six laps on older tires before wrecking and fading to 26th.
Trevor Bayne, according to sources is also set for a full-time ride at RFR which would give the organization two entries fighting for the championship. Current title contender, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. will move up to the Cup Series full-time next season driving the No. 17 car, creating the opening for Bayne; now, RFR has decided to expand along with it. They’ll pick up a former AMA Rookie of the Year in Pastrana who’s been successful in virtually every form of racing where he’s competed; the rally champ, freestyle X Games champ in motocross and extreme sports enthusiast has said he’d like to master stock car racing going forward.
An official announcement on the partnership is expected in the next few weeks. Sponsors were not confirmed but Boost Mobile was the backer for nearly all Pastrana’s starts in 2012; the role of Red Bull, which has backed him in other forms of motorsports but not NASCAR is unclear.