Travis Pastrana: Why 2013 Is a Make-or-Break Year for the NASCAR Driver

Hugo Olguin@@RealHugoOlguinContributor IIIJanuary 4, 2013

RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 07:  Travis Pastrana, driver of the #60 Ford EcoBoost Ford, smiles as he gets out of his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images

It has been announced by USA Today that X-Games legend Travis Pastrana will drive the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford for the full 2013 Nationwide season.  

This is the major break that Pastrana needed to make a real run in NASCAR.  While Pastrana tried to make it work with RAB Racing last season, it was very apparent that he was going to need a team with full support behind him and great resources. 

Pastrana will have all the tools he needs to be successful in the Nationwide Series.  He's going to an organization that has won back-to-back Nationwide Series championships.  Pastrana will also benefit from having a full-time teammate in Trevor Bayne to bounce ideas off of.  Bayne will be running the full Nationwide Schedule in the No. 6 RFR car.

While it was announced that Chad Norris will be Pastrana's crew chief.  No announcement was made about sponsorship.  

Pastrana made eight Nationwide Series starts for RAB Racing and one start for Roush Fenway Racing with a best finish of 13th at Indianapolis.  

One of the big questions that surrounds Pastrana's potential success in NASCAR is his commitment to it in relation to his other obligations, such as the X-Games. 

Pastrana already lost a lot of track time in the past due to injuries suffered while trying to perform tricks on his motorbike.  I would be very surprised to see Roush allow Pastrana to do much on his bikes.  Pastrana needs to make a serious commitment to NASCAR in order to have any success.  

Pastrana has shown potential in running well, but has suffered from not being able to complete races strong.  

If Pastrana shows the commitment to NASCAR, he'll win races.  He'll have the best equipment on the track.  Pastrana will have the guidance of Jack Roush and his roster of drivers to aid in his development.  Pastrana has the ability to have good car control from his experience from racing rally cars.

Aggression should not be a problem for Pastrana.  He is a daredevil already, and he can really use that to his advantage late in races going for positions and even wins.  

I believe Pastrana will get at least one win this season.  While he may get a win, I don't see him as a serious championship contender.  He's still a rookie in my eyes and will have some growing pains.  

What I wonder is if Roush will commit to Pastrana for more than this season and what Travis will have to do to earn it.

This is Travis Pastrana's best NASCAR opportunity.  Now let's see what he can do with it. 

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