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Travis Pastrana Smart to Abandon NASCAR Dreams After Porous Performance

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 08:  Travis Pastrana, driver of the #60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series ServiceMaster 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 8, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2013

Motorsports and action sports superstar Travis Pastrana’s quest to dominate the NASCAR circuit has come to an end after his performance in the Nationwide Series this season was not good enough to secure sponsors for the 2014 campaign.

Pastrana broke the news of his retirement from the sport on Facebook:

This past season of NASCAR has been an awesome experience. I have made a lot of great friends, had a lot of fun and gained a new appreciation for all aspects of this sport. Jack Roush and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing have gone above and beyond to try and help me succeed and I am truly grateful for their support. I would like to thank them and all of the other people who stuck behind me during the last two years as I tried to learn how to make a successful career in NASCAR. It’s tough to step back now and prove the critics were right, but unfortunately my results were not good enough to get the sponsors I needed to appropriately fund next season.

While admitting defeat couldn’t have been easy for the multi-sport legend, his lackluster performance since making the jump to NASCAR has resulted in a lack of sponsor support, and finally the realization that the experiment was not going to work.

Pastrana currently sits 14th in the Nationwide Series standings with one race remaining on the schedule (Homestead-Miami Speedway) and has only amassed four top-10 finishes in 32 starts in 2013. His average finish of 21st in 41 career races was simply not good enough to earn sponsorships moving forward.

SPARTA, KY - SEPTEMBER 21:  Travis Pastrana, driver of the #60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford wrecks during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kentucky 300  at Kentucky Speedway on September 21, 2013 in Sparta, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Roush Fenway Racing gave him every chance to shine in the No. 60 car during the 2013 season, but with only 11 career laps led and zero top-five finishes, it was the right time to walk away.

Add in the desire to spend more time with his wife and children and support them in their own goals, per Pastrana's message on Facebook, and it became clear what he needed to say.

Retiring from NASCAR is a sad moment in his hunt for domination in every sport he attempts, but this is not a normal athlete we’re talking about; Pastrana has plenty of backup plans that will keep him busy now that his three-year asphalt racing career is over.

Now Pastrana can turn all of his attention to dominating the dirt once again.

Whether it’s on a dirt bike, in a rally car or in an off-road truck, Pastrana will bring his mainstream notoriety and ability back to where he thrived earlier in his career.

There will inevitably be NASCAR fans that continue to follow his career despite his retirement from the sport, and this minor setback could be a long-term positive as he regains his confidence and hones his skills.

CARSON, CA - AUGUST 03:  Gold medal winner Travis Pastrana and bronze medal winner Dave Mirra pose together after the Rally Car race during the summer X Games 14 at Home Depot Center on August 3, 2008 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/G
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

At 30 years old, Pastrana is still young and can continue to get better driving in NASCAR (testing for teams and running practice laps whenever he can) if the possibility of a return ever crosses his mind.

If the 10-time X Games gold medalist continues to thrive behind the wheel of anything he can get his hands on, there is still a chance that a NASCAR team could take an educated risk re-signing him farther down the line.

With the name recognition, a hardcore following and legitimate ability behind the wheel, Pastrana was smart to walk away with class now and re-evaluate the direction of his career.

 

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