Action sports star and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Travis Pastrana is no stranger to a busy schedule, so he felt right at home with a jam-packed day at ESPN this past Monday. In true Pastrana fashion, his plans for the first weekend of August are equally hectic: He’ll race in the Nationwide Series at Iowa on Aug. 3 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2) before jetting to Los Angeles to participate in the Ford RallyCross at the X Games on Aug. 4 (5 p.m. ESPN).
His calendar isn’t the only place these two worlds intersect, though. In his next two Nationwide races, his No. 60 Ford will have a new paint scheme, showcasing the X Games Los Angeles logo along with his pride for the sport. Pastrana hopes the new look will raise awareness among fans of both sports and help recruit new ones at the same time.
“The two sports have similar audiences but they don’t necessarily understand each other,” Pastrana said. “X Games fans might think NASCAR is just a bunch of left turns and NASCAR fans might think the X Games is just a bunch of crazy hooligans. But really, they’re the same people, brought up in different backgrounds.”
Pastrana said while it’s exciting, the X Games tribute will also make him feel some added pressure.
“I feel honored to represent the X Games,” he said, “but I’ve got to go out there and produce a good result in the races.”
His pride in the X Games comes as no surprise, as Pastrana has seen the franchise expand from humble beginnings to a global celebration of action sports. He said bringing the ESPN and X Games brands to new cultures and new audiences has been amazing to see.
“My wife, (Lyn-z Adams Hawkins Pastrana), is a female skate boarder and they don’t always get a lot of coverage or TV time, but we went to Spain and there was a packed stadium,” he said. “Ten thousand people at 9 o’clock in the morning for the women’s street contest. As an athlete, of course you want to win, but you’re also a performer. You want to show off and when people really react to it, the sports are going to grow and get better.”
You can catch the No. 60 car debut its new look at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday (4:30 p.m., ESPN).