Sunday morning, Travis Pastrana and many of his friends will unleash a special competition onto the world. The P1 Offshore Invitational, a high-powered boat race featuring several high-profile stars will air on Fox Sports 1. The unique competition will unfold over several stages and test the competitors' abilities to handle a boat at over 100 mph.
Prior to the event airing on FS1, Pastrana sat down with PopCulture.com in an exclusive interview. He detailed the process of putting the competition together and finding the right people for each team. He explained that the process started with him "catching the P1" bug. He and Nitro Circus then began looking for ways to help their fellow action sports stars keep busy during a pandemic.
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"With COVID, we were trying to figure out how to keep Nitro Circus — which is a live touring company — and trying to figure out a way to get guys that can't tour to have fun and do something with their sponsors," Pastrana told PopCulture. "You know, something that could be a challenge and also kind of at a top-level. So we met with the guys at P1 Offshore, and they said, Look, this will be really exciting. Who can we get?'
"Kurt Busch said yes and Ryan Villopoto and all the guys said 'this is awesome,'" Pastrana continued. "Just a really, really eclectic but awesome group." With a plan in place, they were able to get the P1 Offshore Invitational on Fox Sports 1 while providing Nitro Circus with a way to get back to work.
The list of competitors features several high-profile figures. Along with Busch and Villopoto, there is former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Black Rifle Coffee founder Evan Hafer, five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser, the Diesel Brothers, professional skateboarder Lyn-Z Pastrana, Brian Deegan, IndyCar racer Conor Daly, and many others. Putting together this stacked competition was not a simple task for Pastrana and the event organizers, especially when some race teams said no to putting their drivers in the high-powered boats.
"They basically all dropped out except for Conor Daly who wasn't even going to do it, he was going to be our announcer," Pastrana said." He's scared of the water, and the President or Vice President of Nitro Circus, he was like 'dude he's scared of water we have to get him in there. It's great for TV.' He ended up making it pretty far actually. He did really well but [was] scared to death the whole way."
The P1 Offshore Invitational already took place, but it will not air until Sunday. Pastrana did not want to spoil the outcome, but he did reveal that the entire Monster Energy team — Busch, Deegan, Villopoto, and Blake "Bilko" Williams — performed among the best. Every member of this team has considerable skill in managing vehicles at high speeds. Pastrana also specifically mentioned his wife Lyn-Z, Daly, and Luttrell as other standout performers.
"Marcus Luttrell. I swear he just looked over at his throttle man and was like, 'If you lift, I'm going to kill you,'" Pastrana joked. "Most of the throttle men kept their drivers under control. Marcus Luttrell went on past the first round, I can give you that much information, and they looked like they were going to die. On the straightaway, they looked like they were going to die."
Throughout Nitro Circus' existence, there has been a wide variety of entertaining events for viewers. The Pastranaland Pit Bike Championships and Freedom 500 race featuring a fleet of Ford Crown Victoria sedans are only the latest examples in a long line, and yet, Pastrana and his friends are not running out of ideas. They just keep reinventing ways to provide entertainment.
"The hard part is actually not coming up with material, it's executing it to the levels that we're proud of and to make sure that we don't put too much on the board," Pastrana said. " COVID has been really difficult for the company, but it's also been great to get a lot of the guys kind of their own platform to say, 'okay, what do you want to do, you know you're not touring right now. How can we contribute to making you a better rider or a better athlete or how can we get you into something?'"
This approach has led to multiple seasons of a TV show, multiple movies, a worldwide tour, and pay-per-view races. Pastrana and his friends continue to generate views and entertain fans on a regular basis. People who became fans of the Nitro Circus hijinks during the MTV days still follow their latest events.
"Everyone says, 'how have you stayed relevant and how have you been successful?' I said 'well we stay relevant by not caring what the budget is. If it sounds like it's gonna be fun, and we think we can figure it out, we do it.' We spend more than we make on almost everything and somehow we keep getting sponsorships. If you want to go on to make money, Nitro's not the place for you, but man we have a good time while we do. There are smarter people than us making it kind of work at the end of the day, so thank God for that."
Travis Pastrana's P1 Offshore Invitational will air on April 18 at 9 a.m. ET. Fox Sports 1 will provide coverage of the event. CBS Sports Network will also include the special event as part of the P1 Offshore season preview show, which will also air across the Bally Sports Regional Networks.