Saturday afternoon, action sports star and rally driver Travis Pastrana will make his long-awaited return to NASCAR. He will take part in the Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series as part of a doubleheader weekend. Pastrana will replace Ross Chastain, who drove the No. 40 Chevrolet on Friday night and did not finish due to mechanical issues.
Pastrana announced the news on his Instagram account. He showed off his workshop, as well as his large collection of NASCAR helmets while teasing his return to the track. To fit with the NASCAR brand, Pastrana started the video by saying, "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" in reference to longtime driver Darrell Waltrip. He then posted multiple other photos showing his practice laps on the simulation rig.
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"Got a call last night from my former car chief #codyefaw with [Niece Motorsports] asking if I wanted to race [Ross Chastain] truck on Saturday at Kansas. #putmeincoach [NASCAR on Fox] [NASCAR Truck Series] #herewego #turningleft pulling the old helmet off the wall. Should be fun! Green #40," Pastrana wrote in the caption of his Instagram post.
This is the first NASCAR race Pastrana has taken part in since the 2017 season and the fourth overall of his Truck Series career. He previously raced in the Xfinity Series for Roush Fenway Racing during the 2013 season, securing four top-10 finishes, as well as the pole position at Talladega Superspeedway. However, Pastrana walked away from NASCAR following the 2013 season while citing frustration with his performance.
In his career, Pastrana has only started three Gander Truck Series races. He took part in three events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, finishing with a career-best 15th in 2012. Now he will don the Red Bull firesuit for the E.p.t. 200 at Kansas Speedway.
As Pastrana explained, replacing Chastain in the No. 40 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet was not a simple task. He couldn't just get behind the wheel and go. The team had to essentially redo the interior of the truck in order to work with him.
The team started work at 6 a.m. and welded in a new seat that would better fit Pastrana. NASCAR officials ultimately approved the changes and paved the way for his return to the track. Although some fans made jokes about how Pastrana was getting behind the wheel of a Chevrolet while wearing a Subaru-branded firesuit.