Global Rallycross Season Review: Travis Pastrana
Travis Pastrana has never been the kind of guy to rest on his laurels, but he’s also the kind of guy who lives his life for fun; it’s part of what drove him to attempt a full NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2013. But even as his stock car commitments increased, Pastrana made a commitment to appearing in as many Global Rallycross races as he possibly could.
When all was said and done, Pastrana showed up more often than not, making five starts and scoring 56 points. Although he couldn’t add another race win to his resume, as he did at New Hampshire last year, the fan favorite actually scored 16 more points than he did in five races in 2012.
The #199 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart had a significant disadvantage compared to the rest of the field: it was of a greater length than any of the other vehicles, meaning handling came at a premium all season. And while the team had to compensate for a revolving door in the drivers’ seat, Pastrana was still able to deliver on track.
He frequently overcame poor lap times in seeding, finishing at least five spots higher than he qualified in four of his five race appearances. He managed to stay out of the last chance qualifier, except at New Hampshire (he won the LCQ anyhow), and out of trouble, except at Charlotte (where his ninth place was the worst finish he had all season). Best of all, he scored a podium finish in Las Vegas, completing a star-laden top three behind only Ken Block and Tanner Foust after nearly beating Block in their second heat race.
In all, Pastrana gained a total of 26 spots from his seeding positions, posted an average finish of 6.2 to rank fourth among drivers to run in a majority of races, and helped the #199 car earn a total of 90 points, which would have been good for sixth in the championship had it not been a shared car.
No matter what Pastrana’s 2014 plans are—and the rumors swirling are quite juicy—it’s clear that he can be competitive in any kind of car. Though we once again may not see him at every GRC race weekend, the races at which we do see him should see him running toward the front.
Photo credit: John Davison (1); Alison Padron (2); Larry Chen (3)