November 11, 2013 — Staff Report — Getty Images photo — Action sports star Travis Pastrana informed his fans Monday that he will not return to NASCAR racing in 2014.
In a thorough post on his Facebook fan page, Pastrana said he was grateful for the opportunity but cited a lack of sponsorship, subpar results and his wish to spend more time with his family as his reasons for leaving the sport. His announcement and shift in focus means Saturday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will likely be his final NASCAR Nationwide Series start.
Pastrana signed with team owner Jack Roush before the 2013 season, joining former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne as a full-time teammate in his No. 60 Ford. Though known for his extreme two-wheeled acrobatics on motorcycles, Pastrana had climbed the ranks through the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East while driving for team owner Michael Waltrip.
Pastrana soldiered through much of this season without sponsorship and failed to finish six races because of crashes, managing just four top-10 finishes — his best, a ninth-place effort at Richmond International Raceway in April. His biggest highlight came one race later at Talladega Superspeedway, where he landed his only Coors Light Pole Award and led four laps before a wreck eventually ended his day.
Read the complete post by Pastrana below:
“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. Its 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.”
“My wife Lyn-z has been more then supportive of my foray into NASCAR, often times being my biggest source of encouragement and support. But as my wife had to take a step back from being a professional skater to let me chase my goals in racing, I too need to take a step back and look at my situation as a father and husband. The NASCAR schedule is grueling and takes enormous sacrifices from those you love to make work. With a lack of funding next year, now is my opportunity to sit back and offer support as she chases her goals.”
“I hate to quit and I hate to fail, but sometimes things work out as they should. I’ve never been able to figure out the finesse required in pavement racing and that is disappointing, but I’m looking forward to driving more rally and racing more off-road trucks and there will be some announcements on those fronts shortly! My wife is excited to get back to skating on the Nitro Circus Live Tour and I’m excited to spend some quality time with my girls.”
“Thank you to all my fans for the support and I hope to see each of you at an event in the near future.”