Annapolis native and action sports legend Travis Pastrana will attempt to qualify for next month’s Daytona 500 NASCAR race in Florida, his team 23XI Racing announced.
Pastrana will compete in qualifying at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 16 for a spot in the Great American Race on Feb. 19.
Pastrana, racing in the No. 67 car, will be a teammate to established drivers Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick. Eric Phillips will be the team’s crew chief, while sponsorship will come from Black Rifle Coffee Company.
Pastrana, who has raced in a number of series over a 25-year driving career, has never competed in the Daytona 500. He finished 10th in an Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway in 2013.
Along with experience in the K&N Pro Series, Pastrana has 42 starts in the Xfinity Series and five starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, where he most recently competed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the fall of 2020.
Pastrana is best known for motocross and rally car racing along with his exploits as a freestyle motocross competitor. He has captured seven championships across supercross, motocross and rally racing and has amassed 11 gold medals in moto and rally car events at the X Games.
Pastrana created the Nitro RallyCross series in 2018, which is now in its fourth full season. The Severna Park resident is the reigning champion of the series.
Pastrana’s inaugural entry in the Daytona 500 will come in a Toyota Camry TRD.
“I’m thrilled at the chance to race in the Daytona 500,” Pastrana said in a statement released by the team. “It’s the one event every year that all my friends and family come together to watch at our buddy Dale’s house, and it’s an event I’ve wanted to race my entire life.
Pastrana said his first supercross victory came at Daytona when he was 16 years old and that he qualified third at Daytona for the Xfinity series in 2013.
“That race didn’t end up well, but I was able to finish 10th despite the fact I crossed the finish line backward through the infield grass at 180 mph,” Pastrana said.
Pastrana and 23XI Racing are among four teams that have been confirmed as fielding “open car” entries for the Daytona 500. Others come from Austin Hill Beard Motosports, Jimmie Johnson Legacy MC and Zane Smith Front Row Motorsports.
“Trying to earn one of the very few remaining spots in qualifying for the biggest race I’ve ever had the opportunity to compete in will not be an easy task, but I’m confident the 23XI team will give me a car that belongs in the show and truly believe I have the skills to get it there,” Pastrana said.
23XI Racing President Steve Lauletta called Pastrana “one of the most well-known and well-decorated action sports athletes of all time,” and said the team is looking forward to “helping Travis in his quest to race in the Daytona 500.”
“Attracting a driver of Travis’ stature speaks volumes to the success 23XI Racing has had in our first two seasons and points to the positive direction in which we are headed,” Lauletta said.
Black Rifle Coffee Company, with a mission to better the lives of veterans, active-duty military and first responders, has a long-standing relationship with Pastrana — supporting his journey throughout racing and driving escapades.
Most recently, the two partnered on an action-packed video to honor American military veterans on Veterans Day, shredding the streets of small-town Boerne, Texas in a knock-down, drag-out car chase behind the wheel of two heavily-modified Hoonigan vehicles.
“Travis is part of the fabric that is Black Rifle Coffee Company and truly a member of our family,” said Luke Peelgrane, the company’s senior vice president of marketing and media.
“When he came to us and shared his desire and interest in fulfilling one of his lifelong bucket list items — competing in the Great American Race — we didn’t hesitate to come alongside him for the ride.”
In October 2020, Pastrana made local headlines by successfully jumping a rally car over Ego Alley at City Dock in Annapolis.