Crossing over to NASCAR

NASCAR is about to get hipper and hotter.

Travis Pastrana, the charismatic Moto X, X Games and American rally racing icon, is crossing over to NASCAR to compete as a driver and team owner.

Pastrana will make his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011 under the Pastrana-Waltrip Racing banner.

He will own and drive Toyota Camrys from Michael Waltrip Racing.

"Competing in the sport is a lifelong dream," Pastrana said in a statement.

"I decided to try to turn that dream into reality."

Pastrana's schedule calls for him to compete in at least seven Nationwide races next season, plus the Toyota Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in NASCAR's Whelen All-American Series.

The move did prompt the Subaru rally team to sever ties with Pastrana, though they parted cordially.

"Travis brought rally to a whole new audience through the rally championship and, of course, through his spectacular appearances at X Games," Tim Mahoney, CMO of Subaru of America, said in a press release.

"We wholeheartedly thank him for his outstanding performances … and wish him well in his future endeavors."

Marketing pitch: The

folks at Homestead-Miami Speedway want your business this championship weekend. And they have the marketing plan to prove it.

The track is allowing every fan or group to bring in a small 6 x 6 x 12 (that's inches not feet) cooler stocked with food and beverage of choice, including alcohol.

This is a great promotion for anyone who ever has felt the sting of a $6 soft drink at a sporting event. And that's probably everybody.

There is also unlimited re-entry, allowing people to go back to their vehicles to restock their supplies. There's free parking too.

But the track people have very little control over traffic-congestion issues. Consider yourself warned.

Thumbs up to Goodyear: Goodyear, which supplies tires to all three tiers of NASCAR's major national series, announced its Support Our Troops initiative raised $100,463 for the nonprofit organization.

Goodyear began its fundraising efforts during the July 4 holiday weekend races in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The campaign featured Goodyear Eagle racing tires transformed to feature a red, white and blue color scheme reading "Support Our Troops" on the tires' sidewalls.

—George Diaz

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