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Travis Pastrana, Scott Speed set for Indianapolis

X Games star Travis Pastrana is set to make his NASCAR Nationwide début this weekend, while Scott Speed is to return to Cup competition for the first of a three-race stint with Max Q.
The long-awaited arrival in NASCAR of X Games driver and stunt performer Travis Pastrana will finally happen this weekend when he attempts to quality the #99 car for the Nationwide Series Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.

At the same weekend, former NASCAR regular Scott Speed will return to Cup competition for the Brickyard 400 at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway driving the #37 Max Q Motorsports Ford Fusion in the first of three confirmed races.

Speed will also race at the following Cup events at Pocono and Watkins Glen, where his F1 road course experience will come in very handy, and there are "hopes of [Speed] continuing the rest of the 2011 season pending sponsorship" according to the press release making the announcement from Max Q Motorsports.

"I am excited to get back to the track," said Speed, who has 76 Cup starts to his name before an acrimonious split with Red Bull left him without a berth for 2011. "I'm hopeful that we can get the ball rolling quickly and be competitive out the gate."

But as well known and popular as Speed is in the US, he pales into insignificance compared with the arrival on the scene of superstar daredevil Travis Pastrana, who is bidding to make his national-level NASCAR début in the Kroger 200 after some test appearances at sub-national level in January's Toyota All-Star Race and last week's K&N Pro Series East event. Pastrana will be jetting in overnight Friday from Los Angeles, where he is competing in the X Games. He'll fly right back out straight after the Kroger 200 finishes.

Pastrana's NASCAR appearance could prove to be a disappointment, or even an embarrassment, but that's not going to stop a man who seemingly genuinely knows no fear. "Let's shoot for the moon," Pastrana said: "At worst, we're a shooting star."

But he did admit that he was finding driving a Nationwide car rather more difficult than he had expected. "There's a lot of different ways to drive in a circle and I'm still trying to find the fast way ... Honestly, judging off of the K&N races, we're going to be mid- to back of the pack," he said. "If we get a top-20, I shouldn't say I'd be happy because no driver is ever happy unless they are on top of the podium, but that would be really good for us.

"I want to learn something every race," he continued. "I want to make improvements every race. Even if those improvements aren't in the results, I want to be as competitive as we possibly can be with the experience we have."

Pastrana revealed that he had sought reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson's advice on what so do. "He said, 'Look, I could tell you a lot of stuff, but the bottom line is seat time.'"




Related Pictures

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Travis Pastrana, right, with buisness partner and NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Grand Marshal Michael Waltrip in January. [Picture Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images]
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, and Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(L-R) Sybil Scott, Janis Davis, Wendell Scott, Cheryl Ashley and Frank Scott pose with Darrell Wallace, Jr. (3rdL), driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, poses with the Keystone Light Pole award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 25, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, laughs before practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, leads Ben Kennedy, driver of the #31 Heater.com Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A view of the #34 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott Toyota, driven by Darrell Wallace, Jr., in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 24, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Michael Waltrip, driver of the #66 MyAFibStory.com Toyota, poses for a photo during a press conference before practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ben Kennedy in the #31 Turner Scott Motorsport NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The #31 Turner Scott Motorport NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry driven by Ben Kennedy. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)

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