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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]
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)
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The #31 Turner Scott Motorport NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry driven by Ben Kennedy. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team co-owner Michael Waltrip, photographed during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour on January 30, 2014. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Drive For The Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads thre field past the green flag to start during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell wreck at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, captures the flag with his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 3, 2014 in Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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