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Pastrana out of Indy after X Games injury

29 July 2011

Travis Pastrana is to miss his highly anticipated NASCAR Nationwide Series début at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis after crashing badly and injuring himself during Thursday night's X Games Moto X Best Trick competition.

According to ESPN.com, Pastrana has injuries to his right foot and ankle - specifically, that he has broken both his tibia and his fibula. Such injuries normally require surgery and can take several months to heal properly.

"I'm on my way to the hospital for x rays, something with my foot," he tweeted immediately afterwards. "Might be driving with my hands on Saturday."

According to reports, Pastrana was attempting a corked 720 Toilet Paper Roll on a motorcycle - a flip combined with a 720-degree spin that Pastrana had spent four years developing. "You basically take off and you pull like you're going to do a double backflip but you have to not only pull like you're doing a double flip but centre your body completely off-axis," Pastrana described the trick last week. "When you go forwards, it's like going backwards and when you go backwards, it's like forwards," adding that: "If you miss any one of those steps at any time, you will be broken."

On his first attempt at the trick, Pastrana didn't square up for the landing and came down hard with the bike on top of him, but - typically for the fearless performer - jumped straight back up for another try. Second time around and he ended up under the bike again, but this time wasn't jumping up - instead needing to be helped away and then removed on a stretcher.

"I am sorry this happened, and will be back in action as soon as I can," Pastrana later told ESPN, which runs the X Games and had undertaken to organise the cross-country "Pastranathon" which had set the daredevil star up for a weekend of flying from Los Angeles on Friday to Indianapolis on Saturday and back to LA for Sunday in a major cross-promotion of both NASCAR and the X Games to their respective core demographics.

Pastrana is scheduled to run six other NASCAR races at Nationwide level, the next one due to be at Richmond on September 9 if the injuries he has sustained do not preclude his involvement. The other races in his 2011 introduction schedule are Dover (October 1), Kansas (October 8), Texas (November 5), Phoenix (November 12) and Homestead-Miami (November 19).

Pastrana was due to appear in the Kroger 200 Nationwide Series race at Lucas Oil Raceway - a short oval located in Indianapolis - in the #99 car for the Pastrana-Waltrip Racing team that he co-owns with Michael Waltrip. The #99 crew was already packing up and leaving the Raceway and that no replacement driver would be sourced.

"Like fans everywhere we were so excited about Travis' début Saturday night," said Waltrip. "We talked to our sponsor Boost Mobile and agreed to withdraw from Indy and delay our début. We've waited a long time for someone like Travis Pastrana. I guess we'll just have to wait a little bit longer.

"We have a long term vision with Travis which includes lots of NASCAR. We can't wait to get him healed and in our race cars," he added.

"No one is more disappointed than Travis," said Pastrana's trainer Todd Jacobs. "He feels like he let everyone down and hopes everyone knows how hard he worked for this." Jacobs added that Pastrana will have surgery upon his return to Maryland on the foot and ankle injuries, as well as on his hand which sustained ligament damage during earlier practice.

"With Pastrana, the whole reason people are interested is because he does that sort of thing," said Red Bull Racing crew chief Kenny Francis. "He gets out on the edge: you get out on the edge, you're going to fall sometimes and get hurt. It's unfortunate ... but at the same time, that's what makes him interesting," he pointed out.


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