Friday, November 12, 2010
The Nitro Circus Comes To Town
It certainly is interesting to watch a series written off as almost dead roar back to life. The Nationwide Series is now a playground for Sprint Cup Series stars who either want to have some fun on a Saturday or support a team in which they have a financial stake. Either way, the result is often horrible racing.
The Nationwide Series gets a fresh start next season with new cars and that has prompted several high profile types to step-up and play. Along with the continuing education of Danica Patrick and the new mega-team of Turner Motorsports, we heard Thursday that extreme sports star and Nitro Circus veteran Travis Pastrana is coming to NASCAR.
Pastrana, pictured above, may not be well-know to some NASCAR fans but it's a sure bet he is known to their children. This young man has blazed a trail through sports outside of the mainstream but strongly embraced by teens. Pastrana is someone who connects with young TV viewers in ways NASCAR can only dream about doing right now.
Add to this equation the fact that Michael Waltrip is probably the perfect owner for Pastrana and it all makes a lot of sense. The quirky Waltrip and the over-the-top Pastrana can bring some much needed national media focus to the Nationwide Series in a flash.
Even at the ripe old age of 27, Pastrana has a fan base that is global and a wonderfully crafted public relations and marketing image. This man is no fool and nothing happens in his life without a detailed sponsorship plan to go along with the project.
Pastrana's father Robert will also bring his personality to the table in the family sport of NASCAR. The elder Pastrana is a native Puerto Rican and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. The cross-over appeal of Travis in so many ways is simply huge.
NASCAR TV is going to love Pastrana because he is the polar opposite of Danica Patrick. Rather than speaking in carefully scripted interviews and supervised media availabilities, Pastrana is an enthusiastic shoot from the hip guy who loves every camera that turns his way.
Even though Pastrana is only doing seven races in 2011, his plans are for 20 races in 2012 with an eye on eventually becoming a full time NASCAR driver. There is little doubt that Pastrana has his eye on the prize and that prize is ultimately the Sprint Cup Series. His owner has a little experience in that world.
For those of you wondering if Pastrana can drive something with four wheels on pavement, click here. This is the type of offbeat and interesting project that Pastrana has done for sponsors like Subaru and Red Bull. These videos spread the news to YouTube users globally of both brand identification and extreme sports.
Click here for a peek at the new Pastrana Waltrip Racing website that includes links to Facebook and Twitter for information on this project. It certainly sounds buttoned up and brings with it just the kind of new blood that the Nationwide Series and the sport in general certainly needs.
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