Sparta, Ky. (June 30, 2013) – Roush Fenway Racing’s (RFR) Travis Pastrana finished 15th Friday night at Kentucky Speedway after the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race was called 30 laps early due to rain.
The NNS had two practice sessions to prepare for the Feed the Children 300. After Friday’s lone session, the No. 60 team worked diligently to adjust the car. The changes worked as Pastrana was quickest in final practice Saturday morning. He followed that up with a second-place qualifying effort.
“It was great to finally find the speed of the top drivers through practice,” Pastrana said. “That was by far the best qualifying effort I've ever had on a 1.5-mile track. We were a little conservative with the changes because we anticipated the track getting looser as the night progressed.”
To start the race, Pastrana dropped back a little bit and settled into the top-12. As green flag pit stops began to cycle through, the No. 60 remained on the track. A timely caution during those pit stops helped to gain track position for the team, as they were able to make their way down pit road under caution. The car was too tight in the center of the corner, so Crew Chief Chad Norris adjusted the track bar and air pressure in an effort to help the No. 60 turn through the center better.
Although the caution helped propel Pastrana towards the top of the pack, the No. 60 Mustang showed strength, running in the top-six for the middle portion of the race, until a late-race restart shuffled Pastrana back.
The team continued to visit pit road throughout the race, fighting the same handling issue on the No. 60 Ford Mustang. Pastrana made his way down pit road for the final time on Lap 167 during a caution for rain. He exited the pits in 15th. On Lap 170, NASCAR brought the cars down pit road, calling the race for rain shortly thereafter.
“We learned a lot for next time,” Pastrana said. “It was an extremely disappointing race, but we learned a lot and it gave me some confidence for future 1.5-mile tracks.”
Brad Keselowski won, while Elliott Sadler, Matt Crafton, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. RFR teammate Trevor Bayne finished 12th.
Subway Firecracker 250
2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway
Friday, July 5
7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and MRN