Bristol, Tenn. (Mar. 17, 2013) – Travis Pastrana finished 16th Saturday in his first NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS).
“I felt good all day,” said Pastrana. “We were planning on the long runs, but the car really came in at about 40-50 laps. It felt really good there at the end, so I learned a lot. I feel like if we could start the day over again with the knowledge we have now, we would be better. That’s my goal, to be more knowledgeable at the end of the day.”
The NNS traveled to the .53-mile track for the first short track race of the season. Pastrana and the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) Ford Mustang qualified 18th for the Grit Chips 300. At the drop of the green flag, Pastrana maintained his 18th starting position, running the opening 60 laps of the race in the top-20.
He radioed to Crew Chief Chad Norris that the car was too loose on the opening run. Under a Lap 61 caution, the No. 60 crew took the opportunity hit pit road for four tires, fuel and a right side track bar adjustment.
Pastrana restarted 16th and remained in the top-15 over the next run. He indicated that the car started the run too tight, but gradually loosened up over the long run. A caution on Lap 105 allowed the No. 60 to come down pit road for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment.
The No. 60 Ford Mustang continued to ride in the top-15, ultimately losing the lead lap during a long green-flag run. When the last caution flag of the day flew on Lap 266, Pastrana was only one position away from receiving the free pass. Norris called Pastrana to pit road for the final time to take four tires. Pastrana eventually crossed the finish line in 16th, one lap down to the leader.
“It’s wild because all of these first four tracks are so different,” Pastrana said. “I hadn’t driven the Nationwide car on the tracks yet. The Roush car felt really good. It took us about three-quarters of the race to really find where we were going. Unfortunately, we were about a lap down at that point. Outside of the top-15 is not where I was hoping for, but as much as I want to be winning, we’re learning. If I can leave today saying I could do better now than I could at the start of the day, then I’m excited for next time and hopefully we’ll be in the top-10.”
Kyle Busch earned his second victory of the season, with rookie Kyle Larson coming in second. Brian Vickers, Sam Hornish Jr. and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five. RFR teammates Chris Buescher and Trevor Bayne finished seventh and 12th, respectively.
Royal Purple 300
Two-mile Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Complete Race Results:
2013 Season Total: 12th with 112 points
2013 SEASON SUMMARY
Starts Wins Top-Fives Top-10s Poles
4 0 0 2 0