Joliet, Ill. (July 22, 2013) – Roush Fenway Racing’s Travis Pastrana qualified strong in the No. 60 Valvoline NextGen Ford Mustang, starting fifth. He ran in the top-15 until contact with another car that was making a green flag pit stop caused Pastrana to tap the wall, which led to an 18th-place finish in Sunday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Chicagoland Speedway.
"My goal for the past couple of races has been to find some speed and qualify in the front,” said Pastrana. “We've been fast in practice and have been qualifying regularly inside of the top-five. Now, I need to work on my racing and work with the team so we have a setup that can hold that speed when I get into traffic. This was a very disappointing finish, but I'm happy with the progress in speed we have been making.”
The NNS visited Chicagoland Speedway for the first of two races this season at the 1.5-mile track. Pastrana debuted a new look, carrying the bright green colors of Valvoline NextGen on the No. 60.
Pastrana had yet another solid qualifying effort, rolling off fifth. Under the pace laps, he came over the radio and said he hoped to keep the green beast No. 60 up front. He spent the opening 25 laps running inside the top-10, radioing to the crew that the car was too tight in the middle and exit of the corners.
During a Lap 50 caution, Pastrana made his way down pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to try and help the tight handling condition. When the race returned to green, Pastrana told the crew that the adjustment had gone too far, making the No. 60 Valvoline NextGen Mustang too loose.
On Lap 106, the No. 60 came down pit road again, this time under the green flag. Crew Chief Chad Norris called for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to help the loose car.
As green flag pit stops cycled through, Pastrana made contact with a car that was on its way to pit road. He attempted to avoid the car, but in the process he flat-spotted his left front tire, causing the tire to go flat, ultimately leading to contact with the wall.
The team came down pit road three times under the ensuing caution to take tires and fuel as well as repairing the fender damage. Pastrana restarted 20th on Lap 129, one lap down to the leaders. The damage did not hurt the handling, as Pastrana radioed under the next green flag run that the car was pretty good overall, just a little bit tight.
Pastrana spent the remainder of the race trying to put the No. 60 in position for the free pass. The cautions did not fall exactly when the team needed, leaving Pastrana one lap down in 18th to close the day.
2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Saturday, July 27
4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN