Getty Images

Travis Pastrana to compete in September Truck race at Las Vegas

1 Comment

Once you’ve had a taste of driving a NASCAR car or truck, it’s hard to resist attempts to come back.

Such is the case for action sports star Travis Pastrana, who announced Monday that he will test tomorrow (May 2) at Charlotte Motor Speedway and compete in the Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 30.

Pastrana will drive the No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports in that race.

“I love NASCAR, and Las Vegas is always a good time, so I’m really looking forward to racing there later this season,” Pastrana said in a media release. “The seat time at Charlotte will be a huge help for me to get up to speed and for the team to get a solid base setup for when we show up to race later in the year.

“I’ve actually worked with several of the people on this team in the past. It’s a fun group and we have a good rapport.”

Pastrana has long sought to return to NASCAR racing, and the opportunity with Niece Motorsports is what he was looking for.

“NASCAR is something that challenges me,” Pastrana said. “I’ve done a lot of work over the past couple of years to try and improve my pavement skills.

“I’m racing my first full year of Rally (America) since 2010, and I’m fresh off my first win in over a year, so it’s really exciting to be able to get behind the wheel again and see what we can do in the Truck Series.”

It will be Pastrana’s first NASCAR race of any type since he competed in a Truck Series race at Las Vegas in 2015 (finished 16th).

Prior to that, he ran all 33 races in the Xfinity Series in 2013, with a season-best finish of ninth in the spring race at Richmond as well as three other tenth-place finishes. He also earned one pole that year at Talladega.

One bonus for Pastrana is he’ll have Cody Efaw as his crew chief on the No. 45 truck. Efaw served as Pastrana’s car chief in the 2013 Xfinity Series season.

“Any time you can team up with someone you’ve worked well with in the past, there’s obviously a level of comfort there,” Pastrana said. “I know the group of guys that Niece Motorsports has assembled is going to give me a great shot at running well.”

Niece Motorsports is competing on a part-time schedule in the Truck Series in 2017, with plans to race full-time in 2018.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Matt Kenseth: Brickyard 400 restarts ‘kind of ridiculous’

Leave a comment

Matt Kenseth came close to winning Sunday’s Brickyard 400, but ultimately finished fifth.

Kenseth called the race “kind of ridiculous” down the stretch because of the several restarts that brought about further havoc and wrecks.

Kenseth competed in his final Brickyard 400 for Joe Gibbs Racing. With his future uncertain and whether he’ll be able to continue racing in 2018, could Sunday have been the final Brickyard 400 of his career, much like good friend Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is retiring after this season?

Check out the video above for Kenseth’s comments on the race.

Rick Hendrick on Kasey Kahne’s future: ‘Our plans are not set for the No. 5 car’

4 Comments

INDIANAPOLIS – Brickyard 400 winner Kasey Kahne has a contract for 2018 at Hendrick Motorsports but possibly doesn’t have a job next season.

Team owner Rick Hendrick confirmed Sunday night that “our plans are not set for the No. 5 car” after Kahne ended a 102-race winless streak in the Cup Series.

“There’s nothing concrete or done, and that hasn’t changed,” Hendrick said. “We’ll see how things shake out the rest of the year.  There’s a lot of things involved, sponsors and a lot of things we look at.  We’re going to try hard.  But there’s no decisions made at this time.”

Kahne felt the 18th victory of his career helped him make a case for staying in the No. 5 Chevrolet.

“I think this shows I still want to win races,” he said. “It shows I gave it all that I can to get a win and shows that I’m passionate about driving stock cars, and that I can still win races, too.

“I have a deal through 2018 with Hendrick Motorsports. I hear a lot of things, but it’s tough to say exactly what’s going to happen. I don’t know at this point and time. I know me and Mr. H will figure it out. I think this shows that I want to be and still have the drive and passion to do it, so I’m going to keep trying hard I know that.”

During a Sunday morning pre-race news conference to formally introduce Alex Bowman as the replacement next season for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick said he planned to run four cars next season but deflected a question about Kahne’s status (“that’s for another day”).

Xfinity Series rookie William Byron, who is under contract to Hendrick, would be an option for the No. 5 Chevrolet, but Hendrick said “we’re not ready to cross that bridge yet” when asked about Byron’s Cup future.

Kahne is ranked 22nd in the points standings with only four top 10s in 20 races this season.

“When you’ve had a rough road, your confidence gets down,” Hendrick said. “He said, ‘I know I can do it. The harder I try, the more it seems like I have this rough bad luck.’

“Something like this (win) can be really good for any guy to have, the whole team, to have confidence.  … All I can say about Kasey is he shows up, he shows up on time, and he shows up on time with his game face on, and he puts in the effort. Sometimes it just takes a break.  But he’s done everything.  I know in his heart he wants to do it.  He’s trying, so … ”

Ryan Newman on Brickyard 400: ‘That’s not racing, just craziness’

2 Comments

Ryan Newman was in the right place at the right time in Sunday’s Brickyard 400, finishing third.

It was Newman’s second-best finish of 2017 after his win earlier this year at Phoenix.

But Newman, who is never afraid to speak his mind, did just that after Sunday’s race. Even with his strong finish, he echoed the comments of several other drivers that the racing action — particularly restarts — by saying, “That’s not racing, just craziness.”

Check out what Newman had to say in the video above.

Joey Logano’s fourth-place finish is bittersweet as playoff chances dip

Leave a comment

Joey Logano had a bittersweet day in Sunday’s Brickyard 400.

He finished a strong fourth in the incident-filled 24th edition of the Brickyard 400. It was just Logano’s second top-five finish and third top-10 showing in the last 11 races.

But there was also bad news, too.

Kasey Kahne‘s win knocked Logano further back in his bid to rejoin the top-16 drivers eligible for the upcoming NASCAR playoffs. With Clint Bowyer dropping out of the top-16 and Kahne moving into playoff contention, Logano has slipped back to 18th place in the playoff-eligible standings.

As a result, Logano all but has to win one of the next six races to qualify for the playoffs — unless he can point his way in with continued strong top-five finishes.

Logano talked about the situation he faces with NBC Sports after Sunday’s race. Click on the above video to see what he had to say.