HAMPTON, Ga. (September 2, 2012) -- No. 99 Boost Mobile Toyota driver Travis Pastrana finished 26th in Saturday night’s 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Pastrana qualified 16th and held his position throughout the early going of the race on the 1.5-mile high speed oval. Kevin Harvick set a blistering pace lapping all but the top 10 cars in the first 50 laps. Pastrana never stopped battling and climbed as high as ninth returning to the lead lap on lap 85 after taking the wave around.
The RAB Racing team employed a fuel strategy and kept Pastrana on the track during a caution moving him to the lead on lap 121. The Boost Mobile Toyota led six laps before the drivers with fresher tires moved past him.
Pastrana appeared ready to best his 13th-place finish at Indianapolis in July but a lap 162 brush with the wall forced him to pit lane where he lost several spots making repairs. Saturday night marked Pastrana’s final scheduled appearance in the No. 99 in 2012 Nationwide competition. Pastrana will run several K&N Pro Series East races in the coming months.
Pastrana is supported by KMC Wheels in his NASCAR and rallycross efforts.
SOURCE: Pastrana Racing
· Started 16th and finished 26th
· Held position in early going but like most in the race fell down a lap to leader by lap 50.
· Took wave around and returned to lead lap on lap 85 racing in ninth.
· Led for six laps
· Brushed wall and lost several laps on pit lane making repairs.
PASTRANA: How was your race? "Worst finish we've had best result I've had as a driver -- worst result on the paper. Everything is really coming together. It's my eighth race in Nationwide. First race we had a legitimate shot at a top-10 and actually a pretty good shot at a possible top-five. The guys did such a great job with this car. Really, really just want to thank my sponsors Samsung, Boost Mobile, KMC and Toyota truck and cars. This was a really good car and this track everyone said it was a driver's track -- it was a dirt track -- and that really suited me well. I like being sideways. Obviously, got a little too sideways and then I actually had so much under steer. We were trying to do something with the pit strategy and got us to the lead there for a brief second, but just had a lot more laps than anyone else. Still put in some good times, but needed to start backing it off more than I was."
What was going through your mind as you led on the restart? "Excited. Pumped up. Nervous. You see it in the driver's meeting all the time -- I knew what to do -- but it was just one of those things that I've never even in the K&N Series had a chance to lead on a restart. That's a really cool feeling. It's just a learning experience -- one learning experience after the other. I hate when people get out and are like, 'Oh, it's a learning experience,' and this and that, but honestly to be up there, to run with those guys, I learned that you can't keep running that pace on tires that have an extra 20 laps on them, especially at this track on those tires, but we were. We could do it for a few laps. It's just matter of it's going to bite you eventually and need to start back in the corners back a little bit more and paid the price for it. But, honestly, it was the best all-around drive, best -- my cousin (Greg Powell) on the pit crew is coming right along and I think we had great pit stops. We had great everything."