A mullet-wearing Travis Pastrana had three goals for his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway: to finish, to do it on the lead lap, and to do it in front of Danica Patrick. He achieved one of them, crossing the line in 22nd place – two laps down on winner Kurt Busch. His only real incident was getting busted for speeding in the pit lane, which dropped him further down the order.
Pastrana plans on running seven Nationwide races and nine races in NASCAR's lower-tier K&N Pro Series East. This one at Richmond will have been the hardest Nationwide event because it was the first, but having brought the car home at all will be a boost and should get him cleared by series officials to run the high-speed track at Charlotte on May 26.
This was Pastrana's overdue intro to NASCAR after he broke his ankle at the X Games last year and had to abort his 2011 schedule. He pledged to stay off the bikes for two years to give stock car racing a real shot and said he wants to be in the top 20 this year, top ten next year, and fighting for wins the year after. As for that target he put on Danica Patrick's back in Richmond, no doubt he got a good look at it since she finished a spot ahead of him in 21st. He'll get another shot at the Nationwide race at Darlington on May 11th.