Travis Pastrana is the biggest Action Sports star of all time. He's the all time gold medal winner at the X-Games with 16, and counting. With his MTV shows, and daredevil stunts, he has millions of young fans. Will that coveted demographic follow him to NASCAR?
I believe they will tune in to check their boy out. But, I wouldn't be surprised if NASCAR blows this great opportunity to gain new fans. Pastrana's fans will not hang around just to watch a bunch of cars turning left for three hours.
Pastrana has a mixture of charisma and talent unseen in NASCAR in the twenty-five years since Tim Richmond was racing. NASCAR has to capitalize on that, but do they have a clue? If their past history is any indication, I would say, no, they don't.
NASCAR must demand that their TV partners change the way they cover racing in order to cash in on Pastrana. And, no, I don't mean announcing where he is back in the pack, like they do with Dale Jr and Danica, every few minutes. They must find a way to have his face and voice on during the race. Perhaps a small, picture-in-picture, pre-taped, blurb from him that goes along with the action on the track at the time.
Sure, the established drivers may not like trying to build the Nationwide Series around Pastrana, but so what. If they haven't noticed, TV ratings are down, live gates are dwindling, and tracks are closing. That's on their watch.
Unlike the open-wheel, side show acts, Pastrana can attract new fans to NASCAR. Will NASCAR open their eyes and let him is the question.
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