From Jordan DeLucia / dirtcar.com
After his first Hot Lap session in a DIRTcar UMP Modified Monday at Volusia Speedway Park, Travis Pastrana told DIRTVision cameras, “I have no idea what I’m doing.” Three days later, he emerged a winner.
Pastrana claimed his first golden gator trophy in only his third race, during the fourth night of Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals. The rallycross star from Annapolis, MD, joined Billy Green and Brian Shaw as the three Feature winners Thursday night before rain postponed the remainder of the program to Friday.
For only having raced the car twice before Thursday night, Pastrana sped around the half-mile oval with veteran-like control. He took the green from inside Row #2 and advanced to second on the first lap, only leader Adam Nayler in front of him.
When Nayler bobbled on the cushion out of Turn 2, Pastrana was right on the doorstep to capitalize, racing into the lead down the backstretch on Lap 5. The caution flag flew one lap later, forcing Pastrana into his first defense of the lead via restart, but he and his Longhorn Chassis, Black Rifle Coffee #199 held strong.
After the restart, Pastrana jumped out to a sizeable lead but soon caught the rear of the field in the closing laps. During that time, 11th-starting John Clippinger had been making a surge through the field, advancing nine spots in eight laps and was running second at the halfway point. He reeled-in Pastrana from two whole seconds back in five laps and was hot on the #199’s trail as the laps wound down.
Clippinger came close, within a few car lengths by the checkered, but was unable to get close enough to make a move on the leader as Pastrana crossed the stripe to collect his first-ever gator trophy in his DIRTcar Nationals debut week.
“We just came down here, having a good time,” Pastrana said. “We got all the Black Rifle crew, so many friends and family. We’re getting ready for the [Daytona] 500, trying to qualify for that.
Read also – AN AWESOME TIME: Travis Pastrana’s Road to Daytona Starts With DIRTcar UMP Modifieds at DIRTcar Nationals
“I came to try and take some of Matt Crafton’s dollars, and he’s taking all of my dollars. We’ve been crashing a lot, but I definitely appreciate all you fans for coming out. We won a gator!”
Feature 1 (15 Laps):
1. 199-Travis Pastrana; 2. 16C-John Clippinger; 3. 07N-Adam Nayler; 4. 59-Doug Stine; 5. 5-Jonathan Taylor; 6. 27-Jason Garver; 7. 2C-Ronnie Chance; 8. 2J-Joshua Kunstbeck; 9. 7M-Steve Maughan; 10. 40R-Shawn Reiss; 11. 27C-Billy Cevaal; 12. 100-Dylan Murray; 13. 463-Daniel Sanchez; 14. 99W-Wade Olmsted; 15. 54-Zachary Hawk
See the full story and all of the evening's winners at:
Photo's: Josh James / dirtcar.com