Travis Pastrana will attempt to make his NASCAR Cup series debut in next month’s Daytona 500, driving a third entry for 23XI.
The six-time U.S. rally champion and reigning Nitro Rallycross champion will drive the No. 67 Toyota Camry for the third-year organization, with backing from the Black Rifle Coffee Company.
“I’m thrilled at the chance to race in the Daytona 500,” said Pastrana. “It’s the one event every year that all my friends and family come together to watch at our buddy Dale’s house, and it’s an event I’ve wanted to race my entire life.
“My first supercross win came at Daytona when I was 16 years old, and I qualified third at Daytona for the Xfinity series in 2013. That race didn’t end up well, but I was able to finish 10th despite the fact I crossed the finish line backward through the infield grass at 180 mph.”
Pastrana, a veteran of 42 Xfinity races – with a best finish of ninth – and five Truck series races, most recently the fall 2020 race at Las Vegas, will have to race his way into the 500 through one of the two Duel races.
“Trying to earn one of the very few remaining spots in qualifying for the biggest race I’ve ever had the opportunity to compete in will not be an easy task, but I’m confident the 23XI team will give me a car that belongs in the show and truly believe I have the skills to get it there,” said Pastrana. “It was very important for me to put my best foot forward and I’m happy to undertake this endeavor with the 23XI Toyota team. They are always competitive at superspeedways, so I know we will be strong when we get to Daytona.”
Eric Phillips, who for the last two seasons has served as crew chief for John Hunter Nemechek in the Truck series and previously worked with the likes of Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin in the Xfinity series, will serve as Pastrana’s crew chief.
“We’re excited to welcome Travis to the team as he competes for a spot in the Daytona 500,” said 23XI president Steve Lauletta. “He is one of the most well-known and well-decorated action sports athletes of all time, and we’re looking forward to helping him in his quest to race in the Daytona 500.
“Attracting a driver of Travis’ stature speaks volumes to the success 23XI Racing has had in our first two seasons and points to the positive direction in which we are headed. Aside from the opportunity to introduce Travis’ dedicated fanbase to 23XI and NASCAR, this race also provides a chance for more of our team members to expand their responsibilities as we continue to grow and strengthen the team.”