Pastrana hopes luck will turn his way

JOLIET, IL - JULY 20:  Travis Pastrana, driver of the #60 Valvoline NexGen Ford, waits in his car as crew members make adjustments during practice for the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series at Chicagoland Speedway on July 20, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

JOLIET, IL – JULY 20: Travis Pastrana, driver of the #60 Valvoline NexGen Ford, waits in his car as crew members make adjustments during practice for the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series at Chicagoland Speedway on July 20, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

JOLIET, Ill. –Travis Pastrana will be the first to admit it’s been a struggle in his first full Nationwide Series season. The former extreme sports star struggled during the first third of the season, but he’s begun to turn things around and is looking ahead to continue his forward progress in the second half of 2013.

“I think every driver wants to win and we haven’t got a win yet, that’s for sure,” said Pastrana, currently 14th in the Nationwide standings, 205 points behind series leader Regan Smith. “We haven’t even got a top-five yet, actually. To be perfectly honest, we were well off the pace (earlier in the season).

“Like in Kentucky, I was quickest in practice, qualified second. We’re finding the speed. The problem is the harder I try to drive, the more crashes we’re getting into, the more mistakes I’ve been making.”

Pastrana has wrecked out four times in his last 10 starts, but he still believes he’s making good strides.

“On a positive note, I’m learning what to tell the team about where I need the car after practice to make my best run in the race and I really think we’re making some great progress,” he said.

Pastrana has been leaning on Roush Fenway Racing teammates Trevor Bayne and especially former two-time NNS champ Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for advice. And even though he doubts he’ll end his rookie season in the top-10, he’s still hopeful to get his first win before the season finale.

“I’m still not as good at this sport, but I believe I can get there,” Pastrana said. “That’s debatable at this juncture, but we’re working hard and I think the second half of the season is looking good.

“I’m a good ways off right now (for his first win). We’d have to get a real lucky first win – but I’d rather be lucky than good any day.”

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