Patience not a virtue for Pastrana

Travis Pastrana will make his sixth Nationwide Series start in Sunday's STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. (Getty Images)
Travis Pastrana will make his sixth Nationwide Series start in Sunday’s STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. (Getty Images)

JOLIET, Ill. – Patience was never a virtue when Travis Pastrana raced motorcycles. He simply kick-started his bike, took off and held on for the ride of his life.

But Pastrana is learning that racing on four wheels is a bit more methodical — and certainly requires more patience — than two-wheel racing.

Fortunately for the impatient Pastrana, he’s getting a lot of help from driver coach and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Matt Crafton, who happens to be one of the most patient drivers in NASCAR.

“I see the carrot in front of me and (Crafton’s) like, ‘Just slow down your entry.’ I’m like, ‘They’re pulling away.’ He’s like, ‘Look, this is how fast you setup the car, this is as fast as you can come in and you have to beat them coming off the corner.’ I want to just come in like in motocross and everything else has been about aggression.

“So for me, (it’s difficult) to be patient with the driving and keeping from burning the right rear completely off the tire and not being sideways. The harder I try to drive these cars, the slower I drive. I want to keep getting in there and keep getting more experience.”

There’s no question Pastrana is talented, be it on two or four wheels. Crafton likes what he sees in his young charge.

“He’s very good to work with and learn and wants to do this,” Crafton said of Pastrana. “I mean, he really truly wants to do this, and he will get it.

“Honestly, I didn’t know if I was going to like it (coaching Pastrana). But he’s been so willing to learn and wanting to learn so much, that’s what is so awesome about it.”

Pastrana will make his sixth Nationwide Series start in Sunday’s STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. He’s looking for a better finish than he’s had in his first five efforts: 22nd (Richmond), 17th (Darlington), 26th (Iowa), 24th (Charlotte) and 31st last week at Loudon.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.