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NASCAR Cup Daytona 500

Pastrana admits NASCAR Cup debut at Daytona is "nerve-wracking"

Extreme sports athlete Travis Pastrana admits his NASCAR Cup Series debut at this weekend's Daytona 500 is "a nerve-wracking" experience.

Travis Pastrana, 23XI Racing, Black Rifle Coffee Toyota Camry

The 11-time X-Games gold medalist and founder of the Nitro Circus is driving a third entry for 23XI Racing, which is co-owned by Cup driver Denny Hamlin and NBA legend Michael Jordan.

While it may appear on the surface an athlete who lives on the edge of danger on a regular basis should be immune to fear, Pastrana said that’s not necessarily true and especially when it comes to making his series debut.

"For me, it’s definitely nerve-wracking, but I don’t know what to experience. I’ve never had a Cup car out of second gear," Pastrana said.

"So, to worry about what it’s going to do in the first turn.

"I’ve got all the information from all the drivers, and they’ve all said similar things, some completely opposite things and I don’t know who’s messing with me and who’s telling me the truth.”

Pastrana didn’t have a chance for any practice and apparently didn’t need it.

His first lap on the track in the current Next Gen car came on Wednesday night in his qualifying attempt and he was second-fastest among the seven cars without charters. The top two in speed are guaranteed a spot in the race.

Travis Pastrana is also competing in the Truck Series

Travis Pastrana is also competing in the Truck Series

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Pastrana will still compete in Thursday night’s qualifying race.

"It’s good that the Duel isn’t the first race because it’s definitely good to be out on the track by myself and feel what that does without people around me is good," he said.

"I did qualify front row here and finished top 10 in the [Xfinity] Series [10 years ago] so it’s not like we’re coming in with nothing. I definitely have the most pavement experience I’ve ever had in my life and I feel ready to make it happen."

Pastrana has 42 Xfinity Series starts to his credit, having run the full season in 2013. His best finish came at Richmond, finishing ninth, and he won a pole at Talladega.

Pastrana is also competing in Friday night’s Truck Series opener, driving the No. 41 Chevrolet for Niece Motorsports.

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