This was supposed to be Travis Pastrana's big weekend, "Pastranathon," where he'd pinball back and forth between the X-Games and his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. And then, well, this happened:
Pastrana was attempting a 720 Toilet Paper Roll, which is a flip combined with a 720-degree spin and appears every bit as insane as it sounds. Initial reports indicated that Pastrana had broken both his tibia and his fibula, an injury that can take months to heal properly. But Pastrana himself later tweeted that the injury appeared centered on his foot: "I'm on my way to the hospital for x rays, something with my foot. Might be driving with my hands on Saturday."
Our friends at GrindTV.com have the scoop. Unfortunately, Pastrana suffered a broken ankle and foot on the fall and will be out of the race/extreme sports game for a while.
"I am sorry this happened, and will be back in action as soon as I can," Pastrana told ESPN once he'd been released from the hospital.
Pastrana/Waltrip Racing confirmed on Friday what had been obvious Thursday night: Pastrana will not run the Nationwide race, and there will be no substitute driver in his place. Clearly, the sponsorship deal for Pastrana's ride was for him and him alone.
"Like fans everywhere we were so excited about Travis' debut Saturday night," said team owner Michael Waltrip. "We have a long term vision with Travis which includes lots of NASCAR. We can't wait to get him healed and in our race cars. We talked to our sponsor Boost Mobile and agreed to withdraw from Indy and delay our debut. We've waited a long time for someone like Travis Pastrana. I guess we'll just have to wait a little bit longer."
This also brings up the question of NASCAR drivers' off-weekend responsibilities. While Pastrana is a special case, should NASCAR drivers be allowed to participate in potentially hazardous situations between races? This will only stoke that fire.
UPDATE: Waltrip said they have targeted Richmond on Sept. 9 as the possible debut for Pastrana.
"He's going to work with his doctors and find out if that's realistic and make sure that that is something that we can look forward to," Waltrip said.
When asked how they decided not to run this weekend with another driver, Waltrip said that decision was the sponsor's, Boost Mobile. "They wanted to not run the car and just wait for Travis. I support that decision and agree with that decision 100 percent."
"If you could read this email that I got from him last night, you just want to — Iwanted to cry, because he just was so beat up and down over not only his foot being broke, but the fans that were looking forward to it, breaking their hearts," Waltrip added. "Our team looking forward to and all the support we've given him, making them not have the opportunity. He was just really sad."