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Travis Pastrana to run in Nationwide Series in 2011

Nick Bromberg
From The Marbles


Travis Pastrana is trying NASCAR.

Pastrana, a 16-time X Games gold medalist who is also on MTV's "Nitro Circus," will partner with Michael Waltrip to run Pastrana-Waltrip Racing. According to a release, Pastrana, 27, will run seven Nationwide races in 2011 and 20 in 2012.

"I've been following NASCAR closely for years as a fan of the sport with competing in the sport a life-long dream," Pastrana said. "I decided it was time to try and turn that dream into reality."

[Photo: Ex-NFL QB Jake Plummer's new sport]

Waltrip is hoping — most likely along with NASCAR officials — that Pastrana's presence in the sport will help tap into the young male demographic that the sport has missed over the last few years.

As we've mentioned numerous times, TV ratings are down across the board, but FOX's ratings in the coveted 18-34-year-old male demographic were down 29 percent.

"Travis has built an enormous and unique following all over the world," Waltrip said. "As a race team owner, we are always looking for ways to deliver to our partners and engage our fans better. This is an opportunity to showcase our company and our sport to a new generation of young fans."

[Video: Football star finds a new calling]

But will those fans tune in initially and stay tuned in if Pastrana, who competed in Tony Stewart's Prelude to the Dream earlier this year, doesn't see immediate success?

Open-wheelers like Sam Hornish Jr., Dario Franchitti and Danica Patrick have struggled in their NASCAR careers, and Ricky Carmichael, widely considered the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) in motocross, has three top 5s and 11 top 10s in 41 Camping World Truck Series starts.

Video courtesy of PastranaWaltrip.com. Visit Pastrana Waltrip on Facebook right here and follow the team on Twitter at @pwr99.

Follow Nick Bromberg on Twitter at @nickbromberg, and follow Yahoo! Sports' From The Marbles on Facebook here.

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