No, it's not the Brickyard, but Indianapolis seems like an odd place for Travis Pastrana to drive in his first NASCAR race.
Pastrana — who is running a limited Nationwide schedule in 2011 — announced Friday night that he will make his Nationwide debut at Lucas Oil Raceway (formerly O'Reilly Raceway Park) on July 30th.
Given that Pastrana has very little stock car experience, a short track like LOR seems like an odd place to jump into the Nationwide Series. LOR is a 0.625-mile oval that's very unique. It's fairly flat and the fastest way around the track is the top line. It's tricky for experienced drivers, let alone those jumping into a Nationwide car competitively for the first time.
However, it appears that Pastrana and Diamond-Waltrip Racing officials are planning that the K&N Pro Series All-Star Race on January 29 wil be a great learning tool. Pastrana is entered in the race, which features short-track drivers from the K&N East and West Pro Series, at the Irwindale Speedway short track.
Last year, Joey Logano won the race for the second time, beating Sergio Pena to the finish line. Logano crossed the finish line first in 2009, but was penalized for rough driving for a battle with Peyton Sellers, and the win was awarded to Matt Kobyluck.