Travis Pastrana to run in Nationwide Series in 2011

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."

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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."

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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 Visit Pastrana Waltrip on Facebook right here and follow the team on Twitter at @pwr99.

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