Travis Pastrana to serve as grand marshal for Texas race

Motocross star and soon-to-be Nationwide Series driver Travis Pastrana has been named the grand marshal for Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Pastrana is scheduled to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Richmond on Friday, April 27. He was originally slated to compete in the series in 2011 but broke his right ankle and foot performing a trick in rallycross at the X Games. The plan is for Pastrana to compete in seven Nationwide Series events in 2012. He's already made two starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series this year.

Pastrana fits Texas' "No Limits" theme perfectly because of his extreme sports background and is competing in the Rallycross event at the Speedway in June. He's driven everything from a dirt bike to a car at the 24 hours of Daytona.

But, we have to ask, has a driver ever served as a grand marshal two weeks before his inaugural NASCAR national series event? Pastrana's a perfectly acceptable pick given his stature and the cross-promotional nature of his appearance. But can you imagine the backlash if Danica Patrick had served as a race grand marshal in the fall of 2009 before she made her Nationwide Series debut? We shudder at the thought.

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