Only Travis could pull this off. (h/t to bturman at Vital MX)
The latter part of 2010 has been full of big announcements, and this one is the biggest yet: Travis Pastrana announced today that he is joining forces with Michael Waltrip Racing to campaign a Toyota stock car in selected Nationwide Series races next year. From the press release on the new Pastrana Waltrip Racing website,
"Travis has built an enormous and unique following all over the world," said Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion. "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. We're also looking for that next big star. Travis already is one and action sports is full of talented athletes. Having Travis as a part of our program adds another great dimension to our team and NASCAR."
How big is the upside for Travis? From the wiki on NASCAR's current TV deal:
On December 7, 2005, NASCAR signed a new eight-year, $4.48 billion deal with the Fox Broadcasting Company and Speed Channel. Also included in the new contract are Disney-owned ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, along with TNT. The contract came into effect in 2007. The rights were split up as such:That's serious exposure for Pastrana, already one of the most recognizable motor sport champion on this planet. Now he's about to step onto his biggest stage ever, taking sponsors Red Bull and DC Shoes with him. NASCAR will never be the same!
- Fox would become the exclusive home to the Daytona 500 and own the rights to the twelve points races after that. In addition, they will carry the Budweiser Shootout and two Craftsman Truck Series races. (In 2007, they were the Martinsville spring race, and the race in Mansfield, Ohio the Saturday before Memorial Day. In 2008 and '09, Fox aired the Kroger 250 from Martinsville, as well as the San Bernardino County 200 at California Speedway, instead of Mansfield. In 2010, Fox will not air any races in what is now the Camping World Truck Series; all 25 races will be shown on Speed.
- TNT will carry the next six Sprint Cup races including the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
- ESPN and ABC (through the ESPN on ABC arrangement) carried the final seventeen Sprint Cup races, with the ten races comprising the Chase for the Sprint Cup airing on ABC (Beginning in 2010, ESPN will take over most of the coverage, leaving ABC with three Saturday night races in August and October). ESPN will begin the coverage with the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The entire Nationwide Series season will be aired primarily on ESPN2 and ESPN, with selected races on ABC.
- Speed will carry the Gatorade Duel races and the Sprint All-Star Challenge, as well as the entire Craftsman Truck Series season, except for the two races each year carried by Fox from 2007–09.