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Mr. Fearless : Travis Pastrana

I am not really a big fan of the X-Games. But back in 2006, I happened to somehow tune into the live telecast of the X-Games. It was then that I had first heard about Travis Pastrana. While most freestyle motocross riders were using the same ramp settings to display their motorcycle jumps, Travis decided to tweak the ramp set-up and nobody really knew what was cooking in his mind. What followed next was how he left every live viewer awe-struck, with one of the most spectacular stunt that could have been pulled off on a motorcycle. I had just witnessed a record-setting performance of the first ever double back flip stunt on a motorcycle. Ever since then, Travis Pastrana has been instrumental in the explosion of the popularity of the X Games and has had me hooked to one of the most popular extreme sports athletes in the world.

 

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Travis Alan Pastrana a.k.a the modern day Evil Knievel, was born on October 8 of 1983 in Maryland, USA. Travis started motorsports at the age of 4 on a Honda Z-50 and by the age of fourteen, he was already the world champion of freestyle motocross. Although he had passion for mountain biking, he got entrenched in the world of motocross and become synonymous with the word motocross itself, winning many titles beginning 1992. In the following years, his career jump started and he was decorated with various amateur national championships. It was in 1999 that he began to carve his name in the X-Games, by becoming the youngest ever athlete at the age of 15 to win the X Games gold in the 125 cc pro racing category. Over the years, this wonder boy went on to win several titles in motocross, freestyle motocross and supercross motorcycle events, combined with many X-Games gold medals. Then in 2006, the X-Games stood witness to the nearly impossible record-setting back flip feat by Travis. During the same event, he also earned three gold medals and was placed among the elite legends of the game.

Although Pastrana loves to race motorcycles, he has equal passion for race cars as well. In the 2003 version of the Race of Champions, Pastrana drove for the Vermont Sports Carrally team. The year 2006 saw Pastrana excelling in the Car Rally scene, when he won his first X Games gold medal in the rally car competition by edging out rally legend Colin McRae. So in the same year, he was signed by Subaru Rally Team for the American Rally Championship. As soon as he entered the rally cross scene, the event began to get extra attention with the superstar’s involvement. During his first year itself, he claimed three overall victories and won the champions title in Rally America 2006. And the championship winning streak continued till 2009. In between, he also participated in some of the stages in the World Rally Championship for the Subaru Rally Team USA. In 2011, Pastrana made a full-time jump from motocross to NASCAR series at the Toyota All-Star Showdown and finished sixth. He was all set for racing at the IndyCar Series too, but a broken right ankle at the 2011 X-Games side-lined him for nine months. Now, 2013 will see Travis making a full time switch to stock cars for the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

 

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Today, Travis Pastrana is a multi-talented motorsports personality with his documented success across varying segments on wheels. Travis is not just an X-Games Legend, but a Rally Champion, Motocross & Supercross winner, NASCAR Racer, Freestyle Specialist and a holder of multiple stunt records on wheels as well. However, becoming a motorsports legend never came easy for this adrenaline-filled superstar. Travis had to put up with various broken bones, concussions and injuries from his failed attempts. For instance, just at the young age of 14, a life-threatening crash which separated his spine from his pelvis. This injury left him unconscious for three days and in a wheelchair for three months. But not the one to lazily sit around, Travis actually got himself a wheelchair with full suspensions and regularly impressed the nurses with his new found stunt possibilities on the chair. Even the prospect of major injuries like these has not been able to deter his adrenaline fed passion and he still spends most of his time overcoming death defying stunts. Fittingly, today’s generation is better acquainted with him as the man who runs the widely popular TV show – Nitro Circus. Nitro Circus is an action sport modern day circus led by Travis and features his athletic friends and him travelling around the world performing crazy stunts.

So far, Travis Pastrana has enjoyed a varied and spectacular career, unlike most athletes who has gotten behind the wheel. He is a genuinely great motorsports personality, who is freakishly talented on two or four wheels and already has a great legacy to leave behind. Pastrana has created sporting history with some of the most incredible stunts ever performed. The daredevil’s enormous fan following in the world of motorsports is already evident from his millions of followers on internet Medias like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. So in other words, nothing is really going to keep the superstar from exploring every possibility.

 

MORE ABOUT TRAVIS PASTRANA

FULL NAME: Travis Alan Pastrana

NICK NAME: The Gimp, Wonder Boy

D.O.B: 8th October, 1983

HOME TOWN: Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.A

HEIGHT: 6’ 1”

MARRIED TO: Lyn-z Adams Hawkins (Multiple X-Games medallist)

FAVORITE FOOD: Ice Cream

LISTENS TO: Rock music (especially Linkin Park)

FAVORITE CAR: Ford GT

SPONSORS: Red Bull, Suzuki, Alpinestars, DC Shoes, Samsung, AGV, Smith Optics, Boost Mobile, KMC Wheels

ACHIEVEMENTS:

• 2000 AMA Motocross 125cc Champion

• 2001 AMA Supercross 125cc Champion

• 10-time X Games gold medallist

• Four-time Rally America Drivers Champion

INTERESTING FACTS:

• Youngest freestyle motocross world champion at the age of 14.

• Between 1999 and 2003, Travis won every freestyle contest he entered.

• Jumped his Suzuki dirt bike into the San Francisco Bay during the 1999 X Games and won a gold medal there. But had to forfeit the $10,000 in prize money to retrieve the bike, pay fines and donate to the Save the Bay charity.

 

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• Successfully landed the first-ever double back flip in moto­cross competition history at the 2006 X Games. Has repeatedly done the same again!

• He has back flipped a monster truck too.

• Past injuries include multiple concussions, a dislocated spine and a broken pelvis, hip, foot, ankle, thumb, elbow, fingers and wrists.

• At his home, Travis has set up his own private Motocross Track, Supercross Track, Freestyle Park, Indoor BMX Park, Pit Bike Track and a Foam Pit to perfect his aerial skills.

• Other high-octane hobbies include skydiving and base jump­ing. He has also jumped out of a plane without a parachute!

 

POPULAR MYTH:

• They say that when Travis was born, he did a back flip and stuck the landing. The doctors were impressed.

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