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Pastrana, Daly to make NASCAR returns in Las Vegas

NASCAR

17 Sep 2020

Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/NASCAR Media

Travis Pastrana will make his second NASCAR Truck series start of the season at Las Vegas on September 25, driving the #42 Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports.

The five-time US rally champion will be joined by Conor Daly at the team for the event, the IndyCar regular making his category debut in the #45 Chevy.

Pastrana and Daly became close friends during the coronavirus lockdown, competing in iRacing’s LCQ League for professional drivers and action sports stars.

“I’m really looking forward to bringing our rivalry from the LCQ League to the real world,” said Pastrana. “We’ve been getting lots of advice and iRacing on track coaching from fellow LCQ member Parker Kligerman.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the hours in iRacing pay off on the track, especially for Conor who has never driven a NASCAR truck in real life.

“He might be the first person in history to jump into a professional racing series and take the green flag without so much as a single practice lap in real life! Conor is a phenomenal IndyCar driver and a quick learner so I think he will surprise a lot of people.”

Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar Media

While Daly is no stranger to NASCAR, having competed in the 2018 Xfinity series race at Road America, it will be his first start in the third-tier series and his first stock car race on an oval. What’s more, he will have to do it without any practice or qualifying laps, both of which having been scrapped since racing’s resumption from lockdown in order to cut down on time spent at the track.

“I could not be more excited to jump in a truck for the first time ever in Las Vegas,” said Daly. “This will be one of the greatest challenges I’ve ever faced in my career as it will be the first event I’ve ever done where I’ve never driven a single lap in the Chevy Silverado before taking the green flag for the race.

“Travis and I have been going head to head on iRacing getting as much practice as possible since that’s the best possible form of preparation we have!”

Daly’s only previous NASCAR start resulted in a 31st place finish. Pastrana meanwhile has four starts at Truck series level, three of them coming at Las Vegas. Pastrana scored his best result on his category debut in 2015 when he finished 15th. He returned earlier this year for the race at Kansas where he finished 22nd.

Pastrana also has 42 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity series with four top-10 finishes.