DARLINGTON, S.C. – In his second NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start at Darlington Raceway, Roush Fenway Racing’s (RFR) Travis Pastrana fought hard all night to finish 28th at the track properly nicknamed “too tough to tame”.
The No. 60 Ford Mustang visited the 1.366-mile track for its first and only stop at Darlington Raceway this season and the third night race of the 2013 season. NNS teams prepared for a one-day show, with practice, qualifying and the race all taking place on Friday for the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200.
Pastrana qualified the No. 60 in 17th for the ninth race of the season, which took the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET. At the start of the race Pastrana settled into the top-20, telling the crew that the car was a little loose in turns one and two.
The caution flag waved on Lap 23, with the No. 60 team opting to visit pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to help the handling of his Mustang.
Pastrana restarted 17th and held his ground in that spot until contact with the wall led to a flat tire, forcing him to visit pit road under the green flag on Lap 78. The location on the track where Pastrana collected his Darlington stripe did not allow him enough time to make the commitment line for pit road, which brought the No. 60 Mustang back to the pits for a pass through penalty. Pastrana returned to the field in 33rd, three laps behind the leader.
He remained three laps behind the leader until taking the wave around with 27 laps to go. After the leaders hit pit road, Pastrana was able to make up one of his laps, ultimately finishing the evening in 28th, two laps down.
“Every time I kind of got held up at the wrong time, someone got by,” Pastrana said. “It was kind of a frustrating day of, ‘OK, how much is too easy and how much is too much?’ We found too much and too easy. I haven’t found that perfect little bit.”
Kyle Busch collected his fifth win of the season while Elliott Sadler took home second. Brian Vickers, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth comprised the remainder of the top-five. RFR teammates Chris Buescher and Trevor Bayne finished 12th and 32nd, respectively.
Roush Fenway Racing