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Thursday, November 11, 2010
Travis Pastrana leaves Subaru

By Jen Horsey
ESPN Action Sports

U.S. Rallycross finals in New Jersey, Nov. 7: the last in a long line of Subarus that Travis Pastrana has beat up on.

Travis Pastrana is parting ways with Subaru after a successful rally driving career, and rumor has it he wants to spend next season turning left.The wildly popular moto rider got his start in four-wheel motorsport in 2004, running a pair of development seasons in rally after a career built in supercross and freestyle motocross. He said at the time he enjoyed the challenge of rally and described the hard-hitting, sliding and jumping motorsport as "motocross ... with a roll cage."

He became an official Subaru Rally Team driver in 2006, and scored over 150 stage wins, 40 podiums and 22 event victories in his career with the team. He earned four consecutive US rally championship titles (2006-2009) and became the youngest ever US rally champion in history. When the X Games picked up Rally Car Racing in 2006, he was an instant threat and has won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal for Subaru.

Rally has increasingly taken a back seat to Pastrana's other passions, including the Nitro Circus project, which is expected to expand to a 3D feature film in 2011. He skipped two rounds of the six-round 2010 Rally America stage rally championship to tour with the group in Australia, and wound up in third place at the end of the season -- ending a four-year winning streak. He also missed a day of racing in the nascent U.S. rallycross series this October to compete in a tournament for the hunting arcade game "Big Buck Hunter."

It isn't yet official what the fiercely competitive Pastrana is eyeing next but, back in June, the driver took on Prelude to the Dream, a charity dirt Late Model race benefiting children's hospitals. He spun out right off the start and later got some air in a launch off of Ricky Carmichael's car and wound up finishing 23rd -- behind Jeff Gordon. But, by all accounts, he enjoyed the experience.

He hinted last weekend on the Speed Freaks radio program that he could be taking on the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Michael Waltrip Racing. "Definitely, Waltrip racing has offered something to get into a new form of racing," Pastrana told the radio show. "I'm definitely looking forward to trying a few rounds out -- maybe in Nationwide -- next year."

The Subaru announcement followed this weekend's conclusion of the rally season, with the running of the two final rallycross events of the year. Pastrana finished off the podium at both events. BMX star Dave Mirra will continue to drive for Subaru Rally Team USA. The team is looking for a replacement for Pastrana.