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Sunday, July 31, 2011
Pastrana to race RallyCross

By Alyssa Roenigk
ESPN.com

Despite a serious leg injury, Travis Pastrana intends to compete in Sunday's RallyCross

According to X Games event officials, Travis Pastrana has been cleared to compete in this afternoon's RallyCross competition at X Games 17. On Thursday night, Pastrana broke his right leg and ankle in Moto X Best Trick and by Saturday morning he was in his rally car learning how to use the accelerator controls that his team have rigged to the steering wheel. Pastrana had only a few laps on the course in practice and then headed to the LAPD road course where the Subaru Press Manager, Chris Yandell confirmed they received two hours of practice time.

On Sunday morning, Pastrana was cleared by event medical officials to participate in practice. That ended abruptly when he spun out and smacked the wall and damaged both the front and rear ends of his car. With only 30 minutes before the official seeding session, 10 mechanics swarmed around, under, and in Pastrana's car to replace the front bumper, piping, crash bar, and rear sub frame. "Normally we don't have this many guys," Yandell said. Mechanics, scrambling and bumping into each other were yelling, "How much time?" as the noon deadline for seeding loomed.

When RallyCross seeding began Pastrana quickly set the fifth fastest time at 37.825 seconds, behind Tanner Foust, Liam Doran, Marcus Gronholm, and Brian Deegan. After, he laid up in his Subaru team trailer, his right leg wrapped and splinted and propped up on a table. He was clearly exhausted and in pain and far from the thumbs-up-flashing action sports celebrity with the perma-smile fans are used to seeing.

"One tenth of a second separates our entire Subaru team," said Pastrana, who learned of ESPN's decision to allow him to race shortly after his qualifying laps. "We're coming into this with a different outlook than normal. I've learned twice now that I can't over drive. I can't drive sideways, which I like to do. By myself, I can drive competitively. With the rest of the guys on the track, every mistake is magnified."

In Sunday afternoon's race, Pastrana says he has one goal: "To make the final would be cool," he said. "But just to be here and have this team and this setup is awesome. Overall, I'm disappointed in this weekend. I thought I'd be doing NASCAR, too, so I'm devastated about that. But am I going to go out and have the most fun I can today? Yes. Am I glad I decided to drive today? I can't really answer that right now. But I think it is the best decision at the moment."