While Travis Pastrana has quickly become a household name for all of his aerial acrobats and wacky stunts on his recently-launched reality show Nitro Circus, it is the sport of motocross that provided Pastrana’s launching pad to success. The multi-time Amateur National champion quickly proved himself worthy on the professional level, earning AMA Rookie of the Year honors and the 125cc AMA Motocross championship in 2000. One year later he captured the 125cc Eastern Regional AMA Supercross championship and began juggling racing and Freestyle Motocross.
In typical Pastrana style, he became an iconic figure of ESPN’s X-Games, winning countless gold medals, which helped him become who we know today as the world’s greatest Freestyle Motocross rider.
Injuries would prevent Pastrana from ever winning a premier AMA Supercross class main event, but ironically enough, he is one of the biggest draws when he shows up to the stadium. At this year’s St. Louis Supercross, Pastrana made a cameo appearance in hopes of reliving his competitive racing glory. His last AMA Supercross race was in 2006, so to say he was a little rusty was an understatement.
“It’s easy to underestimate the field of competitors because of the pace that Chad Reed and James Stewart are going,” said Pastrana. “Everyone was fast. Everyone. I can’t believe how much the sport has progressed since I left it.”
“These guys put me in check,” he adds. “I knew that I could not run the pace they were going. I wanted to qualify for the main event and lead at least one lap.”
The night didn’t go as planned as he was sent to the last chance qualifier. He overcame a bad start in that race and began a charge towards the front but a few instances of contact resulted in mechanical problems and forced him to DNF. Ever the showman, Pastrana put the crowd on its feet with his determination and left to a standing ovation from over 50,000 fans.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Pastrana. “The crowds were huge, the autograph lines didn’t end, and I was very thankful to have the support of so many fans. I love racing, and I ride all of the time. I just wish I could have accomplished my goals. But I tried.”
Pastrana’s passion for motocross is synonymous with Thor and Parts Unlimited’s desire to support the sport and use the world’s best riders to endorse their products.
“Thor is a motocross company unlike no other,” said Pastrana. “I am honored to be a part of their team, and I am very fortunate to have the support they provide to me with whatever I want to do.”
In Pastrana’s world, optimal gear is equally as important as looking cool.
“Thor products are driven by performance, and that is what I need,” added Pastrana. “My personal favorite is the way their gloves work. You can feel the performance when you are throwing down countless laps.”
While the future for Travis Pastrana is surely busy with his myriad of participation in everything from rally racing to skydiving, don’t be surprised to see him wandering around the pits on any given Saturday, paying a visit to the sport that propelled him to where he is today. A sport he truly loves.
About Parts Unlimited
Parts Unlimited is the world's largest distributor of aftermarket accessories in the powersports industry and is owned by LeMans Corporation headquartered in Janesville, Wisconsin. Parts Unlimited sells to over 12,000 dealerships world wide and continues to expand its market penetration with its sister companies, Parts Canada, Parts Europe and Drag Specialties.
Parts Unlimited continues to promote racing through its campaign WE SUPPORT THE SPORT®, helping to drive consumers to dealerships, while entertaining its dealers through hospitalities at the events it sponsors.
About Thor Motocross
Thor is one of the originators of motocross apparel. When Torsten Hallman made his first U.S trip to race and promote motocross in 1966, he inadvertently started to develop Thor riding gear. Thor is a hardcore, grass roots company that understands what it takes to reach the top and more importantly, how to stay there. It is one of a few companies with over 40 years experience in the motocross marketplace.