Travis Pastrana will miss the next round of the Nitrocross season while he recovers from surgery.
Pastrana is having a knee replacement procedure ahead of the trip to Calgary on February 3-4, the series’ only snow and ice round, and only event outside the United States. He is, however, expected to return for the season finale in Las Vegas at the beginning of March.
“There’s nothing better than ripping a 1000 horsepower machine with huge studs around the ice, but unfortunately my knee finally gave out from a lifetime of fun and I made the decision to get it replaced,” Pastrana told RACER. “I will be back better than ever for Vegas and ready to rock for the 2024-25 Nitrocross season.”
Calgary will be the second round in succession that Pastrana has sat out of the headline Group E class after having stepped aside for Lia Block in the second half of the doubleheader event at Glen Helen Raceway in December. Pastrana was also set to miss one of the two rounds in Utah to give YouTube star and sometime Stadium Super Trucks racer Cleetus McFarland an opportunity to race until series organizers put a stop to the plan owing to McFarland’s inexperience.
Pastrana, a six-time Nitrocross event winner and the 2021 series champion, has one victory so far this season, at the second round of the campaign at the Utah Motorsports Campus. He added a second podium in Phoenix two rounds later.
His absence from the next Nitrocross round isn’t expected to impact his stage rally plans with the Vermont SportsCar-led Subaru Motorsports USA operation, though. Subaru’s season will get underway with Sno*Drift in Atlanta, Michigan on February 9-10 with six-time U.S. champion Pastrana competing alongside co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino and the pairing of Brandon Semenuk and Keaton Williams in the team’s new WRX Open class cars.
Elsewhere in the field, Oliver Bennett will return in Calgary having missed the last two events due to back injury. His XITE Energy Racing team will once again enter a sole car for the Brit, having fielded Kris Meeke and Tanner Foust in its second car at the first two events of the season.